Cocktail 101

All the basics of the bar.


The 7 Best Budget Tequilas

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 18 comments

Our top recommendations for 100%-agave tequila that you can buy for $25 and under. More

Cocktail Tools: What to Buy After You Have the Basics

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 4 comments

These tools make life a little simpler and cocktail-making a little more fun. More

Celebrate Spring With an Egg in Your Cocktail

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 1 comment

In spring, we celebrate rebirth, rejuvenation, and fertility, and for many centuries the egg has symbolized those concepts. Here are a few tips on using eggs in cocktails, and a few recipes you should try. More

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Bitter Drinks

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 16 comments

If you are interested in building a taste for the bitter drinks that are showing up in bars these days, my advice is to start slowly. Here are my recommendations, step by step. More

The Best Gin for Negronis

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 33 comments

Which is the best gin for a Negroni? I tested three basic types of gin: a junipery London dry style, a more floral style, and a Navy strength (114 proof, or 57% alcohol by volume). More

True Essentials for Your Home Bar: Bottles, Bitters, and Tools

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 17 comments

It's all too easy to overthink the home bar, and to assume you need to spend a couple hundred at the Liquorteria just to get started making drinks at home. Here are some tips on the essentials you really need. More

The 6 Best Budget Ryes

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 33 comments

Good rye should be spicy, somewhat fruity, and a little more rugged than bourbon. Here are my 6 top picks around $25 or less. More

Drinking Traditions From Around the World

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 8 comments

What's the strangest thing you've seen someone do while drinking? I mean, on purpose, not just because they're drunk and disorderly. Booze-makers and drinkers all around the world have certain practices that might seem odd to an outsider. This week, we'll look at a few. More

How Booze is Made: The Basics of Column Distillation

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 2 comments

Bourbon benefits from being produced primarily in column stills, which allow distillers to continuously produce spirits, without having to stop after each batch to clean the still. In theory, anyway, this means round-the-clock production of your favorite booze. What's the story with column stills? Read on... More

The 10 Best Budget Bourbons

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 73 comments

We're lucky, as bourbon drinkers. The bourbon industry has the resources and capacity to make massive quantities of corn juice, and the expertise to do it well. This means that you can find plenty of good bourbon on a budget. Now, that's not to say every budget bourbon is good, heck no. Some of it is dreck. But look around, and you'll find the good stuff easily enough. More

7 Cocktail Resolutions for 2014

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 6 comments

Take a break and think about all the boozy stuff you ever wanted to do. Now's your year. If you don't have any boozy stuff you always wanted to do, here are a few ideas. More

Stock Up for the Holidays With These Go-To Spirits

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 20 comments

Over the years, I've developed a list of go-to brands: fairly affordable bottles that don't disappoint and generally stay consistent from year to year. In most cases, these spirits all mix very well and taste great on their own, so they're not just good, they're versatile, too. More

10 Bartending Terms You Might Not Know

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 6 comments

Hang out in bars long enough, and you'll start to hear the bartender throwing around all sorts of interesting words and phrases. And I'm not talking about the Tagalog profanity she picked up while backpacking through the Philippines; I mean the lexicon of bartending. Today, a glossary of the secret language of bartenders. More

Tips for Planning a Holiday Cocktail Party

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 4 comments

I would say that everyone loves a holiday party, but that's just not true; many of them suck. Here are a few tips that should help ensure that yours is of the non-sucky variety. More

Cocktail Planning for Thanksgiving

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 1 comment

A few tips and recipes to help plan the cocktail portion of your Thanksgiving celebration. More

5 Essential Fernet Branca Cocktails

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 20 comments

What Fernet Branca needs in a cocktail is a sparring partner, an ingredient that complements its strengths and masks its weaknesses. Here are five recipes to get you started. More

3 Great New(ish) Cocktail Bitters

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 8 comments

Back in my day, when you wanted to make a cocktail, and you needed some cocktail bitters, you went to the soda-pop aisle of your grocery and found the shelves dedicated to mixers for adult beverages, and if you were lucky, you'd see a bottle of Angostura right there sitting next to the lime cordial and the sour mix and the tonic water. These days, you kids are spoiled for choice. More

10 Bourbon Terms You Should Know

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 8 comments

Do you know a high rye bourbon from a wheater? What's sour mash? All the answers, in this guide to bourbon terms. More

5 Essential Scotch Cocktails

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 7 comments

Scotch is a tricky ingredient to mix with, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Start with these five drinks: four classics and a modern invention, all delicious. More

3 Good Drinks from Harry Craddock's 'The Savoy Cocktail Book'

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 2 comments

The Corpse Reviver #2 might be the most famous drink recipe from Henry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book, but here are three more classics you should try. More

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