How many times have you perused the pages of a cocktail book, hankering for something new and different, only to find you're missing one or more key ingredients from your home bar? Or the only thing you're missing is a $70 bottle of liqueur that's just not in this week's budget (why is the Chartreuse always gone?!?)?
With fancy-pants cocktails all the rage, it's easy to get lost in the long lists of craft spirits, specialty syrups and obscure liqueurs, to the point of abandoning the quest for a cocktail altogether and just cracking open a beer. Don't forget, you guys, that sometimes simple is best, especially when you're trying to rest!
So in honor of Labor Day, when you're supposed to put your feet up for a bit, here are some great cocktails to try that won't take long to make. If you've got a little home bar set up and keep fresh citrus on hand, you probably could go make one RIGHT NOW with what you have at home! We've even sorted them into spirits categories, so you can pick your poison and get right to it.
DISCLAIMER - I know I said these would be 2-ingredient cocktails, but I've got some here that are technically 3 ingredients. However, I made sure the 3rd ingredient was a SUPER SIMPLE staple bar ingredient, like Angostura bitters or simple syrup (which you can easily make, by the way, by mixing water and sugar in a 1:1 ratio).
Ok, have at it!
GIN & VODKA COCKTAILS with 2 or 3 INGREDIENTS:
Greyhound - Gin or Vodka Cocktail
Greyhound Cocktail - Photo: KitchenKonfidence
z Gin (or Vodka)
6-8 oz Grapefruit Juice (how strong do you want it?!)
The original Greyhound recipe in The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) called for gin, grapefruit juice, and ice. But in 1945 a recipe was published in Harper's magazine by the same name that called for vodka, sugar, and grapefruit juice. So sweeten it up with some simple syrup if you'd like, but be sure to serve it on ice!
Martini (Duh! Our Favorite!) - Gin or Vodka Cocktail
Martini Cocktail - Photo: Crate & Barrel
2 oz Gin (or Vodka)
1 oz Dry Vermouth
We like it a little boozier with a 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth, but feel free to play with the proportions. Fancy it up with orange bitters, olive juice, or (our favorite) onion brine to make a Gibson.
Gin (or Vodka) Gimlet Cocktail
Gimlet Cocktail - Photo: FMMS.net
Gin (or Vodka)
0.5 oz Rose's Lime Juice (or use 0.5 oz fresh lime juice + 0.5 oz simple syrup, 0.25 oz simple if you like it less sweet like me)
Ok, there are quite a few variations on this drink, so play with it! Traditionally the gimlet is made with Rose's Lime Juice, which is a sweetened lime juice concoction. We prefer the fresher version without artificial ingredients, but if you've got Rose's on hand, by all means! If you don't have simple syrup, make some (it's just equal parts sugar and water!). For an overview of the variations, check out this WIKI.
Black Russian - Vodka Cocktail