Cocktail parties are a great way to get your friends together and throw a touch of class to the mix. All it takes is for people to dress up a little bit, have a few drinks, put some records on and you could be throwing a party with an ambience that people will be talking about for months to come. The only downside to throwing a cocktail party is that some of the more complicated recipes require a walk-in liquor cabinet, just to store all of the ingredients. Throwing a great party shouldn’t break the bank however, so we’ve put together a list of five classic cocktails, to satisfy different tastes, but only require you to buy three types of alcohol – gin, whisky and vermouth.
This is an easy to make, lively but delicate, drink dating back to the 1870s.
25ml Lemon Juice
Simply combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup well in a highball glass, and then top off with the soda water and garnish with a wedge of lemon to serve.
A cousin of the Tom Collins, the shorter Gimlet has a considerably more sour edge, and is named for the British Royal Naval surgeon Sir Thomas Gimlette.
25ml Lime Juice
Fill a mixing glass with ice, and pour in the sugar, gin and lime juice whilst stirring. Strain into a martini glass and serve with a twist of lemon peel.
One of the simplest mixed drinks, and perhaps the best well known. The Martini is a great way for accentuating the complex flavours of the gin, but may not be for the faint hearted as it packs quite a punch.
Stir the vermouth into the gin in a mixing glass filled with ice, stirring until the mixture becomes cold. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with an olive. You can make the martini ‘dirty’ by adding a splash of olive brine to the mixture.
Another very simple cocktail, that can completely change character dependent on the type of whisky that you use. So start with your favourite, but experiment with scotches, bourbon and ryes.
Fill your mixing glass with ice, and add the whisky and vermouth. Stir very carefully until well combined, but not too cold. Strain into a Martini glass and serve with either a twist of lemon peel, or a maraschino cherry.
It is said that this drink deserves its name, as it is the world’s oldest cocktail. This is a perfect cocktail for anyone who prefers darker spirits, and more complex tastes.
Place a large piece of orange peel in a short glass, and add the sugar on top. Work the sugar into the peel, using the coarseness to break it down and release the oils and flavours. Add half the whisky and stir to dissolve all the sugar. Fill the glass with ice and add the rest of the bourbon, giving it a good stir. You can also add bitters, to taste.
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