My holiday guests fall into two camps. The first lot will say “I’d love a cocktail, but nothing too strong please”. Normally I would thrown these people out, but they are my friends. The second want to have whatever I am drinking. These are the dogs I run with.
For the first group this year I will be serving an Italian Collins, a twist on a Tom Collins. It’s a light refreshing drink, with enough complexity to maintain your cocktail credentials.
30ml or a shot of gin (a spicy gin like Bombay Sapphire works well)
Limonata or any suitable good quality carbonated lemon drink (get one with at least 10% lemon juice)
A dash of citrus bitters
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Pour the gin into a champagne flute and top up with cold Limonata. Add the bitters and fresh lemon juice. Stir gently and serve. You may garnish with a lemon twist.
For the serious drinkers amongst my guests I am serving a Vieux Carre. Named after the French Quarter of New Orleans where it was invented in the 1930’s, it is pronounced “voo-ka-ray” and translates as “old square”. It is a smoother, more sophisticated variant of a Sweet Manhattan
30ml sweet red vermouth
A dash of Angostura bitters
A dash of Peychaud’s bitters
Shake the ingredients with ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with either a lemon twist or a maraschino cherry.
Both these cocktails can be served over ice, but I find that serving a very cold drink in a martini glass or a champagne flute to be just that bit more festive.
Drink well! Be well!