'essential cocktail' on Serious Eats

25 Cocktails Everyone Should Know

We who like to mix drinks at home do it for many reasons: First, it's cheaper than drinking out. Second, it's fun to mix your own drinks at home. Third, it's even more fun to mix drinks for other people at home. Any self-respecting home bartender should have a mental Rolodex Excel spreadsheet of favorite classic cocktail recipes. Today, I present the 25 essential drinks that I think everyone should be able to make. More

5 Essential Campari Cocktails

If you've never had Campari, the bright red liquid masks a surprise. This bittersweet stuff is definitely an acquired taste. I suspect nearly everyone grimaces the first time they try it, but that's no reason to give up. Campari cocktails are richly rewarding once you come around. Because they're long on flavor, you can generally savor them, letting them linger in your glass and on your mind. Here are five essential ways to enjoy this red elixir. More

5 Essential High-Proof Cocktails

With an autumnal chill settling in, with various cultural and religious holidays approaching, and with the promise of hours locked inside with your family members, I thought maybe you'd want some advice on high-octane cocktails for a change. More

5 Essential Low-Alcohol Drinks

These drinks stimulate the appetite without swamping your stomach. They're excellent for parties, because they buzz your guests without totally inebriating them; they cool you down and perk you up without making you feel heavy. And some of them, for good reason, have been around almost as long as carbonation. More

5 Essential Tequila Cocktails

This week, we're talking about tequila-based cocktails. In a future article, I'll discuss the history and manufacture of everyone's favorite collegiate bad decision, but for now, let's just get straight to the drinking: 5 tequila drinks you should know. More

5 Essential Highballs

This week, we're discussing highballs, perhaps the easiest class of cocktail to make. A highball is a group of drinks made of a base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer. Now, most highballs are pretty straightforward—fill a glass with ice, pour on a shot of Jack, and fill the glass with Coke, for example. They're hard to screw up at a bar, and the large proportion of unleaded mixer helps you stay hydrated when you're out for a night of drinking. With one exception, the drinks I'll feature this week require a little more work than a pour of spirit and a spray from a soda gun, but they deliver a greater reward as well. More

5 Essential Brandy Cocktails

Brandy—a distillate of fruit wine—is a category of spirit that is distilled virtually everywhere on the planet. The source ingredient used in brandy can be any fruit that's grown: pear, plum, apple, grape, apricot, cherry, and more. Today, we'll focus on cocktails based on the brandies of just two fruits: grape and apple. As you'll see, though, these brandies are versatile enough to inspire drinks that are as delicious as they are varied. So tap a barrel of your favorite brandy, and let's get started. More

5 Essential Rye Cocktails

Rye is, after rum, among the first New World spirits, and the first whiskey distilled in North America. George Washington made rye at Mt. Vernon, and by the time of Prohibition, rye was the primary whiskey used for cocktails. Most rye distilleries never reopened after Prohibition, in part due to the Great Experiment, and in part thanks to the changing American palate, which grew to prefer lighter spirits and blended whiskeys. The rise of single-malt scotch whisky in the 1980s and 1990s, and the subsequent growth of small-batch bourbons, have led in the last five years to a growing market for rye. Thanks to its spicy and rich flavor profile, bartenders love rye for its versatility and mixability. More

5 Essential Rum Cocktails

This week, we cover the favorite tipple of sailors and tiki geeks alike: rum. Now, rum is a tricky category to limit to five essentials; first, there are simply a whole damn lot of rum cocktails around. More importantly, though, the rum category is broad and deep, and the word rum refers to such a mixed bag of spirits. More

5 Essential Vodka Cocktails

This week in Five Essentials, we'll talk about vodka. Yes, vodka. It may not be your favorite spirit, and it certainly isn't mine, but it's everywhere, and I can't ignore it. So quit yer bellyachin', belly up to my bar, and let's just have a drink already. More

5 Essential Gin Cocktails

There are endless cocktails in the world, and new ones invented every day, but how many of these drinks are true essentials? Today we'll start a new series covering drinks everyone should know—five essential drinks for every major category of spirits. Each week, I'll offer five cocktails that are classics or deserve to be. More

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