Hey, Internets! Let’s talk about alcohol for a moment.
Here’s a secret—just between you, me, and the 1,000 people who read this blog on an average weekday: I don’t drink nearly as much as you might think from my Twitter and Facebook updates. In fact, when it comes to hard liquor in general, I was woefully undereducated until recently. I have to admit with considerable shame that I used to drink pre-mixed cocktails, and my main use for liquor was limited to Rum & Coke. Now I understand that pre-mixed liquor is vile and abominable, and that the $$8-per-half-gallon Mr. Paint Thinner rum isn’t even suitable for mixing with soda.
In the last month or two, I started experimenting. I bought top-shelf liquor, and then I mixed classic cocktails I hadn’t tried before, just to check them off my list. And boy howdy, is there a difference between a Margarita made with good agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and quality Triple Sec, and the pre-mixed stuff that has that fluorescent shade to it. The high-quality cocktail actually has nuances and flavor to it, whereas the pre-mixed stuff tastes like Margarita-flavored Gatorade.
I’ve also tried a White Lady for the first time, which uses lemon juice and Cointreau to give a citrus-y, sweet/sour/bitter edge to the gin. Then there’s the Cosmopolitan, which I like a lot even though I am given to understand it’s a girly drink, and that I’ll get my Testosterone Club card revoked if I publically admit to enjoying a pink cocktail. Lastly, I’ve finally mixed a proper Moscow Mule, which is the most refreshing summertime long drink ever.
That’s my education on the subject of booze: buy high-quality components, mix your cocktails from scratch, and leave the pre-mixed crap on the shelf. I’ve never been a fan of cocktails, but it turns out I just wasn’t ever properly introduced to this entirely new and exciting world of inebriation.
What about you? What’s your favorite cocktail? Let me have your recipe, so I can put it together in my little test kitchen. (Maybe I should shop around the concept for a daytime cooking-related show?)