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Feb 4, 2010 03:27 AM

Here's what in my liquor cabinet now what cocktails can I make?

Okay, I'm looking for a drink I can sip at night to relax. I figured I ask you guys because you are the experts. Every other web bartender site either gives me recipes that I can't use because I don't have it or don't like. so I figured I'd give you guys a list of what I have and what I can get.

What I have currently:

Triple Sec
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Canton Ginger Liqueur
Ruby Port
Creme de Caco
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Sweet vermouth
Lillet Blanc

What I have for mixers:
Sugar (which can be turned into simply syrup)
Lime juice
Lemon Juice
Worcestershire sauce
Rose water
Orange Flower Water

Now what I can make?

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  1. Your booze selection is spirits challenged with only Vodka (not the favorite base spirit around here) and brandy. Assuming your lemon juice is from a fresh lemon and not a plastic one, you can make a Sidecar

    Or a St Germain Sidecar:
    2 oz Brandy/Cognac
    1 oz St. Germain
    1/2 oz Lemon Juice
    If you sugar the rim of the glass, I'd go up to 1oz of Lemon to compensate.

    You could do a ginger Sidecar by substituting the Canton for the St-Germain. Ginger and brandy seems like it goes beautifully to me, especially since the Canton is made with brandy I believe.

    If you pick up a bottle of Prosecco or Cava, you can make a French 75. Or a St-Germain French 75 (by cutting the 1 tsp of simple to 1/2 tsp of Simple plus 1 tsp of St-Germain).

    I suggest you pick up something to take advantage of your Lillet and Sweet Vermouth, like Gin and Rye or Bourbon. A good Bourbon would give you something to sip neat, too.

    Last, there's nothing wrong with a glass of cold Lillet with a squirt of Lemon.

    If you like Margarita's, your only a bottle of Tequila away (by using fresh lime).

    1. That's odd. You have Absinthe, Canton, and Lillet,
      but you don't have gin, whiskey, or rum.
      You need to get those three right away!
      And a bottle of Angostura bitters.

      Is that white or dark Creme de Cacao?

      I think cocktail making is a bit like cooking in so far as sometimes you can "cook from the heart" rather from a recipe, if you think about what ingredients naturally compliment one another.

      The brandy, chocolate liqueur, milk combination looks good for a winter nightcap.
      Perhaps try 2 oz brandy, 1 oz Creme de Cacao or Godiva, 1 or 2 oz milk.
      A Brandy Alexander usually has half-and-half or cream instead of milk.

      The vodka, Lillet, St Germain, lemon juice combination looks promising.
      St Germain is very sweet and floral, and the lemon will provide the sour balance.
      Perhaps try 2 ounce vodka, 1/2 ounce lillet, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/4 ounce St Germain.
      Shake with ice and strain. Lemon twist for garnish.

      I think the brandy, lillet, triple sec, and Canton would go together.
      Perhaps try 3/4 ounce port, 3/4 ounce lillet, 1/2 ounce triple sec, 1/2 ounce Canton.
      Stir with ice and strain. Lemon twist for garnish.

      Do you know about
      It is my favorite resource for what you are trying to accomplish. Type in two or three spirits or mixers that you have on hand, and it will suggest cocktails that use those ingredients.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jerryc123

        I thought I had brandy turns out I don't. Blah, I have to buy that along with Tequila, Gin and Rum. But I made Jerryc123 last suggestion and it's delicious.

        1. re: YAYME

          It's the middle of winter. Forget the tequila and gin for now and buy some bourbon. Assuming that you want heavier drinks in the winter, which most people seem to...

        2. re: jerryc123

          Good god, what time zone are you in?

          I drink Gin and Tequila and Rum and Cachaca all year long. I just tend to make stronger drinks in winter (real Margarita, Martini) and more dilute / refreshing drinks (Gin & Tonic) in summer. I can even sip a neat single malt on a hot summer evening. Maybe I'm weird.

          Now that you've made that vodka drink, buy a bottle of Gin and try it again. I bet you'll like it even better.

          And, yes, you need a good brown liquor. Do you like some form of whiskey (Scotch, Irish, Rye, Bourbon, Tennessee)? If so, start there. Bourbon is flexible -- you can drink it neat, on the rocks, or mix it with any cocktail that calls for either Bourbon or Rye. (It will taste different from Rye, but still be probably good.)

          Scotch and Irish are tasty by alone, but not as useful in cocktails. Same for brandy / cognac. If you love apples, there's Applejack or Calvados. Or a good dark rum is rich, may be sipped, and mixes well.

          Your existing liquor cabinet is like a fridge with bread, ketchup, milk, raspberries, green beans, beer, and a chicken breast. Yes, you'll eat tonight, but you won't have much flexibility in menu.

          Oh, and crack open that Absinthe and try it neat. Then try it with the whole sugar / ice water thing. Two very different drinking experiences and you have the stuff for both.

          1. re: jerryc123

            White and dark crème de cacao are identical except for color. In most cases they're one hundred percent interchangeable, but it will make a Grasshopper look funny.

          2. Hoop La (equal parts brandy, lillet, triple sec, and lemon), an early 1900's classic!

            1. I just remembered it's a pity you don't have any gin, because then you would have the makings for a Twentieth Century Cocktail:

              1.5 oz gin
              3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
              3/4 oz light crème de cacao
              3/4 oz lemon juice
              Shake well with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

              I suppose you could make it with vodka until you get gin, but it's just not going to be the same.

              8 Replies
              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Now I have bought Gin and Rum (Boodles and Berbancourt). Wish I could buy Tequila but the store I usually shop at has a crap selection of Tequila.

                  1. re: white light

                    Great call on the Corpse Reviver--fantastic drink. I did notice that the list above simply says "Triple Sec". In my opinion generic/cheap Triple Sec won't do the drink justice. Not sure what brand the OP is referring to, but I definitely recommend using Cointreau (as prescribed by the recipe on CocktailDB).

                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                      tried the gin don't like it. Sticking with Vodka.

                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        Ember dims, threatening to go out...

                        Keep trying. Gin is one of the great base spirits for cocktails.

                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                          I tried Gin, Chambord and Lemonade last night you were right!

                        2. re: davis_sq_pro

                          That drink sounds pretty sweet, unless it was just a dash of Chambord and lemonade. Try it again with Gin, Chambord, and fresh lemon juice, with the amount of lemon juice between half (if you like it sweet) and equal to the Chambord. Maybe:
                          1 1/2 oz Gin
                          1/2 oz Chambord
                          1/4 to 1/2 oz fresh Lemon

                          Or even:
                          1 1/2 oz Gin
                          1/4 oz Chambord
                          1/4 oz Canton
                          1/4 to 1/2 of fresh Lemon

                          I bet that with repeated attempts, you will like Gin as a base spirit in larger proportions, so that more of the gin (juniper, citrus) flavors come through. You may also find that slowly you start to prefer the sweet more and more balanced with sour.

                          Just curious: about how old are you? We all prefer different drinks at different ages (no shame in it).

                          Good luck.

                  2. Oh and I'm getting Bison Grass vodka.