Thursday, February 4, 2016

Equal Rights!

No, this post is not about voting, or gender equality, or equal pay for men and women. It’s about…cocktails.

Now, lest anyone think I’m a lush, let me explain something: I track the hits on my blog, and I know exactly which of my entries attract the largest audience. And although many of you are more interested in my cooking than in my children, my most popular blog entries of late have been my cocktail recipes. In other words, I am not posting this because I am a lush, but because all of you are.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, my most recent booze entries have been for 2-ingredient and 3-ingredient cocktails, because they’re simple and only require a very basic liquor cabinet. But as my husband reminds me, my biggest concern when I began to learn how to mix cocktails was getting the proportions right. So I thought it might be worthwhile to post a list of cocktails in which the ingredients are all in equal proportions.  

As usual, below is the list of ingredients to make all seven of these cocktails.

Liquor
Gin
Whiskey/Bourbon
Crème de cacao
Brandy/Cognac
Grand Marnier/Cointreau/Triple Sec (triple sec is less concentrated than the first two, so keep that in mind when substituting)
Amaretto
Kahlua
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Domaine de Canton (as I’ve mentioned in the past, this probably isn’t in your liquor cabinet, but it should be)
Rum
Tequila
Vodka
Sweet vermouth

Mixers
Half and half or light cream
Honey (optional)
Cola
Lemon juice
Simple syrup (Heat equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.)
Sweet and sour mix (optional)
Angostura bitters

Garnishes
Orange wedge or peel
Lemon wedge or peel
Decorator’s sugar or granulated sugar (optional)

Barbary Coast

I’m not a big gin drinker, but I tried this cocktail last evening and found that it reminded me a lot of a Brandy Alexander, but with more depth of flavor. 
Shake  equal parts gin, whiskey (or bourbon), crème de cacao, and half and half over ice. Serve in a chilled martini glass. No garnish needed.

French Connection
If you’re looking for a smooth, smoky, elegant after-dinner drink but straight brandy or cognac is too much for you, a French Connection might be just right. This is one of the few cocktails where I would NOT substitute triple sec for Grand Marnier. Triple sec will not stand up to cognac the way that Grand Marnier will. 
Combine equal parts cognac and Grand Marnier in a snifter. No garnish is needed, but if you must, orange peel may be used – flame it first and you’ll be forgiven. (Don’t know how to flame an orange peel? Check out the video below.  It can be done with a lighter or a wooden match. It smells fabulous, and your guests will be impressed.)

Orgasm
Despite its rather inappropriate name, this smooth cocktail is a lovely after-dinner drink as well as a sweet pre-dinner treat. Although it is not generally served over ice, I find the chilled “on the rocks” version to be perfect as a warm weather cocktail. It’s also fun to serve it in a fancy or funny glass. 
Pour equal parts amaretto, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and half and half into a Collins glass (over ice, if desired). Leave ungarnished or top with whipped cream and a cherry.

Ginger Toddy
What would any cocktail blog of mine be without a recipe calling for Domaine de Canton? This hot toddy recipe will warm you to your toes. It's best served in a clear glass mug, but any sturdy mug or cup you can wrap your hands around will do. Warming your hands and inhaling the wonderful ginger scent is half the pleasure. If you prefer a little more sweetness (or to soothe a sore throat), add in a dollop of honey. 
Combine equal parts Domaine de Canton, whiskey, and hot water in a mug. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Long Island Iced Tea
This drink is remarkably potent and also goes down very easy, so be very careful when drinking (or serving)! With five different alcohols, a little goes a long way. Go heavy on the ice and sip slowly. You can substitute sweet and sour mix for the lemon juice and simple syrup if you prefer. 
Combine equal parts rum, tequila, gin, vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup over ice in a highball or Collins glass. Stir, then top with cola. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Between the Sheets
Another lovely cocktail with an unnecessarily vulgar name, Between the Sheets is a close cousin to the Sidecar, substituting rum for half the brandy. Feel free to use less lemon juice if this recipe is too tart for your taste. As with the Sidecar, a sugared rim is not strictly required, but makes for a much more elegant presentation.

Shake equal parts rum, cognac, Cointreau or Grand Marnier, and lemon juice over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass (with a sugared rim, if desired). Garnish with lemon.

Saratoga
Although some would consider the Saratoga a rather masculine drink, the smoky-sweet-bitter balance can be pleasing to a more feminine palate, as well. If you like Manhattans, give this distant cousin a try. As with the French Connection, flaming an orange peel garnish is an elegant touch and an impressive tableside presentation. 
Shake equal parts brandy or cognac, whiskey, and sweet vermouth plus two dashes of bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker (not too hard – you want to chill it, not add ice chips). Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a wedge of orange or lemon or a flamed orange peel. 


Slainte!

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