Recently we've been fans of simple cocktails - just look at Melissa's incredibly fun and practical post on "no math" cocktails. Complex and elaborate cocktails will always have a special place in our hearts, but sometimes something that's quick and easy is just the ticket. But that doesn't mean that we can't expect a lot out of our simple cocktails! Quite the opposite - simple but uncompromising cocktails is one of out favorite challenges.
Enter the 50-50 cocktail category. On the one hand, they are as simple as cocktails get: 1 part one ingredient, 1 part another - maybe a some bitters to add just a bit of zing and color - and that's it! Simple to make - but finding the right combination of ingredients that actually work in a 1 to 1 ratio is a challenge. So, below we present six of our favorite, tested and loved cocktails that are simple, yet complex, super enjoyable and fun!
1 part Blanco Tequila (pictured: Codigo Blanco Rosa)
1-2 dashes Hopped Grapefruit (or other grapefruit bitters to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a large shot glass and enjoy! Alternatively, mix over ice, strain and enjoy as longer, sipping drink.
This Martini is a little bit mid-century with a very wet equal parts of gin and dry vermouth, a little bit 80’s with its dash of olive brine, and a whole lot international with Spanish-made spirits that showcase the incredible flavors of the region. With such complex flavors coming from both the gin and vermouth, you end up with an incredibly layered drink, even though the recipe couldn't get any easier. And I love that the big pour of vermouth means you end up with a lower abv version of a Martini, one or two of these doesn't put me on my butt the way 3 ounces of chilled gin does.
Gin Mare and Yzaguirre's Dry Reserva Vermouth are the stars here. This Mediterranean gin from Barcelona includes savory herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil, Spain's famous Arbequina olive, and soft citrus notes from lemons and Valencia oranges. The vermouth is from Spain's oldest vermut bodegas, with their Reserva line featuring an additional year of barrel-finishing. For their dry that year is spent in fino sherry barrels, which layer on an incredibly distinct nutty almond, mineral, and saline flavor. I love leaning into those elements with a little pour of coriander infused Gaea brine instead of a garnish - that helps pull out the citrus notes, some meaty olive-ness, and a dash of salt. It's like a euro-bar aperitif hour snack platter in a glass., and euro bar snack flavors make it a great aperitif martini... snack-tini anyone?
Stir all the ingredients together over ice. Strain into a martini glass. Serve up.
Basically a bittered, Sweet Martini (or a bittered, Gin-y Manhattan?!), this classic was first served at London’s storied Savoy Hotel in the early 20th century by head bartender Ada Coleman. As she relates it, a particularly saucy regular patron, actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, requested one evening a drink with “a bit of a punch”. Some gin, sweet vermouth, and just a wee bit of bitter Fernet Branca came together to make something the actor called “the real hanky panky”. The name stuck, and to this day, the drink has as well.
1 part Sweet Vermouth (Martini and Rossi Rubino Reserva Vermouth)
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
[Try it as a cocktail kit here!]
As classic as cocktails get, and the parent of the Negroni - this distinctly Italian cocktail-aperitivo will whisk you away to a warm Italian afternoon anytime of year. The perfect balance between a Negroni and a Campari Soda.
Invented by our very own resident bartender, Preston - this simple, fruitful gin sipper that's nothing but delightfulness-in-a-glass. Looks like a negroni, but the taste is refreshing and lightly sweet.
2-4 dashes Orange Bitters (pictured Australian Bitters Company Orange Bitters)
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Serve up or over ice.
A true classic! The makers of Benedictine actually sell their own pre-bottled version of it - though we think that a version with your favorite brandy is a bit more worth it. Benedictine's honey-rosemary flavors marry perfectly to the grape and woody notes of an aged brandy making for a truly luxurious, and seamless flavor profile.