My favorite cocktails to make at home have a few things in common:
- Not many ingredients. If I want a fancy complicated drink, I'll go to a bar and be served by a professional.
- Easy-to-remember proportions so I don't have to look up the recipe. When I'm pulling out books to make drinks, it feels like work.
- No fresh ingredients. I have nothing against fresh ingredients, it's just that I tend to run out of them. Even citrus, which I can purchase on a two-minute walk from my front door. But that would mean I would have to put on pants.
Drinks that qualify in this category include the Manhattan, Martini, Negroni, and drinks with bottled beverages like tonic and soda water, as I always have those around.
Long story finishing up: I found another one to add to my repertoire: the Saratoga. I tried one for the first time last night at the SF Cocktail Week closing party. While the Saratoga normally calls for rye whiskey (and it would, being a Jerry Thomas-era recipe), last night they made it with Yamazaki 12 year old scotch and it was delicious. Versatile, too? I'm in heaven.
1 ounce rye whiskey (or scotch, it seems)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce cognac
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.