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I’ve been drinking a lot lately. Not quite too much but maybe more than I should be. But there are just so many tasty cocktails out there that I keep wanting to mix up a new one.
I love gin drinks. And mint drinks. And muddled drinks. And sour drinks. And fruity drinks. And well, you probably get the idea. I basically love all the drinks. Here are some of my (current) favorite cocktail & shot recipes.
Gin Cocktail Recipes
Gin is column-distilled with a unique blend of botanicals (and perhaps other ingredients). It has a distinctive and intentional flavor. There are four common styles of gin you’ll be able to purchase:
- Distilled Gin – this gin really lacks a style. It’s neither sweet nor dry. It’s been distilled (as all gin has) and may have had additional flavorings added.
- London Dry Gin – traditionally dry gin. It is not sweet, at all & is often produced in the UK. This is the most popular gin for cocktails.
- Old Tom Gin – an old-style of gin (that’s making a comeback). It’s sweeter than a London Dry Gin, but still wouldn’t be considered sweet on its own.
- Geographic Gins – must be made in specific locations. For example, Plymouth Gin must be made in Plymouth, England. It usually made with more roots resulting in an earthier flavor. Geographic gins can also be London Dry, Old Tom, or regular Distilled.
Every brand of gin will use their own blend of botanicals and other ingredients to make their gin unique. For example, Hendricks uses Hendrick’s uses cucumber and rose petal botanicals in distillation resulting in a lighter flavor profile. On the flip side, Tanqueray has a much bolder flavor with strong juniper, pine, and citrus notes.
Special Note: Sloe Gin isn’t actually a gin, it’s a liqueur. However, most people think of it as a gin so I’ve put Sloe Gin cocktails in the Gin section.
Rum Cocktail Recipes
There isn’t a standard for rum which means any alcohol with some sugarcane in it can be called rum. There are three common styles of rum you’ll be able to purchase:
- White/Silver Rums – these rums are colorless and typically very sweet. They’re ideal for cocktails.
- Dark Rums – these rums are sometimes sold by their colors (gold, amber, brown, black, red, etc). Dark rums can range in taste, sweetness, and body.
- Spiced Rums – these rums start as a gold rum (or darker). They have spices added (such as cinnamon, clove, pepper, rosemary, and more).
Tequila Cocktail Recipes
Tequila must be produced in certain regions of Mexico from blue Weber agave. It must be distilled with at least 51% agave and a maximum of 49% sugar, resulting in either mixto tequila or 100% agave tequila. There are two common types of tequila you’ll be able to purchase:
- Blanco/White/Silver Tequilas – these tequilas have the purest sweet flavors.
- Oro/Gold Tequilas – 100% oro tequila will be a blend of young and aged tequilas. Less expensive oro tequilas (and not 100%) are typically flavored with caramel coloring.
Vodka Cocktail Recipes
Vodka is column-distilled but unlike gin, it has no distinctive aroma, color, character, or flavor. Vodka can be made from pretty much anything and distilled with innumerable ingredients.
Whiskey Cocktail Recipes
Whiskey (or Whisky) can be an intimidating spirit. There are so many different varieties, names, and styles. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, though.
The basics (from the Whiskey Wash, which is a great place to learn more about Whiskey).
All whiskeys are made from grain that’s fermented and then distilled. When whiskey goes in the bottle, it has to be at least 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). With some exceptions, it’s aged in wooden barrels, although exactly what kind and for how long varies around the world.
Other Cocktail Recipes
There are plenty of other options for cocktails. Mixing multiple spirits, liqueurs, cremes, and so much more!
Want a shot? These are 5 of my favorite shooters!
Cocktails! Cocktails! Cocktails!
Did I miss your favorite cocktail or shot? Share it in the comments below!
Ready for more? Why not check out the Best Cocktail Tools for Your Home Bar next.
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