My Top Ten Favorite Drinks

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Stephen Beaumont once referred to my “borderline obsessive list-making“, and although this post certainly won’t help my reputation in that area, I’ve wanted to do it for a while now, and I think it will be good times for all. Now, people ask me all the time what my favorite drink is, but it’s hard for me to commit settle on just one. So here are, in some sort of order, my ten favorite drinks of all time.

10. Water.
picture-2_100x93shkl.jpgWhen I’m not treating myself to a cocktail, I’m drinking water. It is the single-most important ingredient in every single one of the following beverages, and its absence or misuse can make or break an otherwise fine cocktail.

9. The Martini.
picture-5_100x99shkl.jpgI’ve had more than my share, and it’s damn-near impossible to get a good one unless you make it yourself, but the Martini will forever remain close to my heart.

I take mine with half Vya dry vermouth, half Boodles gin, stirred until Arctic cold and garnished with a large, thick lemon twist. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

8. The Negroni. Bitter is my bag, baby, and the Negroni’s got it in spades. Gin? Check. Campari? Check. Sweet Vermouth and a nice orange peel garnish? Cha-ching.

As an aside, I think the Negroni is the one clear drink that can stand up to a shake, rather than a stir. Just let the drink settle in the shaker before you pour it.

7. Egg Nog. When I was a kid, I would beg my mother to get the big container of egg nog, and for some reason she’d aquiesce (I think she likes it as much as I do). But then when we got home, she’d spend the next three days trying to keep me out of it.

Although I can’t stomach the grocery store variety any longer, when I put together this light, fresh, mildly-boozy version, I was hooked all over again.

6. The Richmond Gimlet. I can’t have a list of my favorite drinks without including my most famous creation, can I? The truth is, after all these years together, I still love sharing a warm summer evening with my baby, the Richmond Gimlet.

5. Gin and Tonic. What other drink says “Hey, it’s June!”to you more than a crisp, cool, refreshing G&T? Just keep the sweet stuff away from me. I’ll take mine with Q, Stirrings, Fever Tree, or better yet, my housemade cinnamon-cardamom quinine syrup and soda.

4. The Manhattan.
picture-6_100x101shkl.jpgA college roommate of mine taught me about these, well before I ever even set foot behind a real bar. We’d always start the night off with a couple of these, only to regret the last one the next day.

Tough, grizzled, and surly as hell after the third round, she still always managed to remain a lady. Just like her drink.

3. The Sidecar. It’s a little sweet, it’s a little tart, and it’s real strong. It’s the grandfather of half the drinks you consume, from the Margarita to a Cosmopolitan.

And it’s got a lot of brandy in it, which always spells Goodnight Nurse for yours truly.

2. Beer and a Shot. I don’t drink that much during the week, but I usually belly up to the bar after working a busy weekend night. And while I’m certainly in need of a stiff drink to calm my nerves, I also need a cool quaff after running around a sweaty mess all night.

And when I say sweaty mess, I’m referring to the other bartender.

Enter the beer and a shot. Half of it is cool, light, and refreshing, and the other half smells like Jim Beam. Kinda like your parents.

1. Champagne.
picture-7_100x101shkl.jpgChampagne is the perfect alcoholic beverage. It has built-in bubbles, so it doesn’t require any special equipment. It’s nice and dry, so you can be sure to avoid the extra-strength headache you’re going to get from sweet drinks. And the buzz you’ll get from Champagne is light and refreshing.

But here’s the thing I love the most about bubbly: It’s socially acceptable to consume at any time of day. Really, here’s proof: Have you ever thought twice when you were offered a Mimosa at seven in the morning? How about a Wild Turkey and Coke?

See what I mean about social acceptance?

I’d like to hear what your favorites are, so post them on your site or leave them in the comments below!

33 Replies to “My Top Ten Favorite Drinks”

  • Ryan says:

    No order for me:

    10. Duvel
    9. Kwak
    8. Isle of Jura
    7. Ginger Beer
    6. Ginger Juice (honey+lemon, no apple juice!)
    5. Chocolate Silk
    4. Vodka Martini, only one olive.
    3. Long Island
    2. Kentucky Coffee
    1. Peets latte

    I haven’t been fortunate enough to find any great mixed drinks at bars as I’ve probably not found the right bars. Perhaps I’ll find some new favorites in trying your recipes at home..

  • Jeff Roberts says:

    1. Walker Fifty (Johnnie Walker Black and Labbatt 50

    2.Godfather 1oz Amaretto,1.5oz Scotch
    2 oz of fresh orange juice creates a BOOMER.

    3.Caesar not one of those fake American Caesar’s. Sorry guys and dolls but Canada has you beat on the Bloody Caesar.

    4.Old Fashioned



  • Michael says:

    Coffee – specifically Santa’s White Christmas
    Daiquiri No. 3
    Irish Martini
    Beer – Dark in the winter and light in the summer
    Maccallen 17 year old Scotch on the rocks

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