Fancy cocktails for the Gourmand

I’m no bartender but I do enjoy mixing cocktails. Oftentimes fancy ones. Frequently old classics. I’m always open to try something new

Anytime I post a fancy cocktail I’ll post the recipe too.

Lately I’ve been on a Tiki kick. Call it wishful thinking…it’s March in Vermont

Mai Tai

One of the Don Beach Classics. You can get by without the Dark Rum float if you don’t have Meyers or Goslings. And you can just use white or just aged rum if you’ve only got one or the other. It’s just slightly less awesome. Garnishing with a lime slice is like the bare minimum. Any other fruit you can hang on there is bonus. This is a simple one, you only need a few ingredients but the kicker is the Orgeat Syrup. It’s flavor and texture. There’s no subbing for it and it’s a critical part of the drink. A Mai Tai without orgeat would be like a pina colada without coconut milk.

Here’s the recipe:

1oz White rum
1oz Aged Rum
.5oz fresh squeezed lime juice
.5oz orgeat syrup
.5oz dark rum

Put the white rum, aged rum, lime juice (strain that shizz you cretin), and orgeat in a shaker with ice and give it a healthy 10second shake then strain into a tall glass of fresh ice. Float the dark rum on top and toss in a lime slice. I like a round for this drink. Call me crazy but sometimes it matters.

Relax and dream it’s not snowing.


I have been making wifey mojitos lately.

Half a lime quartered
2oz light/silver rum
10 mint leaves
1 tbsp sugar
Club soda

Add 1 lime wedge to 6 mint leaves and lightly muddle. Then add sugar packet and 2 more lime wedges and muddle again. Add 2oz rum and couple of ice cubes then shake. Strain over fresh ice, top with club soda to desired strength, garnish with last lime wedge and 4 mint leaves.


Nice! That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t have mint in my garden but kinda want to grow some in a pot. I’ve seen how it takes over.

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Here’s Mad River Rum Punch.

This is a recipe I aped from the Mad River distillery tasting room in Burlington. The rum you use doesn’t need to be Mad River Rum obviously but like so many things in life this is a better drink when made with better booze.

Here’s the recipe:
2oz aged rum
1oz white rum
2oz Newman’s Own Mango Tango juice
1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz fresh lemon juice
1/2oz fresh orange juice

Shake everything hard in a shaker with ice for 15 seconds to give it a little body and double strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Garnish with orange/lemon/lime or all of the above.


Sailors Sunrise

Ive been meaning to pick up grenadine and finally remembered. The label on the bottle had a recipe for a tequila sunrise but I just literally minutes before made the wife a blood orange margarita with the last of the tequila. Necessity being the mother of whatever I decided to make one for the pirate in me and subbed in rums for tequila and pineapple for (most) of the orange juice. I use Mad River Rum for the aged rum and St. Johnsbury Distillery’s Pirate Dan’s white rum

Here’s the recipe:
1oz white rum
1oz aged rum
1oz dark rum (meyers or something better)
1/2oz curaçao (I use Cointreau)
2oz pineapple juice
1oz orange juice
1/2oz orgeat syrup (falernum is better if you have it)
3/4oz grenadine

Damn that’s a lot.

Put everything but the grenadine in a shaker with ice and give it a hard shake for 15 seconds. Pour into a tall glass over fresh ice. Pour the grenadine slowly straight in the middle of the glass and it will sink to the bottom and make that nice sunrise look.

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Classic Daquiri

There’s enough variations and bastardizations of this that you can feel free to roll your eyes.

This is the classic one. Not the Blue Raspberry or Orange Mango bullsh!t you get at TGI fridays.

This is halfway between an original and a Hemingway.

Hemingway famously tried the Daquiri at a bar in Havana and told the bartender if he would double the rum and leave out the sugar he’d buy one. The bartender named the variation of the drink after the man.

Here’s the one I made today - it’s double the rum like a Hemingway but keep the sugar.

1oz white rum
2oz aged rum
1oz fresh lime juice
2 barspoons of Sugar (or 3/4oz of simple)

Shake or blend dry for 15 seconds then add ice and shake/blend for another 15. Pour and serve with a lime wedge

Mine is frozen today but it’s just as good on rocks…

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I’m just gonna keep making tropical cocktails until I quit my job and go open a bar in Key West or something like that.

Maui Sunset

2.5oz Vodka
.5oz Orgeat Syrup
2oz Pineapple Juice
.5oz Lime Juice
Piece of fresh sliced ginger root
.5oz Grenadine

Put everything except the grenadine into a shaker with ice and shake the ever loving hell out of it - you want to really shake the piss out of it so you agitate the ginger root with the ice cubes and also to develop a nice texture.

Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Pour grenadine down the side and let it settle at the bottom. Top with a little plain seltzer. Garnish with pineapple and a cherry. Or just yam a straw in there and suck it down. Depends on the kind of day you’ve had.


Here’s a little island flavor coming to a Negroni near you…

1oz Smith & Cross Jamaican overproof rum
1oz Sweet Vermouth
1oz Campari

Stir with ice until chilled. Strain into a old fashioned glass with fresh ice.


Can I suggest using bud trimmings mixed in with you mint leaves, this has left some of my friends going WOW!


A decent vodka with a splash of both tonic and cranberry juice is my staple.

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Gotta try this for my next mojito.

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Just loaded up a couple of Yeti pint cups with Strawberry Daquiri and about to drive down to the reservoir for some swimming and chilling. I don’t drink and drive - I might spill my drink - I’m just pre-mixing for when I get down there.

Fresh strawberries
Fresh lime
1/4C of sugar
2shots of Cointreau
4shots of rum
Ice and blend.

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You won’t be disappointed.

Well I definitely haven’t drank as much between July and Thanksgiving and I’m sure that didn’t hurt me any in the course of dropping 25 pounds.

That said, still got to keep the head straight with something delicious from time to time.

My cabinet is currently missing a few Bare Necessities but I was still able to pull together a pretty nice refreshing cocktail off the cuff.

This requires one thing that I don’t keep on hand usually, ginger syrup. I do keep ginger on hand so I whipped up a quick batch just for this drink. I’ll start with the procedure for making the quick version of the syrup and will give a description of how to make the real version which takes about an hour. The quick version takes about five minutes or less.

Start by making your ginger syrup so it has time to cool before you put it in your drink:

Grate about an inch of ginger, add 3tbsp of dark brown sugar, add 1/4 c of boiling water. Stir it up real good and let it steep for 5 mins. Strain and cool - this will be enough for 2-3 cocktails.

The Drink

3oz bourbon
1oz Cointreau or Grand Mariner
1oz ginger syrup
Juice from one orange

Put it all in a shaker and shake it up. Pour into a highball glass Over ice. Optional - Finish with a shot of seltzer if you want bubbles.

The ginger gives it a nice holiday feel but the clean and snappy taste would be perfectly at home on a summer afternoon on the porch.

No picture of this one, I took it down a little too quickly for that but I’ll be sure to snap a picture next time I make it.

Here’s the long version of the syrup:

Slice 3” of ginger into a sauce pan
Add 1c brown sugar
Add 1c water

Simmer for 15 mins. Turn off the heat and toss in a split vanilla bean. Let it steep In there for 5 mins. Strain and chill. There ya go.

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Brandy Nightcap

This frightening looking drink is a brandy nightcap. It’s tasty, just scary looking. Oscar the Grouch would love it.

To help shuffle you off to dreamland you’ll need to roll a joint and collect three bottles from your liquor cabinet and one egg from your chicken

1oz Brandy
1oz Sambuca
1oz Gran Marnier
1 egg yolk
1 barspoon of granulated sugar

Dry shake hard to combine everything then shake with ice and pour into a chilled glass.

I used Sambuca Black. Use regular Sambuca for a more appetizing color.

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Liquor store down the road has been getting the 120proof flavor of knob Creek lately and it holds up great in a cocktail.

Here’s an old classic and one of my mothers favorites: B&B.

It doesn’t get much easier than this –
1.5 oz Bourbon
1.5 oz Benedictine

Stir gently.

There’s two ways to enjoy this, straight up in a brandy snifter (crushed velvet bathrobe highly recommend), or in a Tumbler with rocks.

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Added to the shopping list… Going to have to try that one.

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If you like regular proof Knob Creek you’ll be happy with it. It’s like if you take the standard and add some of that heat when it hits your chest :slight_smile:

I don’t do expensive bourbon - this is about as high on the shelf as I go. I used to go for Weller on the bottom shelf but now all the bourbon bros have made even that impossible to get.


Ok here’s another. Questionable choice on my part for an evening drink when it’s -16F outside but the booze warms ya.

This is one of the many ways to make a mint julep. It’s a drink with a lot of history and there’s actually a number of variations and an equal number of people claiming which one is the original or true mint julep. No matter. Here’s one way.

Prescription Julep

  • 1.5oz Brandy
  • .5oz Rye (I go with something inexpensive and always Bottled in Bond)
  • 4-5 dashes Orange Bitters (or a piece of orange peel)
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • Handful of mint - ( I keep a pot of mint growing in my grow room. Doesn’t take much effort)

Crush some ice and put in a julep cup or old fashioned glass.

Put the mint and simple in a shaker and muddle the mint. Add Brandy, Rye, bitters, ice and shake well. Strain into your iced glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.


Got a little island flavor here. I’m not sure what to call it. It’s either a riff on a daquiri or a margarita depending on how you look at things.

I’m calling this a Pirate Margarita. Because, ya know… rum. Anyhow enough talk.

2oz Rum (aged or white)
1oz Cointreau
2oz Limeade (or 1lime and .5oz of simple)
.5oz grenadine

Combine the first three ingredients. Shake or stir with ice. Doesn’t matter which. Finish with grenadine. Like wedge if you’re feelin fancy.

That pic was my third so I was feeling something and it wasn’t fancy :rofl:

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