Thursday, August 6, 2015

13 Over Rated Cocktails

People seemed to enjoy my last article like this, where I dissed popuoar cocktails, and wrote in a cynical and pretentious voice. Not being one to disappoint the 'fans' (rather, being out of activity for awhile and needing to bolster my readership...) I present to you my newest article regarding popular drinks that are over rated!

There are a number of popular cocktails that pop up fairly often for those of us working the wood. Some of us have gotten a handle for making drinks we can't stand, or making drinks that we know just aren't that good; but boy howdy are they sure popular! This list is an examination of some of those cocktails.

13. Margarita

Mexican Bulldogs are kind of cool though...
I'm putting our favorite tequila cocktail at the bottom of this list because they actually aren't all THAT bad. At the same time, however, they also aren't all that good. I can't knock people who like them too badly because there aren't all that many tequila cocktails in the lime light (pun intended), and tequila is a pretty hard thing to get into. Considering how bad the low priced products are and how hard it is for a lot of people to get past their initial experience of taking shots and immediately washing the taste away with a bite of lime and a lick of salt, most people just don't know what to do with tequila. That said, in my opinion the only thing to do with a good tequila is to drink it straight and neat. As for a bad tequila... well, make margaritas I suppose.

12. Dirty Martini
A proper Martini. Black and White...
err, no olive juice.

For all of the known world, Martinis are a passion of pleasure. Except for those whom they aren't. For those dregs, there are Dirty Martinis. You may recognize this rare breed of slack jawed yokles by their familiar statement that "the olive juice is the best part!" Oh, how they couldn't be more mistaken. The olive juice is so not the best part of a good Martini, that it in fact is not part of a good Martini at all! Think about it. Do you consume anything else labeled as 'dirty'? Dirty cottage cheese, for example? Or perhaps you're more in the mood for a dirty Big Mac. Or maybe a dirty Bratwurst is more up your.... alley?

11. Frozen Bellini

That's me, apparently bowing at my adoring customers.
Here in Vancouver, where the frozen bellini was imagined years ago by a young Milestones restaurant, frozen bellinis are the only bellinis. During my tenure at Milestones, I had many a first time bellini consumer order their first bellini and say something along the lines of "This is great! It tastes like a Slurpee with alcohol!" That alone should be enough to persuade people of its cheesiness. Nevertheless it somehow became super popular and is now available at every casual fine dining experience in Canada (I don't know if that's true, but knowing the tastes of my countrymen it would not surprise me). Oh and don't forget the monkey toy that goes on top! Christ...

Hey! I have an idea! Let's add coke to everything!
10. Anything and Coke

I've ranted extensively about high balls in the past, and of course I'm doing it again! If you call them Cuba Libre or Fernet con Coca, you can probably get away with it, otherwise, high balls are just a crying shame. The moment you add that coke to the spirits, it is now a complete was of good alcohol. While I can appreciate that most people can't palate alcohol, adding an obscene amount of high calorie carbonated syrup water isn't the solution!

9. Screwdriver

The sane world calls them vodka and orange juice. Those of us who got left behind call it the Screwdriver. It's the de facto go to cocktail that people who don't know any cocktails always turn to. There's nothing special about them, and it basically just tastes like bad orange juice. I think we all need to ask ourselves, if it didn't get you drunk, would you put anything that tastes like that in your mouth? Maybe I'm crazy for thinking they taste as bad as they do, or maybe I'm biased for some other reason, but in my humble opinion.... Screwdrivers are garbage! Next!

This golden piece of awesome is the yuppiest drink
on the planet.
8. Old Fashioned

Being that I quite like the Old Fashioned, this will either come across as hypocritical, or show that I'm just as willing to criticize my own tastes. While quite delicious, the Old Fashioned has become the centerpiece of hipsters, or people trying to broadcast to the world how sophisticated and trendy they are. Yes, both sophisticated and trendy at the same time! Who'd have thunk? If you're friends with "The Old Fashioned Guy", then you've probably seen him push the classic on everybody and anybody he drinks with. As for "The Old Fashioned Lady", there's nothing wrong with her. Keep doing what you're doing Old Fashioned Lady.

Presentation is bang on, though.
7. Strawberry Daiquiri

Of course this drink is much more detestable in its blended form, although it does taste good, that is besides the point. Ultimately, and similarly to the Bellini, you can't tell that this is an adult drink. There are a number of virgin drinks out there for alcohol haters. Slurpees. Bubble teas. Even Shirley Temples. But leave the rum out of it for the love of all that is good and holy!

6. Caesar
Blegh... Boring. Find a new national drink, Canada!
One of the few "you have to know" cocktails in order to bartend in Canada. This is Canada's cocktail. I'll also admit, that despite being so high on the list, I do not find Caesars to be absolutely detestable. That being said, there is a proper time and place for a caesar, and that time or place is not any time, all the time. It's not a party drink, it's not a dinner drink, it's not any other type of drink than a refreshing hangover drink to have with your hangover meal. Okay okay, sometimes.... SOMETIMES they aren't too bad on a hot day, but this goes back to the point that they're not an any time drink, and if you have more than one you're going to smell like Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. And furthermore, it grinds my gears when people call it a bloody, or spicy caesar. They're all spicy, and they aren't the same as a Bloody Mary!

5. Pina Colada

A little bit of cinnamon can brighten up a Pina Colada.
I've got two Pina Cola.... no I don't! No Pina Coladas for you! Okay, so this should not come as a surprise to anyone who's been reading this list. Pina Coladas, and anything like a Pina Colada is not my cup of tea. Coconut syrup, really? I have two far better tiki drinks to steer you towards. Painkillers and Mai Tais. Seriously, you can still get your tiki on without the gross syrup. Painkillers are basically a Pina Colada's grown up brother. And neither drink ever makes sense blended. And by the way, if you hadn't noticed, blended drinks are not my thing.

Actually, this one isn't even that popular.
I strongly dislike it though!
4. Sex on the Beach

It basically tastes like candy, and aside from the vodka it basically is just candy. If drinking candy is
your thing, that's fine. The Tipsy Bartender has an audience of millions because of cocktails made out of candy, after all. Personally, I think it's gross. It's just another of those cocktails that scream "grooooow up!" And seriously, Sex on the Beach? What about the name fits the flavor profile? Almost any cocktail would be more fitting of the name. "Oh let's go to the beach and eat fuzzy peaches!" That's basically the closest thing I can imagine this drink being named to "Sex on the Beach".

3. Holy Water

Garbage. Just total garbage. The worst part about this is, I worked in a bar where this was literally the most popular chick drink. Now-a-days, I've noticed that girls generally have much more classier taste buds than boys, and the usual stereotypes of manly drinks and womanish drinks can actually be flip flopped, to more accurately reflect the genders. Come to think of it, a lot of guys used to order these too. Things sure are different bartending in the hinterland, where everyone is white trash and drinks Sex in the City drinks, regardless of gender. Red sour puss, blue curacao and 7 up. Sounds like purple drank to me.

2. Long Island Iced Tea

Who are we trying to kid? Long Islands look like shit.
Seriously, what is even the point? Four types of clear spirits and triple sec with lime and coke. Pretty sure you could substitute the spirits with anything at this point and not tell the difference. People are so particular about this crap drink too. And of course, it's just a gimmick to sell that cheap Long Island mix that comes in a plastic bottle. But it doesn't even taste good! Is that really what you're craving? An overpriced heinz 57 mixture of alcohol with lime juice and coke? What a waste of money!

1. Spiced Rum and Coke

My hate of high balls brings this drink to the top, despite that "anything and coke" is already an entry. One time while I was gig bartending, a double spiced rum and coke came up. I made it and the guest brought it back complaining it wasn't spiced rum so I gave the rum and coke separately when I sent it back out. Half an hour later, the same fucking thing happens with the same guy! What the hell! Sadly, this is just how spiced rum dorks are, all the time. This loser was just bent out of shape because we used Sailor Jerry's, which is 10 percent higher abv, meaning he could taste the alcohol. Since its a little bit stronger, he thought it tasted too much like real rum. Pussy.
Wouldn't you much rather have a drink like this, than a spiced rum and coke?

Honorable Mention

Hot Toddy

The only reason I don't list this is because I don't even consider this to be a thing. To my understanding, a hot toddy is a loose idea of mixing citrus, tea and spirits, which just happens to be a specific drink here in Vancouver (or wherever else). If you order one here, you'll likely get a blended Scotch, red rose tea and lemon. If you order one from me, I'll probably ask you very specifically how you want it prepared. What kind of tea, for starters. And well, I'll actually assume you want Scotch, but in a better world I would not have to assume! So I guess I'll only really ask you to specify the tea, but still!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Booker's Bourbon Review

A few things about Booker's

Booker's is the highest proof product in the Jim Beam line of "small batch bourbons". It's a cask strength bourbon, which is honestly, pretty damn awesome. Make sure to add water when you're drinking, because you'll likely go into shock or something if you drink this like you would drink any other whiskey. My bottle is 62.35%. Your bottle might not necessarily be the same. That's the beauty of a small batch cask strength bourbon!

So where does it get it's name? Well, Jim Beam's grandson is named Booker Noe, and this is his small batch bourbon. Pretty cool, eh?

Booker's Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Booker's Bourbon is a pretty awesome and manly bourbon. It has a lot of burn, being at cask strength, but right out of the bottle it has strong spice notes and hints of leather. As you pour water into the glass, bringing it down to roughly 40% abv, the burn backs off a lot, and the nose brightens with baking spices, including cloves, vanilla and all spice.

Tobacco and charcoal oak peak through a corn dominated body, while baking spices from the nose continue. There is a sweetness, that tastes of dried dates, or prunes, and maple syrup.

The finish brings back the spice notes that were there throughout the tasting, along with a scotch like smoke. Also dotting the finish are citrus notes and pepper. A lot of length and complexity in the finish.


Friday, June 12, 2015

"Know Thyself"

My last article concerned classical Greek philosophy, and so, by the gods, this one will too.

Another lesson from classical Greece, with yours truly.
The words "Know Thyself" were famously inscribed on a stone that used to reside at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. They became the most well known of 147 Delphic Maxims,  believed to have been given to use by Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. The saying was also famed in Lacedaemon (Sparta), a city state whose populace is unfairly remembered for being a country of mindless, brutish defenders of a tyrannical and xenophobic state. They're also remembered for disappearing and becoming obscure in history because of a lack of democracy and philosophy, which Athens is remembered for.

Truly, the historical losers never seem to receive justice in history. Perhaps we have a cultural desire to see the winners of history as having a similar culture to our own. But then, we hardly acknowledge the submission of Athens by Macedon and Rome; both had elements of democracy but were dynastic at the core. What did the contemporaries think of their Lacedaemonian rivals, though?

What's left of Sparta, from the time of Socrates.

"Sparti in-river-Eurotas-valley flanked-by-Taygetos-mountains"
ulrichstill - Own work. Licensed under 

CC BY-SA 2.0 de via Wikimedia Commons.
Socrates explains of a Sparta who along with Crete are the original modern philosophers of his time. Similarly, contemporaries of the time explain of a Lacedaemonian culture who educates both women and men in reading and writings. Women also are trained similarly in the strict military regimen of Spartan males. Chilon of Sparta is remembered as one of the seven sages of Greece, and was democratically elected as an ephor (a fancy Spartan word for politician) by the Lacedaemonians. Lycurgus, who is credited for transforming Sparta into one of the military superpowers of its time created a system of law and governance that valued equality, military fitness and austerity. He left his post as King of Sparta to travel the world and learn about what sort of Reforma he would need in order to craft Sparta into the society we remember it as today. He visited the Oracle of Delphi where he was said to receive answers to his questions.

One likely result of Lycurgus visiting Delphi was an appropriation of some strong worded Delphic

The temple of Apollo, at Delphi
"Columns of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece"
Patar knight - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Maxims,  such as "Know thyself". Socrates lauds Spartan philosophy, which includes the use of sayings such as "Know thyself", which he likens to a bowstring which is composed of twisted up string, that are shorter and stronger than they were in their natural state. He himself refers often to the saying almost like a personal mantra, believing that he cannot know other things when he doesn't even know himself.

Being aware and thinking about quotes like this can be useful for a bartender. Aside from creating the appearance that you are the thinking man (or woman), quotes can be a good talking piece. There are a few quotes, such as this one, that stand up to the test of time, though. The reason that quotes like "Know thyself" endure for so long is that they both require a certain level of insight into yourself and the meaning of the proverb, which make them useful to anyone; not JUST bartenders.

I know that I'm a bartender....
Philosophers of antiquity believed - among other things - that the proverb meant to know your limitations and capabilities. I've said in the past to avoid promising more than you can deliver, and that goes without saying here too. Considering the quote may reveal that you are weak in areas where you need to be stronger, or that you need to readjust short term goals. Other considerations may help you be less apathetic and more understanding of people; after all, it's one desire that you can empathize better with people when you can relate to them, and perhaps a little soul searching can help with that too.

It's no wonder that the Greeks thought this maxim was so profound, because it's a veritable gold mind. You cn reap the benefits of this quote, in the form of a wealth of antiquitous wealth of self understanding. Or you can just use it because it's a cool quote, and can instigate discussion at your bar. But take heed reader, whatever the reason for your usage; take heed.... to know thyself.

Sorry folks. I had to do it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

"He is a wise man who invented beer" - Plato

For claiming not to know anything, this dude
knew more about the universe than pretty much
most of society today.
The famous and beloved barkeep's platonic quote is a strong statement, which also communicates a certain level of intellectualism. After all, who has the time to scour through the platonic dialogues in order to find a cherry picked quote? As it turns out, I am one such bar man.

I've been reading Plato lately. Not because of the quote, but rather, because "Why not?" In fact, the quote is of little interest to me, because I already know that Plato never wrote those things down in any of his dialogues. And of course, the reason I know, is because I saw the quote before and decided to look it up on the Google. As it turns out, in none of Plato's dialogues is the word beer ever even mentioned. You can imagine the feelings of embarrassment that creeped into my head when my former place of employment decided to add the quote, and credit to Plato, to the cocktail menu.

The french have a saying for this, and it is "Le sigh."

Nevertheless, it is not only a good quote, but it is also true. Beer certainly is a wise invention to the people who enjoy it, and therefore, the creator of the fine draught must also be wise! Or well... actually, I guess it's more likely that beer was discovered by accident, similarly to the other fermented goodies that we enjoy, such as wine. So I suppose that you can't really call the inventor wise in that regard. But one thing you could say, is that they were definitely in the right place at the right time! And because they witnessed that relatively common of biochemical reactions, we can all get drunk whenever we please!

Well, we can always take solace in the idea that if Plato is half as smart as the people who believed in this misquote,
then he'd probably be about as smart as most of us are today. And he might also drink obnoxious amounts of beer and say,
"Dude, bro! Look at that quote I made!"
Well, not whenever we please, but whenever we are able to, I suppose.

"He is a wise man who invented Lamb sandwiches" ~ Moses
While beer is indeed good, and Plato might agree with us about the quality of taste, one other point of agreement he might have with us is that there isn't any wisdom in discovering beer. In fact, one of the take home messages of Plato's early writings, the Socratic dialogues, is that are no wise people. Socrates (to whom Plato was a pupil and associate) was sentenced to death, defending his accusations that the people who claim to be wise aren't wise, and the wisest of them all is himself, for being the only person to realize that he has no wisdom at all; being the only person aware and willing to admit of his own ignorance, he is better off than those who claim to be wise.

So Plato most likely never called anyone wise on behalf of inventing beer. But to speak as Plato would, I would like to make an inquiry in regard to whether it's possible that Plato could have said such a thing, outside of his dialogues? Since Plato - frequently writing in the voice of Socrates - would caveat many of his arguments with flattering comments regarding the wisdom of his arguers, it is possible that he may have said such a thing regarding one who brews beer. But we must also assent to the fact that it was a frequent mode of both Plato and Socrates to compliment their arguers in such a way regarding the arts or sciences that they held dear, only to tear them down later in the argument. So in regard to that format of argument, it's doubtful that Plato would have thought someone was wise for inventing beer, but it is possible that he had said it and that someone would have taken his comment out of context in regard to his larger argument.

Little known fact. Plato also used a beer cozy. 
Plato most likely never called someone wise for inventing beer. In fact, the earlier mentioned Google search revealed that Plato never even spoke about beer, which in my own reading of Plato I can also acknowledge. Although, it is a good line, so I may continue using it. Of course, I'll use it with the caveat of my own; "Words which Plato never uttered."

Friday, May 8, 2015

9 Cocktails You Should Know in Vancouver

Cocktail culture is booming in Vancouver. Much like many metropolitan areas in the United States, it's pulling from a number of already established cultures of yore. New Orleans, the classic prohibition era, and tiki. For this reason I've decided to put together a list of the cocktails that you have to know in order to survive bartending in Vancouver. There won't be any paralyzers, Pina coladas or strawberry daiquiris on this list (however, it doesn't hurt to know these things anyway).

9. The Shirley Temple

Since I don't approve of Shirley Temples,
here's a Tequila Martini!
Let's get something straight at the onset here. I hate making Shirley Temples. They're essentially a child's drink that's made out to be a cocktail. And, parents being the responsible jerks that they are want to expose their children to cocktail culture in virgin form. Traditionally, it's orange juice, 7 up, and grenadine. But it also normally gets the disgusting maraschino cherry topper, skewered through an orange wheel or something. I hope you're wearing gloves because those cherries will stain your fingers.

Try twisting it up by giving an adult take on the famous virgin drink. A dash of orange flavored bitters, and swapping the 7 up with club soda will do you a world of good. Also do something like 4 times as much soda than orange juice, instead of the regular half and half. As for the grenadine.... well it sort of makes the drink, but pom will also give it an interesting look and flavor. When topping with garnish throw away your crap cherries and opt for real cherries from the produce department, and some orange zest.

8. Frozen Margaritas

So I gotta say... Mexican Bulldogs...
So awesome.
As a hot tourist destination, due in part to the lovely Vancouver beaches, margaritas are a tourist favorite. I have to say though, it is a bit weird because it never really gets all that hot in Vancouver, and people tend to prefer them in the frozen variety. I for one prefer them shaken, but since this list is not about my prefeerence, I recommend you get used to making them.

A normal margarita gets an ounce and a half of tequila and half an ounce of triple sec. I should add here that Grand Marnier works better, though it is pricy. Again, the standard is two ounces of lime juice and an ounce of simple syrup, and then you can blend using some ice cubes. If you opt to blend, make sure to add more ice as you go until you get a desired consistency. You can also try substituting the sweet and sour mix by pureeing various fruits, like banana, pinapple, or even kiwi, and throwing In different types of syrup, such as coconut or passionfruit.

7. The Cosmopolitan

That Cosmo! This one actually has Litchi in it, so
it's not totally my kind of thing.
What's a little sex in the city without a Cosmopolitan? And as ashamed as I am to be ashamed make to ask that question there's no shame in being able to make ashamed make a good cosmo. A lot of restaurants and bars of their own take on the cosmo, where they add their own little twist. Usually this something along the lines of using blue curacao to make the drink purple, or adding some random infused vodka. I don't recommend straying from the original though, unless you come up with something truly ground breaking.

A cosmo is quite simple. An ounce and a half of vodka and half of triple sec, an ounce of each lime juice, simple syrup and cranberry juice, shake, strain, garnish and voila! And if you were expecting a way to twist it up, like the previous cocktails you can forget about it.... well okay, the blue curacao thing isn't bad, and there are ways to make this cocktail work using grapefruit juice. But that's all you'll get from me!

6.The Martini

This is a Martini. Note: no bullshit.
Just like every other half classy city in the world, the Martini makes the list. There's nothing complicated here, and if I was hesitant to offer a twist on the Cosmopolitan, it goes doubly so with the Martini. Hell, I don't even like to use vodka in my Martinis, opting for the original gin version. And of course, weaker tongue individuals will have their dirty versions, but I'll stick to the standard.

The original martini calls for an ounce and a half of gin, and a half an ounce of dry vermouth.  I prefer to stir mine, but they're okay shaken as long as one double strains to compensate for ice chunks. And then there's the ever famed muddled ice martini, in the style of Bruno, bartender of Zam Zam and San Francisco bartending fame. It tastes no different than any other martini, but I have to say there's something more rewarding about making a martini this way. Perhaps it's all in the fact that by doing so, I'm doing something that so few others do?

5. The Manhattan

How can you have a list with the martini on it, and not the Manhattan? Well save for a gin cocktails you have to know list, anyway. The Manhattan is often referred to as the Martini of rye whiskey. I don't like to think of it that way, but I will grant that it's a pretty good comparison.

This is how I like my Manhattans. Pretty awesome, right?
The traditional methods of drinking this cocktail called for it on the rocks, and some people still like to do it that way, though, the popular method is to put it in a Martini, which fully realizes the false equivalency that this is a Martini with rye. Being that this is a whiskey cocktail, I readily scoff at the prospect of putting this in a flared rim glass. Whiskey has a delicate and pleasant nose, which needs to be funneled by the likes of an wine glass, glencairn or brandy glass. For the Manhattan though I prefer to use a snifter. I find that it has the perfect volume for the way I like them.

An ounce and a half of rye, half an ounce of sweet vermouth and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Like the Martini, I prefer it stirred and then strained. But no maraschino cherries for this one. Stick to lemon or orange peel, to complement the rye. Or if you're particularly daring, you can brandy marinate your own cherries. Don't be afraid to try different bitters and vermouth. While Martini rosso is a quality product, Cinzano or Punt E Mes can be even better.

4. The French 75

This French 75 was made using Earl Grey infused Gin.
I was debating even including this one, instead, opting to out the Mimosa on the list. I mean who are we kiddinf? Mimosas are better known and more popular than the French 75. But since this list is going on a stylish streak, I'm just gonna assume everyone knows what goes into a Mimosa, but not necessarily a French 75. In reality, the reason I included this is because I see it as being similar but superior to the mimosa. Not necessarily because to absolutely HAVE to know what it is. That said, brunch is very popular in Vancouver,  and I most definitely encourage you to move your guests away from their Sunday Spumante and orange juice.

It's a similar kind of cocktail as the mimosa, calling for sparkling wine. The popular,  and affordable way is to choose a California Prossecco, but traditionally they are a French creation, and Champagne is the preferred method, if you can stomach using Champagne in a cocktail. Add an ounce of gin and half an ounce of triple sec with some lemon juice and a bit of simple syrup. Shake to your heart's content, and then strain into a flute before topping with your bubbly. I recommend garnishing with a long twirled lemon spiral zest.

3. Mojito

I have to tell you guys... a spiced rum Mojito is pretty
off the balls awesome.
This is another cocktail where I'm going to urge you to stick with the traditional recipe. But in all honesty, different versions of the Mojito can work real well, as long as there's no extra sugar added. Read: no packaged purees! There are also ways to make a Mojito into a delicious beer cocktail, which I'll have room elaborate sometime in another post.

For a true Mojito start off by muddling a healthy handful of mint with a bit of granulated sugar. The mint is the most important flavor of this cocktail, so make sure it's good quality! No black spots, or soggy leaves here!

Next add two ounces of white rum, an ounce of lime juice and an ounce of simple syrup and shake. Pour into a Collins glass and top with soda water to finish your concoction. If you're going to opt for the popular raspberry Mojito, I'd recommend muddling real raspberries with the mint, and using Bacardi Black Razz.

2. The Old Fashioned

I like my Old Fashioned to be indistinguishable
from my Manhattans. Big whoop?! Wanna fight
about it?!
The cocktail that started it all I guess. This is your go to for enjoying a good bourbon, and possibly the most popular classic cocktail in Vancouver. There's a lot of debate about what a true Old Fashioned was like in its time, but the most reliable sources say the four constituent ingredients are sugar, water, bitters and whiskey.

I've written about this one before,  and you can get the full story there. As for how to prepare it? Take a teaspoon of sugar, or a sugar cube, pour a few dashes of Angostura bitters onto it, add a teaspoon of water and stir to your heart's content. Or, rather, stir till the sugar is fully devolved. And two ounces of whiskey and your done. The familiar ice and orange zest are optional.  Personally I prefer mine neat, with a lemon zest. It should also be noted that you can enjoy an Old Fashioned with pretty much any spirit that isn't neutral flavored.

1. The Caesar

Note: A good caesar can be an entire meal!
I'm going to be honest with you. I wasn't sure whether to even put this in the list. It sort of goes without saying that every bartender needs to know how to make a Caesar. But I suppose that this cocktail essentially wraps up the cocktail culture of Canada, it has to be done. Whether you do it or not at your bar, that's totally up to the owners I suppose (there are places that refuse to make them).

Rim a glass with celery salt, and an ounce of vodka, a few dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, fill with clamato juce and garnish with whatever ridiculous machinations you can come up with.

And there you have it.

Honorable mention: the Negroni.

In truth I prefer the Negroni to both of the gin cocktails on this list. That being said, this is a list for the masses! The Negroni is still a drink of the niche sophisticated croud.

This is not just any Negroni... it's a Negroni Spagliato! Basically that means I topped a Negroni with Spumante.

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