Being Basic: Mixologist

So this might seem like a bit of a departure. I mean side from the silly “ATF should be a convenience store” bumper sticker, we constantly hear “guns and alcohol don’t mix!”

There are those people that are so dedicated to their personal protection that they flat out refuse to consume anything that would negatively impact their awareness, or set foot in an establishment that legally prohibits carrying a firearm. That’s their call to make. However, to steal a line from William Aprill’s Unthinkable class, “there’s a lot of fun stuff that happens with stupid people in stupid places”. Admittedly he’s being a little facetious, but the point was that living a purely risk averse lifestyle can be limiting.

On top of that, it’s just good to have hobbies that aren’t violence related. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have several, one being cocktails. I’ve never been visually artistic; I never really took to drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. Food and drink have always been my creative outlet. You can’t tell me that on some level this isn’t a work of art.

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The classic Mai Tai

Another advantage of this hobby is that it helps me understand exactly what I can handle. We’ve all had that one friend who’s not a big drinker out with a bunch of friends go completely off the rails, and end up either as a hilarious story or potential 6 o’clock news story because they didn’t know their limits and overindulged.

In the video I go over 3 basic drinks that are a good place to start. They only have a few ingredients, nothing is super hard to find, and you can play with the ratios to dial in to whatever suits your taste.

Whiskey Sour

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The prettiest Whiskey Sour I’ve ever made

Even if you’re not a big drinker or you don’t like the way liquor tastes, this is a very accessible drink. Even my wife (whose drink prior to us meeting was *shudder*…..Malibu & Pineapple aka Liquid Diabetes) enjoys these when they’re made properly. The standard ratio is:

  • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. whiskey of your choice
  • 1 egg white

Put ingredients in a shaker tin and shake aggressively for 20-30 seconds. Add ice, shake for an additional 10-15 seconds, then strain & serve either in a stemmed coupe or cocktail glass, or a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with Angostura bitters if desired.


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Based on the name you’d think “OK, so it’s a Martini, but with tequila, right?” Nope! This is a classic gin drink. Lots of people have had bad experiences with gin, and so they shy away from any recipe where it’s mentioned. That’s unfortunate, because there’s such a breadth of options out there that there’s a gin for every palate. It’s especially great when the weather starts to heat up, when brown liquors can be a little heavy. I picked this because the gin is balanced out with the sweetness of the vermouth. It’s a gateway gin cocktail:

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Marashino Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. Sweet (red) vermouth.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin

Measure all ingredients into a mixing glass, and stir until the mixing class is cold to the touch. If you’re mixing in something conductive like a shaker tin, stir for ~ 30 seconds or so.

Queen’s Park Swizzle

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Everyone’s familiar with the Mojito. What I like about this one is that the use of dark rum and Ango (again) makes the drink a little more interesting, at least to me. Plus it’s prettier. This is a great summer drink, just be careful because they barely taste like alcohol.

  • 5-10 mint leaves (depending on size)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 2-3 oz. dark rum
  • Angostura bitters to garnish

Muddle mint, lime & simple in the bottom of a collins glass. Add the rum, and fill halfway with crushed ice. Swizzle with a barspoon, then fill with more crushed ice and top with 5-6 dashes of Ango.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and Instagram.

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