Since we’ve been going with big drinks the past couple of times, I’m going to tone it down a bit this time.  On the downside, this does mean that you’ll need to pick up some new bottles (unless you’ve already got them on the shelf).

The first we’re going to talk about is a red bitter that hails from Italy: Campari.  This can be served neat, chilled, mixed with soda, or in a cocktail.  Since we were talking about Bond last week, let’s bring up another drink that Bond ordered in a book:

The Americano

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • Top with soda water

One thing you’ll notice about this drink (and the next) is that they include no high proof ingredients.  So if you’re looking for something you can drink through the night, these may be up your alley.  To build this drink, fill a rocks glass with ice, add in the Campari and vermouth, then top with soda water.  Garnish with an orange twist.

For this next drink, we’ll need to get a bottle of maraschino liqueur.  The standard brand is Luxardo (you may recognize that name from small jars of cherries).

The Diplomat 

  • 12 parts dry vermouth
  • 6 parts sweet vermouth
  • 1 part maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

This is another drink that will be stirred instead of shaken (the general rule is if the recipe is all spirit based, it’s stirred), then strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry and a twist of lemon peel.

For the third drink this time, I’m going to break from my standard of going to old cocktails and bring up a modern one that both the girlfriend and I are a fan of.  For this drink, you’ll need Benedictine liqueur.  It’s from a book called Apothecary Cocktails.  To really change it, this is also a hot cocktail, which if I was thinking about it, I could have riffed on earlier.

Cold Cure #1001

  • 6 part hot peppermint tea
  • 3 part Benedictine
  • 2 part Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Jamaican bitters (though any will work)

Start by filling your mugs up with boiling water to preheat them.  Start making your tea while the mugs are heating.  Add the Benedictine and Vermouth to the warm mug, top with the peppermint tea, gently stir and add in the bitters.  The herbal aroma of the Benedictine pairs well with the peppermint.

Since this was a break with the usual format, did you prefer this style, or would you prefer I stick with a single themed ingredient through the piece?