Tips & Tricks

Cocktails of Lockdown

“No amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.” — David Sedaris

Being married to a cocktail enthusiast has its benefits. For one, it means that going out to bars and restaurants to experience delicious libations hasn’t been one of the things we’ve missed during lockdown. For another, it means that no matter what I’m craving, my husband can whip up for me

Today is World Cocktail Day, so I thought it’d be fun for Justin to help me write about the drinks we have been enjoying the most during lockdown. If you want any tips on making these at home, hit up @justinbonnema on Twitter or Instagram

Aviation

I’m pretty sure the first time I had an Aviation was in Asheville, and I fell in love with its lavender hue and unique flavor. It’s what I ask for when I’m feeling fancy or flirty or particularly sassy. The Aviation originated in New York before Prohibition, but when the recipe was later printed in the 1930 publication Savoy Cocktail Book, the author omitted what I consider to be the most important ingredient — the creme de Violette — due to its scarcity. Apparently, for the next several decades, the drink was made in bars everywhere sans the purple liqueur. – Ashley

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon
  • 1/4 oz creme de Violette
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur 

Bee’s Knees

This simple gin drink is refreshing and easy to drink. This Prohibition cocktail came to be as a way to hide the bad quality of homemade gin, using honey instead of honey syrup (which would be too sweet for my tastes). Traditionally served up, I prefer mine on ice, and with a dash of lavender bitters. A friend recently shared that she adds vanilla extract to hers, which I plan on trying soon! – Ashley

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon
  • 1/2 oz honey syrup

Whiskey Smash

Many cocktails find themselves under the umbrella cliche of “summer in a glass” but few deserve that honor as much as the whiskey smash. A riff of the classic whiskey sour (whiskey/lemon/sugar), the smash is a “mint julep gone right”. It dates back to the late 1800s, when a savvy bartender muddled lemon quarters with mint and sugar, topped it off with whiskey and ice, then gave the mixture a gentle shake or a few stirs. Muddling the lemon instead of simply juicing it releases the oils of the lemon’s skin, adding a notable sizzle, but either method will yield favorable results. Don’t forget about your nose! (Garnish with a sprig of slapped mint.)  – Justin

  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1/2-3/4 oz lemon juice (or, if muddling, half of a large lemon, quartered)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Mint

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy wasn’t born in a bar like many cocktails. Instead, it was the result of uncooperative seas, which forced Englishman James Gosling to dock in Bermuda instead of  Virginia in 1806. Years later, the Gosling family established themselves as the island’s premier rum producer with their Gosling’s Black Seal rum. It just so happens that on that same island British Naval officers, fresh off of the first World War, often brewed ginger beer to help combat seasickness. It wouldn’t take long for someone to wonder “what if we mixed Gosling’s rum and ginger beer?” And a star was born. – Justin

(Fun fact: Gosling owns the Dark ‘n’ Stormy trademark. So technically, if you see that name on a menu somewhere, it must, by law, be made with Gosling’s rum and Gosling’s ginger beer.)

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 3 oz ginger beer

Margarita

Recently, we decided that the margarita may very well be the best cocktail of all time. Always a crowd pleaser at parties, there are endless variations for every palette, it’s easy to make in batches, and it’s a refreshing, satisfying beverage. We drink a lot of margaritas in the house because we haven’t found an occasion that doesn’t warrant one. For an in-depth look at the fundamentals of a perfect margarita, check out Justin’s blog. – Ashley, though we both adore this drink.

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila (we use Olmeca Altos Plata)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur (we prefer Clément Créole Shrubb)
  • 1/4 oz Agave Nectar (dark)

What have YOU been enjoying during Lockdown? What are your favorite cocktails? Do you have any fun spins on the five listed above? Share with us!

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