Cocktail hour has become a coveted ritual in response to the coronavirus pandemic in many households across the country. Just look to Instagram or Twitter, where #quarantini has more or less become a word of the month.
While you really can’t go wrong with a classic quarantine martini, something a little more creative might come as a welcomed change—especially as we go into the second month of sheltering in place.
We reached out to a handful of bartenders and beverage directors in our network to get their best take on exquisite cocktails you can easily make at home (without having to do a grocery run). Here, a variety of rum, gin, and whiskey-based beverages that you can easily make using ingredients from your pantry.
Breakfast for Dinner
Peter Ruppert, Beverage Director at Short Stories in New York City, says that “one of the key notes of Don Papa is definitely candied fruit. So by pairing together vanilla, marmalade and orange zest, it laces the ingredients together nicely. Then, with the silky texture that the ingredients produce, it becomes the perfect dessert cocktail for any time you deserve a treat.”
“Not to mention," Ruppert continues, "it also works really well with classic breakfast flavors we all know and love, like buttered toast with a side of bacon.”
1.5 oz Don Papa Rum
2 oz orange juice
1 tsp marmalade
1 tbsp vanilla ice cream
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
If you've got a shaker at home, combine all ingredients with a scoop of ice and go to town. If you don't have a shaker, toss everything in a blender with a half scoop of ice and fix yourself a creamsicle. Serve with buttered toast and a side of bacon, preferably with a bathrobe and slippers.
Working from Home
“The other day I fixed myself a French press while binge-watching the last season of Bojack Horseman, with the last bit serving as inspiration for the Working from Home.” shares Ben Rojo, Operating Bartender at Black Emperor in New York City.
According to Rojo, coffee's been a huge part of the cocktail conversation over the last few years because of its versatility. It offers body, acidity, and tannin all at once: a quick way to add complexity to any drink.
“While cocktail bars now lean heavily coffee liqueurs and housemade infusions, and many restaurants have five-figure espresso machines, all the perks of a coffee cocktail can be had with whatever setup you have at home.”
2 oz Don Papa Rum
2 oz leftover coffee
0.5 oz maple syrup
pinch of cinnamon powder
pinch of cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients in your mug of choice. To enjoy cold, add a few cubes of ice and stir. Otherwise, nuke for a minute or so, then add a splash of coconut milk. Congratulations, you're officially being productive!
“When the weather warms up, I crave fizzy, refreshing cocktails and a spring style gin and tonic is exactly that,” says mixologist Lacy Hawkins. “Garnishing the drink with fresh sage, dried lavender, and pink peppercorns makes for a gin and tonic that is not only a nod to seasonal herbs and spices but also picks up some of the 47 botanicals used in making Monkey 47 Gin.”
2oz Monkey 47 Gin
1/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water
Build ingredients in a balloon glass over ice. Top with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic.
Garnish with blackberries, mint sprigs and a lemon twist.
Black Forest Bramble
“The Black Forest Bramble cocktail incorporates muddled blackberries, crème de mûre, and fresh lemon juice, creating a balanced, Wunderbar drink,” says Hawkins.
2oz Monkey 47 Gin
3/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2oz Simple Syrup
1/4oz Creme de Mure
Muddle 3 blackberries in the bottom of a rocks glass and fill with crushed ice, then set in your fridge or freezer.
Add Monkey 47 Gin, lemon and simple syrup to a shaker, fill completely with ice, seal your shaker and shake for 3 seconds. Strain over the crushed ice in your blackberry rocks glass. Create a domed top with more crushed ice and pour the 1/4oz Creme de Mure on top. Garnish with a lemon wheel and skewered blackberries.
“While sometimes fresh juice is best, cordials are a long-lasting and versatile ingredient,” explained Megan Coyle, bartender at Reveler’s Hour in DC. “They will have a more weighty texture due to cooking and addition of sugar, making the need for other sweeteners greatly reduced. They also have a lovely balancing bitterness due to exposure to heat and the utilization of the peeled outer layer of zest.”
Fizzy water of your choosing
1.5 oz Egan’s Vintage Grain Irish Whiskey
Citrus Cordial* to taste, about 1 oz
*Citrus Cordial Ingredients
1 cup orange juice (from about 3-4 oranges)
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (from about 7-8 lemons)
Peels from all lemons and oranges used (be careful not to get too much of the pith when peeling)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon citric acid (optional)
Bring the juices along with the peels to a rolling boil. Slowly add all dry ingredients. Return to a rolling boil, then reduce to an active simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes. Strain, allow to cool and store in a clean, airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.