Status message

You can view only 10 cocktails at a time when you aren't logged in.

Sort by:
Display:
★’s or more

A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Advanced Craft Cocktail Theory: Steal this Cocktail

Perhaps one of the most difficult skills an aspiring cocktail maker can grasp is inspiration. Inspiration is the culmination of knowledge, skill and passion, and it only comes about through an understanding of ingredients, technique, and cocktail theory. There’s nothing more exciting and terrifying than standing in front of a bar with an empty glass and combining ingredients in a new and innovative way to make a satisfying cocktail. Therefore, you should be encouraged to steal from those that came before. Please note I’m not referring to outright theft of drinks, but using what is available to create new, interesting cocktails.

The difficulty lies in that innovation is the synthesis of knowledge. Knowledge and the ability to understand its component parts must be the basis of innovation, which means that a well stocked bar comes first. Obviously, if ingredients aren’t available, you’re not going to be able to make a cocktail with them. In addition to a well stocked bar, familiarity with each bottle is immensely helpful. Knowing that Calvados tastes like apples, spirit and woody notes and a hidden dimension of ‘apple tree’ or that Cynar is made from artichokes and yet tastes like honey and tobacco and a slight sulfury bitterness makes pairing ingredients that might have disparate primary flavors but complimentary secondary flavors easy. The understanding that Campari plus lemon equals pink grapefruit drives the Jasmine. This is not easily formalized. Writing tasting notes on cocktail ingredients can be useful at first, but at some point they become a crutch and inhibit beauty and the sudden strike of inspiration.

Recent Additions

  • Hunter's Verdict — Añejo rum, Amaro Montenegro, Ginger liqueur, Bitters, Orange
  • Malort in Paradise — Herbal liqueur, Jamaican rum, Grapefruit soda, Pineapple juice, Passion fruit syrup, Lime, Pineapple, Grapefruit peel
  • Jamaican Beer — Dark rum, Rhum Agricole, Whipped cream, Allspice
  • The Ficus — Bermuda rum, Orange juice, Lime juice, Demerara syrup, Fig preserves, Balsamic Vinegar, Orange peel
  • Green Mountain — Cognac, Herbal liqueur, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Mint

Recent Discussion

  • Re World's Fair, 1 day ago Craig E commented:

    Curated to clean up including adding creator. Thanks @yarm!

  • Re Brooklynite, 1 day ago yarm commented:

    "Some include a dash of Angostura bitters." The earliest recipes in The Stork Club (1946) and Trader Vic's Bartender Guide (1946) both do. And the one I spotted in Unvarnished (2020) does to. Only Imbibe Magazine leaves it out.

    Very similar to the Honeysuckle and Honey Bee (both recipes appear in Embury) which both have lemon juice but have white rum and Jamaican rum, respectively.

  • Re Detox Retox, 1 day ago HallA commented:

    No... don't drink this. I am not sure where this came from.. and should have used that as a sign to not drink it and to pay more attention to the ratios in which case I would have realized. A tablespoon of matcha powder makes this undrinkable, which I should have realized. Went looking for ref and a bullshit Dr. Oz website as "health" because of cucumber and matcha. May try to rebalance, idea may have some potential but don't try with this much Matcha.

  • Re Rudy Ray, 3 days ago Shawn C commented:

    Yes, I need to post more of my own (admitted in a sheepish tone.) I've been merrily trying others' contributions, but have been remiss in posting my experiments that worked...at least for my palate anyway. The Pasubio one I came up with combined it, St. Raphael Rouge (which is hard to come by in the U.S.) and rye for a Manhattan riff--sort of obscure because of the Raphael that I had to import from London, but found I really like it much more than I anticipated. I haven't decided whether to call the cocktail a Purple Manhattan or Montreux as a nod to Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water." I might want to save that smoke reference for something with Sfumato Rabarbaro and Pasubio if I find a combo that works.

    I also am very fond of the Rhapsody in Blue. For a fellow Pasubio enthusiast, some other Pasubio libations I am keen on are: Purple Globe, My one and only Blue, Scalatore, and Purple Martin (definitely need the Scarlet Ibis and Averell for this one to truly shine.)

  • Re World's Fair, 4 days ago yarm commented:

    Created by Vannaluck Hongthong at the Baldwin Bar in Woburn, MA.