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5 Essential, Classic Cocktails For Your Repertoire

boulevardier cocktail

To help you properly prepare for the weekend, our friends at Food 52 have shared their top cocktail recipes with us (that they also kindly demoed at our last Road to Discovery stop). Simultaneously improve your cocktail prowess and wind down the work week by checking out the recipes below.

A cousin of the Negroni, this cocktail differs from the other favorite drink in its ratio, allowing for the richness and sweetness of more bourbon to help counterbalance the bitterness of the campari (photo above).

Serves 1

1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce Campari
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Some choose to do this over ice.) Traditional garnish is a cherry, but an orange or lemon twist does no harm.

Martini cocktailMARTINI
A longstanding classic for a reason.

Makes 1

2 ounces gin
1 ounce vermouth
Green olive or lemon twist
Pour gin and vermouth into a shaker filled partway with ice. Stir vigorously with a long-handled cocktail spoon for at least 30 seconds. Strain liquid into a chilled martini glass. Garnish.

Manhattan cocktailMANHATTAN
Sweet, bold, rich and bitter—this spirit-forward cocktail has it all.

Makes 1

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 brandied cherry, for garnish
Combine first three ingredients in shaker filled partway with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with brandied cherry.

Perfect Manhattan Cocktail EditedPERFECT MANHATTAN
The addition of dry vermouth helps soften the spirited regular Manhattan just the right amount, so much so, it’s considered the perfected version of the original.

Serves 1

1 1/3 ounces Bulleit rye
1/3 ounce sweet vermouth
1/3 ounce dry vermouth
2 dashes bitters
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Combine everything save for the cherries in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir a good 10 to 15 seconds, depending on the size of your ice cubes. Strain into coupes or lowballs, and garnish with a cherry if you like.

negroni cocktailNEGRONI
This 1:1:1 ratio will likely be the simplest cocktail recipe you’ll ever memorize. This drink is at its finest as an aperitif; the bitterness from the herbs will help clean the palate.

Makes 1

1 ounce smooth gin (recommend Tanqueray or Plymouth)
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Orange peel (for garnish)
Stir gin, Campari and vermouth in a shaker or mixing glass filled partway with ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Photos courtesy of Food 52. 


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