Lots of people think that cocktails have been around only since Prohibition. The fact is people have been whipping up cocktails since the reign of Elizabeth I, thanks to the pirates who visited exotic ports of call and sampled the booze to be had there. But the cocktail really came into its own when the variety of alcoholic beverages exploded, and people discovered the delights of mixing them together. Here are some classic cocktails and the foods they go best with.
When it comes to a drink to savor on a hot day at the beach, nothing beats a Mojito with its crushed ice, fresh mint and lime, which has a bit of a bite courtesy of white rum. This is the drink to serve with finger foods such as small, savory, stuffed vol-au-vents called bouchées, which are delectable puff pastries.
Here’s how to make a classic mojito.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 cup white rum
- club soda
- fresh mint sprigs and lime slices for garnish
Muddle the sugar, mint, and lime juice in a pitcher. Add the rum, pour into a tall glass filled with crushed ice, top with the club soda and garnish with the mint and lime slices.
Gin and Tonic
This classic cocktail is preferred by the Queen and was truly a favorite of her mum, who lived to be 101. It is bracing and utterly refreshing after one has reigned all day. Basically, it’s just dry gin and quinine water with the juice of a lime or lemon. This source claims that the simple flavor profile of a gin and tonic allows it to pair well with just about anything, but it is excellent served with a platter of cold meats, such as roast beef. It’s also good with open-faced sandwiches featuring cucumbers sliced paper-thin or smoked salmon.
Here’s a recipe to try.
- 1½ ounces dry gin
- juice of ¼ lime or lemon
- quinine water
In a tumbler filled with ice cubes, squeeze the lime or lemon, and then drop the shell into the glass. Add the gin, and top up with quinine water. Real simple.
This invigorating electric blue cocktail, which contains blue Curaçao, is deceptive. It is sweet and fruity, and the drinker may think it is harmless. It is not, thanks to the tequila and the Drambuie, which is a sweet Scotch whiskey that was particularly favored by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, according to this source. This eye-catching concoction pairs well with shrimp cocktail or any meal featuring cold fish.
- 1 measure of blue Curaçao
- 1 measure of tequila
- 1 measure Drambuie
Place the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake up. Then strain into a highball glass full of crushed ice and top up with lemonade. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Contemporary cocktail ingredients are getting more exotic than ever, as well as pricey. These classics are simple, and quick to make. Best of all, they hit the spot.
Love cocktails? Check out these recipes, too: 5 Cocktail Recipes to Prepare at Home This Summer
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