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The negroni is a bright, refreshing drink that's traditionally made with equal parts gin, vermouth, and campari. I wanted to switch up the typically botanical profile with a richer note, so I swapped in mezcal for the gin. Mezcal is an agave-based liquor from Mexico. Think of mezcal as a richer, smokier version of tequila.


What's great about a negroni is that you can prepare a serving right in the glass itself, or batch it up to share and pour over ice for multiple rounds. For the orange, I typically go with a standard peel since it's easy and keeps the orange fresh and vibrant without overpowering the already complex flavors of the cocktail.


Here's the recipe:


Ingredients:

 1 oz mezcal

 1 oz Cocchi Americano Bianco

 1 oz campari

 Orange peel

 1 big ice cube or 2 medium ice cubes


Directions:

• In a lowball glass, combine mezcal, vermouth, and campari.

• Stir for 15 seconds to chill.

• Express the oils of an orange peel over and around the glass rim; add to glass side.


The glass I used for this cocktail is vintage — I bought it at Brimfield in a set of four a few years ago and it's in a midcentury pattern I collect called "Blue Heaven."


An ice-cold Vesper can be the most refreshing cocktail at the end of the day: bright citrus, dry spirits, and a slight floral note from the aperitif. Or, if you're James Bond, it can be the elixir that eases you into your next nearly impossible feat. Either way, the Vesper is a classic cocktail that's about as classy (and potent) as it gets. In essence, it's 6-3-1 gin, vodka, Cocchi Americano Bianco plus a twist. There are many opinions about serving size, ratios, spirit types, Cocchi Americano Bianco vs. Lillet, and chilling/mixing technique (Shaken, not stirred?) but one thing we can all agree on is that Vespers, and martinis in general, are extremely nuanced and customizable. I'll leave it to you to go down that Reddit rabbit hole. Here's my take on the Vesper; it's spirit forward, and yes, I did shake it this time because it can dilute and chill this strong drink a little bit more efficiently (but don't over-do it because you don't want to bruise the gin!) The most important thing to keep in mind when making this drink is that YOU enjoy it and really, to be honest, that it's served very, VERY, cold.


Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:


• 2 oz gin (Here I used Caledonia Spirits' Barr Hill Gin from Vermont)

• 3/4 oz vodka (Used Tito's because let's keep with the US theme...!)

• 1/4 oz Cocchi Americano Bianco (No debate, a must)

• Lemon twist


Directions:

• Fill martini glass or coupe with ice and water to chill (or put in refrigerator/freezer for 10min) • Combine gin, vodka, and cocchi americano in cocktail shaker

• Add ice and shake for 15 seconds until outside of shaker starts to frost

• Strain into chilled martini glass

• Express oils from lemon peel over rim; twist and add to glass

• Drink while it's cold!



This personal take on a Maple Old Fashioned cocktail recipe marries bright citrus with deep maple flavor, resulting in a nostalgic drink that will quickly become a go-to. A classic recipe, the "Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail" always uses sugar, bitters, whiskey, and 1-2 ice cubes. These elements have been used in an "old fashioned" for centuries, but cocktail connoisseurs have since played with these general ingredients to imbue the recipe with opposing forces of restraint and complexity.


I think what makes this an excellent cocktail is the ability to highlight top notch ingredients without any complicated equipment: this drink can be stirred together in the glass. his recipe is measured for a single serving. Depending on how much whiskey you want to drink, you can go between 1.5 - 2oz. I used Bulleit Rye Whiskey, custom bitters (though an orange bitters would work well, too), Lou's maple syrup from my collection (definitely a great collecting habit to start up; you can buy a tiny bottle online for $1.25), and actually a tangelo peel instead of classic navel orange because I love the saturated color and fruit!


Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:


• 1.5 -2oz (one shot) rye whiskey

• 1/2 tsp maple syrup

• 1-2 dashes bitters

• orange peel

• 1-2 ice cubes


Directions:

• In a SOF glass (or low ball of choice), stir together maple syrup and bitters.

• Add the whiskey, and gently stir until combined.

• Add 1-2 cubes of ice; a single sphere would also work well

• Add fresh orange peel (no pith!) Line rim with essence.