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A classic girly drink?

Ok, there is a thread asking for classic cocktails for men, so in the interest of equal opportunity, I am looking for a classic "girly" drink. Specifically, I would like a new drink to serve at home as sort of a "signature cocktail" when I have parties.

The criteria:
Served in a classic cocktail glass (I have very pretty vintage ones that I would like to use more often).
Can't contain completely insane ingredients, (I have a pretty complete liquor cabinet; Maraschino, Pastis, Campari, all share space with the gin, vodka, bourbon, etc. I certainly don't mind buying more booze, but please no 50 dollar bottles of totally recherche liqueurs that are only used to make one drink).
It must be pretty! (I told you, I'm looking for something girly here!)
Has to taste fabulous! (This is really the most important criteria on the list, but is sort of a given I hope)

In the past, my signature drinks have been lemon drops (pretty and yummy, but, let's face it, a little too TGIFridays) and Aviations, which are gorgeous and tasty and still my go-to drink, but I've been serving them for several years now and would like to mix things up a little.

So what should I put in the shaker?

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  1. Sidecars with fresh orange juice, served up in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

    I'm a huge fan of amaretto sours (garnished with some of those alcohol-soaked real maraschino cherries and an orange round). Amaretto with club soda and several squeezes of lemon juice, garnished with lemon wedges, is also pretty fantastic.

    Last but not least, sweet white vermouth (Martini bianco) served over ice with several squeezes of lemon and lemon rounds is also very nice and unexpected. A great aperitiv.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      Although not traditionally served in a cocktail glass, I see no reasons why these cocktails can't be served in them or any other glass for that matter

      Kir Royale or Champagne Kir Royal
      Pink Squirrel
      Any Type of Sours. e.g., whiskey or blackberry brandy

    2. Here's a link to a recipe for my all time favorite: http://tinyurl.com/ykrrq9a I first had it in Istanbul in the late '50s where it was called a Pink Lady, but in the U.S. it's called a Pink Rose. It looks and taste innocuous, but don't you believe it! I make mine with Persian lime juice instead of lemon, but both are delicious. The difference between a Pink Lady and a Pink Rose is that the Rose has citrus juice AND heavy cream. Lovely..

      6 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1


        gin/chartreuse/sweet vermouth/orange bitters

        garnished with a cherry

        1. re: Caroline1

          I have two ideas...

          This first one is a pretty red color, and features rye whiskey, which is not a spirit "traditionally" thought of as a 'girl-y" spirit.

          The Scofflaw Cocktail

          1.5 oz rye whiskey
          1 oz dry vermouth
          2/3 oz fresh lime juice
          2/3 oz grenadine
          Shake ingredients in a ice filled shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.
          Garnish with an orange zest twist.

          This second one is a pretty, light green color. Bear with me, I know the ingredient list sounds gross, but this cocktail is attractive, sweet, creamy, and surprisingly well balanced. I don't even like Midori, and I like this drink.

          The Jamaican Ten-Speed

          1 oz vodka
          3/4 oz Midori
          1/4 oz coconut rum
          1/4 oz creme de banane
          1/2 oz half-and-half

          Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

          1. re: jerryc123

            The scofflaw sounds pretty good--I like whiskey, and I have everything for that, so I might shake up a couple this weekend. The second one does sound gross, but I have most of the stuff on hand, not creme de banane though--I will put it on my list of things to try after I go to to the liquor store.


            1. re: lulubelle

              I was in the same boat. I had everything except the creme de banane, and I went out and bought a bottle just for this drink. I told myself I would NEVER buy a bottle of booze for one drink, ever again. Oh well.
              I HAVE seen a few cocktail recipes I wanted to try that called for creme de banane, but for the life of me, I can't seem to remember them now. Perhaps, if I try them and find a few that are note worthy, I will post them to this board.

              1. re: jerryc123

                I bought a bottle of creme de banane for the sole purpose of making Rum Runners and it was money very well spent. I have also found some other good recipes that use it, but I haven't tried them yet.

                I can't contribute anything else to the coversation, though, but I'll be watching for drinks I can make for my wife. Great thread everyone!

                1. re: jerryc123

                  Dharma Rum:
                  1/2 c (about 1 sm) sliced ripened banana
                  1.5 oz creme de banane
                  1.5 oz creme de cacao (clear or dark)
                  1.5 oz dark rum (Myers)
                  1/4 c half-and-half
                  1 c cracked ice

                  Combine all ingredients in a blender. If you're feeling fancy, grate a little dark chocolate over it. Great summer drink to have in your back pocket.

                  And if you need another use for Midori I like the Melon Ball--vodka, midori, and oj (or pineapple). It's best to choose your own proportions because you can really vary the sweetness of the drink.

          2. Here's three that may work - All taste great, a little on the sweet side, and are served in a cocktail glass.

            1. If you watch "Mad Men" Betty Draper always seems to order a Gimlet. Can't get much more classic than that.

            2. Classic Daiquiri's work as well, although it's getting a bit chilly for the summer drinks now. Just make sure you use fresh squeezed lime juice - world of difference.

            3. Last Word Cocktail: 1 part each Gin, Lime Juice, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino. Shake with Ice and strain.

            4 Replies
            1. re: GinChevyChase

              I do like gimlets, although I think of those as a summer drink--and they seem too simple to be a signature drink--the Last Word, on the other hand, sounds heavenly! And I have all the ingredients! Thank you!

              1. re: lulubelle

                eastern standard in boston makes a gimlet with tarragon syrup, called an "au provence." it's a terrific drink and might be enough of a twist to make it special.

              2. re: GinChevyChase

                Old thread, but:

                The Last Word sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it (in two more months, after my pregnancy is finished)!! Thanks for the recipe.

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  I love The Last Word - I was very kindly introduced to it by a lovely barman. I am now hooked.

              3. Aviations (with creme de violette) are so very yum! (gin, lemon, maraschino and violette) I've been drinking these lately at home and out - and starting to introduce my friends to them and they are all suprised by how good they are. And they are a lovely light purple shade - can't get much more girly! I first had them minus the violette but found later it really just makes the drink sing IMO.

                1. Ok I guess i'm retarded or read too fast - missed the line in the OP that you've already used this as a sig drink! Sorry, my bad - but good taste!!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kayowinter

                    but never with the violette! That sounds so good, and who wouldn't love a purple drink?

                    1. re: lulubelle

                      It is sooo good. i'm going to make one tonight!

                  2. Lots of good suggestions already.You might want to try the Hemingway Daiquiri.Light rum, fresh lime juice,grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur.Since you like the Aviation,which also uses Maraschino.Some recipes call for it to made in a blender with ice,but I prefer it shaken with ice and served straight up.You could also sub in Gin for the Rum if you're not a Rum fan.
                    A Sidecar using Calvados in place of Cognac.
                    Jack Rose,with Apple Jack and homemade Grenadine.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: TooLooseLaTrek

                      TooLooseLaTrek said: "A Sidecar using Calvados in place of Cognac."

                      I LIKE the idea of an apple-brandy sidecar as an signature drink. That is a variation that sounds absolutely delicious, and yet many guests would be unfamiliar with. I believe that is called a Royal Jubilee- correct me if I am wrong.

                      I make AppleJack Old-Fashioneds all the time and really enjoy them. I use Laird's AppleJack for them, since decent Calvados can get expensive.

                      I would try using Laird's AppleJack in the Sidecar variation. I think that is called an Apple Car.

                      Regan's "Joy of Mixology" has a cocktail called the Apple Sidecar. Here it is below. I need to try this, but I would need to find the Clear Creek first. Notice the use of fresh tangerine juice and vodka, in place of the Cointreau.

                      Apple Sidecar
                      Family: sours
                      Adapted from a recipe by Ryan Magarian of Restaurant Zoe, in Seattle. There is no real substitute for the Clear Creek apple brandy, but you can experiment with applejack here to make a variation on the theme.
                      1.5 oz vodka
                      .5 oz Clear Creek apple brandy
                      1 oz fresh lemon juice
                      1 oz simple syrup
                      1/2 ounce fresh tangerine juice
                      shredded tangerine zest, for garnish
                      Shake and strain into a chilled sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

                      1. re: jerryc123

                        I have almost a full bottle of really nice Calvados, so I can try the Royal Jubilee. How is apple brandy different?

                        It sounds fabulous.

                        1. re: lulubelle

                          Apple Jack is Apple Brandy and a neutral spirit.Taste wise I prefer Calvados(Apple Brandy) in the sidecar variation,but both work well.Also I forgot to mention either lime juice or lemon juice in the Jack Rose suggestion.I like it better with lime,but I've seen recipes that list lemon juice instead.Either way the key is real grenadine.Not the syrupy stuff in the grocery store.

                        2. re: jerryc123

                          sidecars are my drink, although recently we've been simplifying it by just doing cognac, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice.

                          love the idea of using apple brandy instead of grape. wonder how it would be with my simplified variation??

                        3. re: TooLooseLaTrek

                          Instead of a Jack Rose, there's also an English Rose
                          3/4 oz Apricot brandy
                          1 1/2 oz Gin
                          3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
                          1 tsp Grenadine
                          1/4 tsp Lemon juice
                          1 Cherry

                          Definitely in the pretty (it's pink!) and delicious category.

                          Another option is the Darb:
                          3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
                          3/4 oz Dry Gin
                          3/4 oz Apricot Brandy
                          4 dash Lemon Juice


                        4. I was sad reading that the OP considered Lemon Drops too "TGIF." Add lemon zest simple syrup and some good Limoncello to your favorite lemon vodka and serve "up" in a martini glass. Go nuts by rimming the glasses with a mixture of 3/4 bar sugar and 1/4 table salt.

                          A classic Mai Tai can be tweaked to serve up in cocktail glasses. They're pretty -- whether one uses Grenadine or the preferred Creme of Almond (red) liqueur -- yet they're strong enough for grownup girls. The Mai Tai gets classier and classier as one uses better and better rums to build the cocktail. One retro version I make occasionally has a half-shot of B&B included, hold the Creme of Almond, but use, if possible, *fresh* pineapple juice. The B&B plays off the rums and the pineapple juice in a decadently divine way.

                          Finally, I'm assuming the OP means "martini"-type glasses when she mentions "vintage cocktail glasses." My final suggestion: a cross between a Champagne Punch and a French 75, is best served in a Champagne flute but could occupy a cocktail glass. Take an ounce of good Cognac, Brandy or Eau de Vie and put it in a shaker with some ice, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of bar sugar and a half ounce of Cointreau. Shake just to chill, strain into champagne flute. Fill nearly to the top with Champagne and add a couple of drops of Grenadine for color.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: shaogo

                            I think the classic French 75 is Gin, Lemon Juice, Sugar/Syrup, and Champagne but that version sounds really tasty!

                            1. re: GinChevyChase

                              there's also the french 77 which uses st germaine elderflower liqueur in place of gin.

                            2. re: shaogo

                              Oh, I make a mean lemon drop, although I prefer to coat the rim in crushed LemonHeads candies. They are tasty, but I want something a little special, you know.

                              Yes, I am talking about "martini" glasses, I just hate the trendy of calling everything a "________ martini".

                              The mai tai sounds fabulous. So does the French 75 variation. I have a several nice bottles of rum, Havana Club, Mt Gay, and access to fresh pineapple juice year round, so perhaps that's the way to go.

                              Thank you!

                            3. Rye Manhattan, up in a martini glass. Manly men drink theirs on the rocks. And its classy both ways.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: funniduck

                                funniduck said: "Rye Manhattan, up in a martini glass."

                                I am ALL FOR breaking down barriers in the cocktail world, and still force
                                bitters-filled dry cocktails, like the manhattan, on my wife's lady friends.
                                More often than not, I hear comments like "It's OK", "it's not my thing", or "too medicinal."

                                There are plenty of whiskey-loving, bitters-loving, classic cocktail drinking women out there, but if your goal is to please as many women as possible with a signature "Girl-y" drink, then I think you would want to temper the rye whiskey with a sweet and sour component, like in the Scofflaw cocktail, that I listed above.

                                Anything with a sugar rim would be good too. ;.)

                                1. re: jerryc123

                                  Oh, I like me a nice well made Manhattan, particularly if you have some home-cured cherries to toss in it. And I have some girlfriends who love them as well, but in this case I am looking for something pretty. And brown drinks are really not pretty drinks.

                                  1. re: jerryc123

                                    I guess. Maybe I am the exception and not the rule. FYI: I am female and I like manhattans, old fashioneds, and bourbon, neat.
                                    The most "girly" i ever get is a gin and soda. The gin is either Plymouth or Hendricks; the others are too cloying sweet for me.

                                2. I had a Halloween party this weekend and served my signature cocktail, the Cointreau Teese. It's a drink inspired by Dita Von Teese for Cointreau.

                                  I made a special trip for the bottle of Creme de Violette and the Cointreau as I usually have Grand Marnier. I quickly found a few new ways to use the Creme de Violette that gives the drink a lovely violet color and slight floral scent. I just suggest that you add a splash of tonic or seltzer. It can get pretty strong if you aren't mixing them one at a time. The pitcher went pretty quickly, male and female guests loved it. It has a nice citrusy flavor from the cointreau along with the floral flavor. For being "girly" it isn't overly sweet.

                                  Cointreau Teese
                                  (1 1/2oz) Cointreau
                                  (3/4oz) Apple juice
                                  (1/2oz) Creme de Violette
                                  (1/2oz) Fresh lemon juice

                                  Frost ginger around the rim of the glass

                                  1. I had a really nice, very pretty cocktail last night called a "White Lady." Gin, cointreau, lime or lemon juice. Garnish with a stemless cherry in the glass. Delicious!

                                    1. Nuts and Berries
                                      This has no vodka in it, but it just a really good after dinner drink and I hope you enjoy just as much as I do

                                      2 oz of Frangelica
                                      2 oz of Chambord
                                      4 oz milk

                                      Place all ingredients in martini shaker and shake well, strain in ice cold martini glass, garnish with, wait…this is so good you don’t need a garnish!
                                      Just drink it! You can also serve with the ice in an 8 oz glass

                                      Depending on what kind of Lady, I love this drink....

                                      Bitch Slammer
                                      1 1.5 liter of sweet sparkling wine
                                      ½ bottle of vodka
                                      Get a fancy pitcher and pour the wine in, now pour the vodka in. Stir well and served ICE COLD in fancy wine goblets. You could garnish with a skewer of raspberries to make it extra fancy.

                                      Then you have the ...
                                      Perfect Lady
                                      Frothy and Fun Gin Cocktail

                                      1 1/2 Tbsp Gin
                                      2 Tsp Peach Brandy
                                      2 Tsp Lemon Juice
                                      1 1/2 Tsp Egg White

                                      Combine all ingredients and a handful of ice into a blender. Blend till frothy. Serve and garnish with a slice of peach.

                                      1. This drink is always a hit.
                                        It is such a hit, sometimes our friends become couch guests.

                                        Mango Matinee

                                        1 oz. Mango flavored rum ( I use Trader Vic's)
                                        1 oz. Mango Flavored vodka ( I use Absolut )
                                        1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
                                        1/2 oz. triple sec
                                        1 oz. Goya Brand frozen mango puree ( comes in a plastic bag in the freezer dept)

                                        Dry shake all ingredients until puree is melted & incorporated. Then shake with again with ice. Serve straight up.

                                        1. I made a Clover Club cocktail tonight and thought of this thread. It is pinkish and a little foamy, and not at all sickly-sweet.

                                          Clover Club:
                                          2 oz. Gin ( I used Gordon's)
                                          1 1/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
                                          3/4 oz grenadine ( I used home-made)
                                          3/4 oz egg white ( I used pasteurized EggBeaters)
                                          1/2 tsp bar sugar

                                          Shake with ice until very cold and serve straight up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.