The base liquors for tonight are gin, brandy, and whiskey. Feel free to request a half-sized cocktail.
Not surprisingly, guests gravitated to the more exotic drinks but at the end of the day a good
can compete with anything. Manhattan
I liked this drink but am very careful the with maraschino liqueur. The first time I made it, I think I used too much (1/4 an oz) and it overpowered the drink and gave it a funny aftertaste.
Negroni: campari, sweet vermouth, and gin, garnished with an orange peel
The Negroni earned decidedly mixed reviews. While a favorite of mine, one of my guests thought it was “utterly undrinkable.” Bitter stuff isn’t for everyone evidently.
Old Pal: rhy, dry vermouth, Campari, and lemon twist
Rolls Royce: gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and Benedictine
One guest tried this one, which I'm pretty partial to. He liked it, though thought it was a tad boring. There is some truth to that, insofar as it doesn't have any especially potent flavors (only a teaspoon of Benedictine), but I would disagree to an extent. The Rolls Royce has every bit as much going on as a martini and them some, so I think the comment primarily reflected disappointment in not trying something more exotic.
This drink was pretty well received. I tried a variant of this with a squirt of lime juice and no cherry that I liked better, but that might be my bias against maraschino cherries.
Cloudy Sky: sloe gin, lime juice, and ginger ale
The Cloudy Sky proved the favorite of the ladies, including my wife. It takes a while to make but is well worth it. We used pretty good ginger ale with a strong ginger taste – much stronger than Canada Dry. The ginger ale pulls in both the tart of the lime with the sweet of the sloe gin.
Jack Rose: applejack, lime juice, and grenadine with simple syrup optional
Probably the sweetest drink on the menu. My wife finds the real version too strong so I cut it with about a teaspoon of simple syrup and add a bit of extra lime juice.
One of my favorite of the sweet drinks, as I like the combo of bourbon (Buffalo Trace) and Tuaca. I garnished it with an orange peal instead.
Philly Sling: applejack, sloe gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and angostura bitters
This got good reviews and is a bit like the Cloudy Sky.
Sidecar: Cointreau, cognac (brandy), lemon juice on sugar rimmed glass with an orange peel. A dash of orange bitters optional
One of my favorite classic cocktails, though I don’t have any
at the moment and substitute Brandy. It’s good for sipping for a while and less good if you have ambitions of numerous drinks because of the amount of sugar. Cognac
So So Cocktail: gin, sweet vermouth, applejack, and grenadine
Not well received by the two who tried it. I think this goes to a lot of people not liking sweet vermouth. Next time, I’ll have to reduce the vermouth quotient in the menu.
A Little Different
Mamie Tailor: scotch, lime juice, and ginger ale
One of the most like drinks, I ended up making a few. There were guests who weren’t real big Scotch fans but liked this drink because it kept some of the flavor but cut the harshness. I used a bit more Scotch than the recipe called for, as the Scotch (Remy Martin 12-year-old) was kind of invisible.
Under the Tartan Sun: Tuaca, scotch, and tonic water, with a lime wedge
Not sure what to make of this one. One of my guests liked it. I tried one and found it muddled with a bit too much going on. I’m not sure if I like Tuaca and scotch.
White Bear: gin, sweat vermouth, dry vermouth, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and angostura bitters