Courting Two Sisters
The 'two sisters' in this cocktail from Midnight Cowboy in Austin, Texas are sweet and blanc vermouth, which are stirred with a quarter ounce of absinthe. It's worth it to invest in fresh vermouth—the open bottle that's been sitting in your cabinet for a year has gone bad, we promise.
This dark rum cocktail adapted from A.J. Rathbun features Velvet Falernum, a liqueur spiced with almond, vanilla, ginger, clove, and lime.
Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler
It's good to have Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur around to doctor up prosecco or cava. In this simple cocktail, fresh grapefruit juice keeps things from getting too sweet.
Ghost of the City
There were a number of new white whiskeys on the market these days; try any one of them mixed with a touch of Cocchi Americano and lemon bitters.
Jackson Cannon's Adriatique
This was one of our favorite recent cocktail discoveries, even though it's super-simple to make. Fresh orange juice is mixed with Aperol and Amaro Montenegro; you could experiment with any other amari that you might have on hand.
This boozy cocktail recipe, shared with us by Chris Lane of Lolinda in San Francisco, brings together nutty Amontillado sherry with Armagnac and Drambuie.
Man About Town
We always love to get people drinking Cynar, the delicious bitter aperitif flavored with artichokes. Here's one way to try it mixed: a cocktail from Gramercy Tavern in NYC that adds in spicy rye and sweet vermouth.
We love a classic Negroni made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin, but it's fun to change it up with this paler version, made with Cocchi or Bonal and dry vermouth.
This grapefruit and vodka cocktail is served at Frank Stitt's Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. Lillet Blanc accentuates the delicate flavors of the citrus and rounds out the drink's texture.
Though it's extra-nice served in copper cup, you shouldn't let regular glassware stand in the way of making this super-easy drink: just get some good ginger beer and limes, open the vodka, and relax.
This slightly beefier version of an Aperol Spritz is meant to be served with appetizers like cured meats and olives—so it's no surprise that an olive garnish tastes delicious between sips.
Ok, ok, it's basically a rum and Coke, but the addition of lime makes all the difference. Try it with anejo rum.
This Manhattan variation from John McCarthy uses smoky Scotch as a base, along with Carpano Antica and Green Chartreuse. The Carpano Antica, says McCarthy, is "the more savory of the sweet vermouths" and adds a rich texture to the drink.
Bourbon is even better stirred with orange bitters and coffee liqueur; try this drink with Galliano Ristretto, Firelit, or the coffee liqueur from House Spirits.
There's no gin in this screwed-up Negroni, instead, there's just Prosecco, making for a lighter, fresher, and less-alcoholic drink.
People always ask us what to do with extra dry vermouth. To start off, try this variation on a martini, made with a little absinthe to emphasize the herbal flavors of the gin.
This play on the Negroni from Pourhouse in Vancouver, BC uses lighter Aperol instead of Campari, and Cocchi Americano instead of sweet vermouth.
This classic cocktail was included in an 1862 Jerry Thomas bartender's guide. We've heard that the drink was created in honor of a visit to New York by a delegation from Japan; a rare occurrence back then. The ingredients—orgeat, cognac, and bitters—have nothing to do with the faraway country.
Etre en Verve
Lillet Blanc is pretty tasty alone on ice, but we like it even better in this refreshing cocktail with sparkling wine and grapefruit bitters.
Dark & Stormy
This classic highball never fails to taste good: just be sure to use fresh lime juice, never bottled.