Local Wine Co's Blog

Afraid of Your Cocktail? by cdbakunas
September 15, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Libations

I spent a weekend with friends in Los Angeles and made cocktails before dinner. As I put cucumber slices, squeezed lemon and lime juice, gin and hibiscus tea with a splash of simple syrup and began muddling the concoction in a pint glass one of my friends asked what I was making. I looked up and smiled, “a Tiberius Fizz” (recipe below).  For me this process of making a cocktail was relaxing and fun. But I could see the perplexed look on a few of my friends faces that made me realize they were afraid of their cocktails.  Did your grandfather have a favorite evening drink, like a Manhattan? Or did your mom love making Mint Juleps? My generation of X and Y’ers grew up with a go go vodka martini night club fast cocktail society and the unfortunate side effect of this is that my peeps are afraid of making cocktails, especially if it involves muddling, straining, garnishing or more than three ingredients.

So my question is how do we break through the fear of cocktails? I still haven’t met a friend that doesn’t enjoy a good libation made well, but the mystery behind a Gin Fizz Ramos or a proper Martinez is something that most do not wish to tackle. This is a shame, or rather I should say a crying shame since the home cocktail is not only the safest place to enjoy your drinks it fosters a festive atmosphere and encourages parties, dinners and sleep overs.  And if done well the rewards of learning how to make a proper, delicious cocktail at home don’t stop at your lips.

Self proclaimed home chefs, or Americans that call themselves a “chef,” meaning they know how to cook some bad ass meals, has bloomed to an amazing 20 million people. That’s a lot of bravado out there in the cooking world. I believe that this number is only growing and rapidly at that. Look at the proliferation of cooking shows, cooking channels and DIY kitchen/cuisine/culinary programs.  This is starting to have a ripple effect towards the home bartender.  The key here is to encourage the home bartender to go ahead and experiment. Spend the three bucks and buy a muddler. Try making your own bloody mary mix. Keep an old jelly jar in the fridge with simple syrup – you never know when you need a teaspoon.  And try the classic cocktails – they are a blast and always fun to make.

Drink large Amigos!

Tiberius Fizz

  • 2 ounces Small’s American Dry Gin
  • 3/4 ounce hibiscus syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon & lime juice
  • 1 slice cucumber, 1/4 inch thick
  • club soda

Muddle the cucumber slice, then add the gin, hibiscus syrup, and lemon juice and shake until cold. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Fill with club soda and garnish with a few thin cucumber slices.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is the decade for good cocktails. Read this article because you are on to something.

Comment by Tori

That’s a great article. Thanks Tori!

Comment by cdbakunas

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