10 to 7

Equal parts cocktails make life so easy — but they’re not merely shortcuts. Some of the best classic cocktails are equal parts cocktails: the Negroni and its variations numbering among my favorites, and of course, the darling of the cocktail blogging scene, the Last Word.

The 10 to 7, created by Gabriele Modica, starts off with gin and Maraschino, but subs lime with lemon and Chartreuse with St Germain. It’s more floral rather than the deliciously herbal Last Word, and holds its own as a distinctive drink. It makes a great brunch drink or aperitif.


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the alaska cocktail

When I was a server, after my dinner shifts I’d head to the sports bar next door with my coworkers for a gin martini and a Caesar salad. The martini would be shaken and served in an oversized glass, and it would have large shards like ice floes floating on top of it.

It was a pretty bad martini, but there’s something I miss about sharing a drink with my coworkers after a long shift. Working in the service industry is almost like playing a team sport — on a good night, the staff is like a well-oiled machine. You know if you’re in the weeds, someone will have your back. And on a bad night, if you make a mistake or get a bad tip, someone’s there to pat you on the back and tell you to keep your head up.

It’s been years since I hobbled up to that bar and sipped a martini in my marinara-stained oxford shirt, but whenever I have one, it transports me back to those days.

Despite my nostalgia for those terrible martinis, I’ve come a long way since then. For one thing, I know that martinis should be stirred. James Bond was wrong. Don’t take it from me, though — this episode of Gastropod includes a good discussion on when to stir and when to shake.

The Alaska cocktail is a simple martini variation — just swap out the vermouth for yellow Chartreuse, and add a few dashes of orange bitters. A simple substitution, but the transformation is significant — slightly sweet, botanical, herbal and bitter.


the alaska cocktail
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz yellow chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
orange peel

stir with ice, strain. express the orange peel over the glass.

negroni flip

Ah, the Negroni. So classic, so simple: equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. So good it’s got its own week.

The balanced sweetness and bitterness of a Negroni is so refreshing on a hot day, but as the weather cools, adding a bit of unexpected richness and body in the form of a full egg and some rich simple syrup (two parts sugar to one part water) is a welcome twist. I’d love one with brunch, at happy hour, or pretty much any time.

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the bijou

Summer may be over, but this heat and humidity we’re still having on the East Coast calls for something cold and refreshing like the Bijou — the jewel of cocktails, with gin, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth.

the bijou

Many recipes I’ve seen combine these three ingredients in equal amounts, with the addition of orange bitters. I prefer a drink that’s heavier on gin, and tones down the herbal qualities of the Chartreuse and vermouth. Continue reading →

lilac 75

I love a French 75. It’s one of those simple but elegant cocktails that’s refreshing and hits the spot, especially on a hot summer day.

The classic French 75 has four ingredients: Gin, lemon, simple syrup, and champagne. It’s not fussy, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvement. Sometimes, cognac is substituted for gin — I like this version if there’s a chill in the air or if it’s late at night. Usually, though, I don’t mess with perfection.


Unless, of course, I acquire a bottle of lilac gin. Continue reading →

negroni sour

It’s all about Negronis this week.

Monday’s post featured the classic version of this cocktail in honor of Negroni week. Everyone else is making Negronis, too, and I can’t stop ogling all of the funky versions on Instagram. I’ve seen a lot of Kingston Negronis (with rum) and I even tried one at Boston’s Wink & Nod which was delicious.

The other version I’ve seen pop up over and over is the Negroni sour. Since I’m all about egg whites (or whole eggs) in my cocktails, I knew I had to give this a try.

negroni sour

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