Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Perfect Cocktail?

 

Hi Muffy,

May I ask the community a question.

On an earlier post about summer belts, a couple of commentators alluded to drinks (?). I wondered what the community considers to be the perfect cocktail. Personally my all year round favourite is an Old Fashioned, but on a lovely summers day (like we are enjoying in the UK at the moment) I think nothing beats a Gin Dry Martini, stirred not shaken of course (Bond is so uncouth!). 

Kind regards.

 

59 comments:

  1. No cocktails, only Rose (prefarably French) in the summer time.

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  2. I like a gin and tonic

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  3. PS I like the old fashioned too, rye whisky though

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  4. Cotswold gin Fevertree tonic

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  5. I'm afraid I have to disagree with the original questioner on two accounts. First, the gin Martini -- which, as Mencken said, is "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet" -- is not really a 'summer' cocktail; in fact, it ought to be considered a 'metropolitan' drink; a good rule of thumb is to only drink one where it is possible to hear traffic. For summer cocktails -- at the cottage, in the country, etc. -- gin and vermouth in a rocks glass over ice is acceptable (and while the contents are the same, it's not a true Martini in this formulation) but the best summer cocktail, in my estimation, is a Dark n' Stormy (nothing better when coming off the boat). On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a Rusty Nail is perfect as a late night, post-prandial winter nightcap (typically serving as the proverbial nail in the coffin). My second objection is rather more subjective; while it's true that every bartender (or 'mixologist', as they're now called) in the world will insist that it is preferable to stir and not shake a Martini (ostensibly to avoid 'bruising' the gin), I find that shaking brings the drink to life, giving it an effervescence and verve (likely through the introduction of air) that is missing in the syrupy, stirred version. Just my two cents.

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  6. For the summer, Lillett and tonic. For the winter, scotch, or a good Manhattan.

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  7. My husband and I have come up with a couple of favorites: #1: fresh lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice, Perrier, gin #2: Vodka, caper berry juice, a caper berry or two #3: fresh grated ginger, Perrier, vodka. --Holly in PA

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  8. Dark n Stormy is my favorite summer cocktail.

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  9. Yes, nothing hits the spot like an Old Fashioned in the cooler months, and a refreshing G&T when it's warm. Inspired by my visits to my Vermont rels, however, I came up with a delicious autumn tipple: mix hard cider with a little maple syrup and a slug of rum. Why didn't THEY think of this when I was there? LOL

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  10. Aperol Spritz, Pimm's Cup, or G&T in the summer. Brown stuff only in the winter.

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  11. I suggest the Negroni for summer months. In the winter, I prefer an old fashioned or a Manhattan.

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  12. Thanks to air conditioning, we can alternate between old fashioneds with Milam & Greene or Knob Creek rye and martinis made 3:1 with Tanqueray and Dolin. A negroni or a Campari and soda with an orange wheel is pretty summery.

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  13. I make grog that is similar to a daiquiri . I use strong Jamaican rum (Smith and Cross or Wray and Nephew), juice from a fresh squeezed lime, and some ice cubes. Let the ice melt a bit to water it down. Add a touch of brown sugar if desired.

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  14. Vodka gimlet, icy cold and loaded with lime....

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  15. Campari and soda over ice with a slice of orange.

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  16. Gin from Memorial Day to Labor Day, scotch the rest of the year. Rules are rules.

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  17. I have watch so many members of family and friends who drink age so much quicker and those who do not. As my daughter says, it looks as though their faces are melting.

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    1. As this is a blog about New England, I suppose a bit of Puritanism is not out of place. But what do you order when you're parked for the afternoon in a sunlit cafe on the Piazza Navona? A club soda? I'll take the melted face.

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    2. I entirely agree. One need not be a lush to enjoy the occasional libation; as my father was want to say (though in Polish), ‘everything and anything - but in moderation.’ That lesson, however, seems to be lost on today’s absolutists. More’s the pity…

      Your intrepid reader from north of the 49th,

      Banacek

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    3. While we can debate the pros and cons of alcohol consumption, I've often wondered about prep drinking: How did the descendants of the Puritans fall into the pervasive alcoholism of latter-day New England prep culture? I'm pretty sure the cause of the decline of the Northeast Establishment can be found in the bottom of a gin bottle.

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    4. Hardly. Take a glance at the history of potable water in New England since your Puritan ancestors landed there. Applejack was the go-to beverage for those who wished not to become deathly ill from the locally sourced water. It was a matter of survival, though most of the population did go around fairly well soused most of the time. Your “puritan” views can be sourced to a certain woman with an axe, who enjoyed raiding bars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries…

      Cheers from north of the 49th,

      B.

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    5. Judging by the alcohol consumption, obviously people have not yet realized that the water is now drinkable.

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    6. You appear to be conflating a perceived view of your puritan ancestors with their reality - and then layering upon them, and today’s population - your preference. Don’t. It’s neither historically nor ethically accurate. As my dear uncle once pointed out to me, a then somewhat “better than thou” teen, ‘…at all costs, avoid righteousness. It won’t serve you well.’ As usual, he was correct. A lesson to all, I believe.

      B.

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    7. I put your comment back to you. Self righteousness is not appealing. So maybe don’t ?

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    8. ...sort of...

      B.

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  18. Gin and tonic (beefeater if you please) until it's time to put the whites away and then replace the tonic with the thought of dry vermouth and an olive. If I'm feeling Mediterranean, perhaps we'll do Negronis -- rocks for me and served up for my better half.

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  19. Aperol Spritz (preferably with processo, sekt, etc. instead of wine), Pimm's Cup, White wine spritz (white wine diluted with soda water), fruit Bowle ((in-season summer fruits like peach or strawberries mixed with wine, soda, sugar, etc.)

    -EM

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  20. Yes it seems as though most things in life are a trade off. I drank quite a bit when I was younger. Now however I want to take care of this body. So, I shall skip the melted face. It is quite amazing to see what alcohol and cigarettes can do to someone. To each his own.

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  21. I like gin martini dry up summer, rose wine french summer. I like negroni year long . For fall and winter love Manhattan up with Rye Whiskey. Old Fashion is ok but I tend to not like ice in my drinks.

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  22. I have a rotation of cocktails in each season, and they echo a lot of what has been suggested by others. Here are my recs:

    Classic Martinis and Negronis in the late spring and summer. For the Martini, I use two parts Beefeaters to one part Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth, two dashes orange bitters (The Bitter Truth makes the best of these), and one dash Absinthe, finished with a twist of lemon (this is a traditional recipe from the early 20th century before Martinis became an excuse to drink chilled Gin straight). For the Negroni, we use equal parts Beefeaters, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and Campari. If I'm looking for variety in the Negroni, I'll substitute the Campari with Cynar. Every so often, I'll throw in a Martiniez or Hanky Panky to switch things up.

    In the winter, it's a rotation of the classic Manhattan, and variations thereupon (perfect Manhattan, black Manhattan, smoky Manhattan, etc.). For very special occasions, holidays, etc., I'll mix up a Vieux Carre, referred to by some as the "king cocktail." It's unlike anything else, and truly greater than the sum of its parts. Comprised of 3/4 ounce each of rye, cognac, and sweet vermouth; two teaspoons Benedictine; two dashes each Angostura and Peychaud's bitters; and finished with a twist of lemon and a maraschino cherry. It's pure indulgence in liquid form.

    My wife drinks the Old Fashioned year 'round.

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  23. In the summer, beer. In the winter, beer while wearing a sweater.

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    1. I'll add red wine to that. HA

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    2. I'm curious, do you offer anything other than beer to guests? I really wan tto like beer, but as I approach 50 I fear that I will never acquire the taste, especially since there doesn't seem to be a liquor that I haven't learned to love. I ask this, because I have a beer loving friend who is so satisfied with the stuff he has really neglected his liquor cabinet.

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    3. Of course! We have a full liquor cabinet as well as wine and non-alcoholic selections. I have never acquired a taste for liquor. At all.

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  24. My new favourite is Barren's Vodka(Camden Maine) with Tonic. I also care for 21 Vodka. I try and support local distilleries when I can. I'm not one to sit home and drink alone, though. I find that very depressing. It is nice to sit by a roaring fire with a hot toddy or buttered rum on occasion---drinking with friends is a whole different story.

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  25. The Southside! My recipe is here: https://www.fewerandbetterblog.com/my-favorite-summer-cocktail/

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  26. In the summer, my favorites are the Boodles G&T, Beefeater Negroni, and Flor de CaƱa rum with Topo Chico. Monkey Shoulder or Dewars scotch and a splash of water in the winter.

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  27. Agree, Dark ‘n Stormy when coming off the water, sails stowed and on the dock. Rest of summer with Fords or Bimini gin (from Maine) and Fever Tree tonic. Winter the go to is Ardbeg Corryveckan or Lagavulin Scotch whisky.

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    1. I like simplicity. Lagavulin scotch and Plymouth Navy Strength gin are really all you need.

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    2. As a long time malt whisky drinker, I've never been able to stomach Lagavulin. Way too peaty for me. My go to whisky is The Macallan

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  28. A dark & stormy!

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  29. Bourbon and coke or gin and tonic.

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  30. We used to make rum & cokes regularly (Lemon Hart 151 proof), but now it's wine of some sort, depending on mood and meal.

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    1. I think I have had two mixed drinks in my life (and I'm 76 next Sunday). The first was a rum & Coke which was, believe it or not, given to me by a high school teacher. But she was an art teacher and they're like that. The second was, I think, a Rob Roy, maybe 40 years later. I never learned to like the stuff and it is, after all, an acquired taste. In fact, we rarely have anything alcoholic, although my wife fixed a rum cake about once a year.

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    2. Yes, but baking the cake cooked off the rum, so all you get is the flavor. And high school art teachers — whooo, boy. That's all I can say.

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    3. She was, to put it mildly, an interesting person. She was married to a physician. Together with some other art class students, we went on a field trip to the Greenbrier resort that fall. One thing I vividly remember is that I was in her class when it was announced over the P.A. system that Kennedy had been shot. I would stop by and see her whenever I was back in my hometown, although she was not the only former teacher that I would visit. My French teacher, who had a German name, was a teacher there when my mother was in high school. None of this is to say that my high school years were the best years of my life, but I enjoyed tremendously the 50th reunion.

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  31. Bloody Mary with tomato water, horseradish, celery seed, and a raw clam, chilled with vodka or virgin

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  32. The Clover Club. Delish. Especially on a warm summer evening, before dinner. One’s not enough, and three’s too many…

    Cheers from north of the 49th parallel,

    Banacek

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  33. Beer, Beethoven, and Burgers!!

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  34. I'm with those who hailed Bloodies and vodka gimlets, and somewhat iconoclastically, I find Scotch and rye perfectly acceptable in the summer with ice -- it makes them as cold as anything else, if you ask me. But lately I've been enjoying a simple tall cocktail of vodka, soda water and lime shrub, a bottle of which I bought at the excellent new Vineyard Haven store The Seven Sisters (mainly a women's clothing store, but with a few other well-curated items). Easy and refreshing.

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  35. I'm staying with classic summer adult beverage: the G&T

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  36. We prefer a Dark and Stormy as well.

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  37. So I enjoy a scotch in the autumn and winter months, or a Laird's Applejack Manhattan (from applejack from Colts Neck NJ--Geo. Washington bought it for his gang of revolutionary troops!!!). I like a gin martini (Beefeater--what can I say I am a traditionalist--see reference to Geo. Washington above) in the spring and summer with olives or a razor thin slice of lemon depending on my mood. Finally, an iced cold Rolling Rock as I push the mower around the property in summer to keep me going. Prost!

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