Mixology 101

Last night we took a “cocktail class” with a group of friends at Denmark, one of the high-end cocktail lounges in town.  Our friendly instructor walked us through the tools of the trade, some standard recipes and proportions that are the building blocks of many cocktails, and the basics of when to shake and when to stir — and then added that, of course, all rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to cocktail creation.

We then proceeded to use our table of jiggers, bottles, bar spoons, strainers, and other implements to measure, shake, stir, strain, and pour three cocktails with autumnal themes.  I’m not a cocktail drinker, but I really liked two of them.  The first was a “Fall 75,” which was a variation on a French 75.  Here’s the recipe:

Fall 75

1.5 oz. apple cinnamon vodka

.75 oz. lemon juice

.75 oz. simple syrup

Add ice, shake well, then strain and pour into a coupe cocktail glass and top with champagne and grated nutmeg.  This cocktail had a nice balance of flavors, and the grated nutmeg gave a hint of the holiday flavors we’ll be enjoying in the not-too-distant future.

The second cocktail was a pear and rosemary mojito.  Here’s the recipe:

Pear & Rosemary Mojito

Add rosemary and mint to your cocktail shaker

1 oz. light rum

.5 oz. pear cordial

.5 oz. pear nectar

.25 oz. lemon juice

.75 simple syrup

Add ice, shake well, then strain and pour into a highball glass with ice, and top with club soda.  This cocktail was on the sweet side, but was very refreshing.

Cocktails are fun to make.  They’re also fun to drink.  That’s why I typically stick with wine.