As bartenders continue to further the nuances of cocktail-making, it’s important to remember that sometimes simple does the trick. And while we recently tried an otherworldly Woodford Reserve Double Oaked $1,000 mint julep in anticipation of the Kentucky Derby, there certainly are easier drinks to whip up for more casual occasions. The following four struck our fancy for their time-tested brilliance, minimal ingredients and ease of assembly.
When most people hear the word daiquiri they often think of thick, overly sweet frozen headaches for sipping on the beach. That is, in fact, not what a daiquiri really is. We recently tried a real daiquiri at Cobble Hill, Brooklyn’s Long Island Bar and it was impressive to say the least. A few simple components unite to make a classic cocktail that’s definitely still relevant today.
2 oz of Dry White Rum (Eldorado Three Year or Plantation Three Star Rum, recommended)
1 oz of Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
Shake hard and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
The Hakushu Highball
There’s a reason why Suntory is so popular right now: it’s really, very good. And the brand’s Hakushu iteration lends itself to a perfect highball. Referred to as a “haibo-ru” in Japan, this classic cocktail continues to impress with its direct, refreshing nature.
1 oz Hakushu whisky
3 oz Soda Water
Pour Hakushu gently into the glass over ice. Gently stir the whisky with a barspoon (13 ½ times, a number favored by Suntory tradition, is recommended). Gently pour the soda water over the back of the barspoon into the highball glass. Garnish with mint.
Cucumbers complement spring cocktails in a fresh, vibrant way. The team behind Snow Leopard Vodka, a premium spirit made in Poland but helmed by a conservationist based in London, found just the right amount of cucumber needed for an exceptional drink with effervescence.
2 oz Snow Leopard Vodka
Splash of soda water
3 slices cucumber
Muddle cucumber slices in rocks glass, add ice with Snow Leopard Vodka and top with soda water.
Blame it on the Aperol
While at the West Village’s refined Italian haven, dell’anima, we came across this cocktail sporting one of our favorite gins, Martin Miller‘s, and the go-to aperitif the last few years, Aperol. Developed by the restaurant’s owner Joe Campanale and Gabriel Thompson, and found in their cookbook “Downtown Italian,” it’s nuanced and creative, despite being so easy to put together.
3 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Lemonade
Fill a rocks glass with ice and add gin, Aperol, and lemonade; stir to combine. Top with seltzer and garnish with orange slice. It’s almost too easy.
Images courtesy of respective venues or brands