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other classic cocktails
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and tonics are a nice safe drink. Everyone knows exactly what goes in
them — it's in the name, duh — and should you order one at a bar,
there's pretty much no chance that you'll be greeted with a blank stare
by the bartender. And unlike with, say, a martini, there's none of that
confusion that comes from having to specify exactly how you like it.
Wet? Dry? Dirty? Who knows? On top of which, let's face it, the classic
martini as it's frequently enjoyed, dry as a bone, is essentially a big
walloping punch of straight gin. Which doesn't exactly make for the
easiest drinking. Looking to expand beyond the same old, same old? Try
ordering up one of these four tasty classic cocktails next time you hit
what it involves | gin, rose's lime juice
how to order it | The classic gimlet is made with gin. Sadly,
many bartenders are unaware of this, so it's sometimes necessary to
specify. While you're at it, it never hurts to let them know exactly
what kind of gin you want. I like Bombay Sapphire; Tanqueray and
Beefeater are also dandy picks. You'll also need to specify whether you
want your cocktail up (shaken with ice and strained) or on the rocks
(served over ice.) I prefer up: the ice doesn't dilute the drink as
much, and as an added plus, it's generally served in a purty stemmed
cocktail glass rather than a boring old-fashioned.
when to order it | Anywhere. A little sweet, a little tart, this
pretty pale green libation is sophisticated, but way more down-to-earth
than the martini. Plus, it's a much easier drink for the
cocktail-imbibing novice to handle — the Rose's lime juice cuts down on
that intense gin bite.
try this at home | You can make a perfectly quaffable drink with fresh
lime juice in place of Rose's lime juice, but it won't be a gimlet: get
yourself a bottle of Rose's and keep it in the fridge after it's been
opened. Mixing up gimlets at home is a good way to determine exactly
what proportion of Rose's lime juice to gin you actually prefer (some
people like as much as half-and-half; I generally mix 3 parts gin to 1
part Rose's lime juice). This an easy drink to mix, and hard to mess up
too badly, so the gimlet is a good drink to have in your party
variations on a theme | I actually like my gimlets best with a
generous squeeze of fresh lime — not strictly traditional, but nice and
tart. You can also substitute the gin with vodka or tequila.
what it involves | tequila, lime juice, triple sec/Cointreau,
simple syrup (optional)
how to order it | There are two things you'll have to specify
when ordering a margarita: up/on the rocks/frozen and with or without
salt. The salted rim is traditional, but go with whatever suits your
when to order it | Summery, refreshing and thoroughly
un-pretentious, the margarita is appropriate at pretty much any venue
where an acceptable alternative might be a good, cold beer. This,
basically, is anywhere — you could just as easily order a margarita at
a trendy bar as at a sports bar, and look at home either way. Frozen
margaritas are best reserved for lounging poolside or enjoying a casual
patio meal at a Mexican restaurant; margaritas served up or on the rocks
are much more chic. I go with up when I know the tequila's good; when
I'm dealing with cheap margaritas made with low-end tequila, I have it
on the rocks.
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