Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Oct 3, 2012 11:14 PM

now what whiskey cocktails do i need to try...

so lately i have been mastering (and drinking) my favorite whiskey cocktails. my favorite, manhattan, the old fashioned, and whiskey sour. but now i want to try something new, but i dont know what to try ( i dont really care for mint juleps).

here are the stipulations. i cant afford to go out and purchase a bunch of expensive ingredients, and chances are i wont be able to find harder to find things here in canton ohio.
im really interested in trying the Viuex Carre, but i cant afford congac and benedictine. i can barely afford to keep drinking whiskey every night haha.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What liquors/bitters do you currently have?

    3 Replies
    1. re: sku

      I currently have bulliet rye, bulliet bourbon, old overHolt, and Russell reserve rye. A Bourke of noully pray sweet vermouth and angustora bitters. I just purchased a bottle of campari so I can try the boulvadier. That should be good for a few more Weeks when I can splurge on something else. Any ideas on the next thing I should try.

      1. re: sku

        Also I have a bottle of 100% agave tequila, don't remember the brand

      2. "NEED": to try? None. "WANT" to try is another question. And rather than running out to but a bunch of expensive ingredients and/or distillates that you admit you cannot afford, why not just go to a top-notch bar in town and ORDER a cocktail. a) it costs less to buy one drink than to buy a bottle ***for only one drink***; and b) you can then go out and buy only the ingredients you truly KNOW that you want . . . .

        5 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          There are some great places with even better beer selections in a 30 minute radius, but Cleveland is the nearest place that does cocktails well, and that is am hour drive. Gas for two hour round trip plus the price of a couple good cocktails is the same price as adding a bottle of something to my collection. And ill get many drinks!! Haha. I just don't know where to go next, I'm still learning about cocktails. Is there one thing I could add that would give me another cocktail option, our something different to take up, my Manhattan a notch? (although there is nothing I would change about my Manhattan. 2 ounces rye, 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 dash biters. Stir 30 seconds over ice, stain tip chilled cocktail glass.)

          1. re: charles_sills

            I made this one a while back, and it was an interesting twist - but I used an Islay Scotch (Bowmore legend I think) and cut the 1/2 oz of maple syrup by 1/3.


            1. re: ncyankee101

              That sounds awesome. Thank you. I have considered using honey before, but haven't. So I will try it tonight. ice used brown sugar before, have it am almost rum like taste

            2. re: charles_sills

              Try using amaro nonino instead of sweet vermouth for your Manhattan. It's takes it up a notch in my opinion. Amaro nonino is hard to find I've noticed so amaro fratelli razzamati or amaro verna will do from what I've read. I'm about to get the fratelli and see if there is any difference

              1. re: imhappinen

                Amaro Nonino is pretty unique, IMO, but also really pricey. The base-liqueur is higher end, aged grappa, and the result is a somewhat rich, round, and brandy-ish mouthfeel and taste. It's also 70 proof (more than twice the Ramazotti or Averna) which seems like it would make a rather rough Manhattan.

          2. If it turns out you like the Boulevardier, then I would try an Old Pal by adding a bottle of dry vermouth. Vermouth is relatively inexpensive. Warning: it won't be particularly sweet, like the other drinks you've mentioned (except the whiskey sour). That dry vermouth will also let you make a Perfect Manhattan (my preferred variety).

            And then you would be one $20 bottle away from one of my all-time favorite drinks: the Paper Plane. Substitute Campari for Aperol and use whatever brown amaro you can find for the Amaro Nonino. Ramazzotti is available at good liquor stores and is reasonably priced. Or Averna.

            If you like bitter, when your sweet vermouth is gone, replace it with Punt e Mes, a sweet vermouth this is more bitter than normal. Or with another brand to try different options.

            In that vein, if you like the Boulevardier, buy a bottle of gin and try a Negroni. Good gin is much cheaper than good whiskey. Gordon's would be a fine place to start, although I would probably spring for Beefeater or Bombay (regular, not Sapphire). You can now make a Gin & Tonic, Martini, Sweet Martini, Gin / Campari / Soda with lemon or lime.

   | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

            11 Replies
            1. re: EvergreenDan

              i did like the Boulvedardier. i did 1.5 ounces russel reserve rye, 3/4 ounce of vermouth and 3/4 ounce of campari. i really loved it. at first, it seemed way too bitter. but i learned to appreciate it. the second drink i went down to .5 ounce of campari, and i much prefered the first one.

              ironically, my whiskey sour is the sweetest drink i make, at least the way i make them.

              i have been wating to try Punt e Mes. i cant seem to find it locally. all i can find are Martini and Rossi, and Noilly Prat. i have owned both now. (it has really only been maybe a month and a half since i started my obsession with cocktails.)

              i think my next purchase, ill save for, and will get dry vermouth AND gin. that way i can make the Old Pal and martinis. thanks alot, and a negroni!! keep the whiskey drinks coming please!

              1. re: charles_sills

                Welcome to the wonderful world of bitter cocktails.

                You might get a half-bottle of dry vermouth, although sometimes the selection is very limited. Dry vermouth goes off pretty quickly. Keep it in the refrigerator (sweet vermouth too, if there's room). Also, get a Vacu Vin, a system of a cork with a check valve and a pump. You use it to suck most of the air out of an open bottle. Works on still wine, too. That and refrigeration will greatly extend the shelf life of your vermouth.

                Try your next Whiskey Sour sour ... or at least less sweet.

                For some odd reason, I often find Punt e Mes where the Campari and other amari are, rather than where the sweet vermouth is. It can be a little hard to find. If Bud Lite cases are stacked up by the front door, forget it. ;)

                You will have the stuff to make a Rosita -- sort of a perfect tequila Negroni, if you will. With dry vermouth, you can control the sweetness in these Campari / Spirit / Vermouth cocktails. by combining it in whatever ratio you like with sweet vermouth. My favorite Negroni ratio is Perfect (half of each).

                If you (eventually) get a bottle of a brown amaro like Ramazzotti or Averna, you can make a Black Manhattan -- a Manhattan using an amaro in lieu of sweet vermouth.

       | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

              2. re: EvergreenDan

                The Amaro Montenegro is a good substitute for Amaro Nonino, but any darker amaros will make a Paper Plane too bitter. I used my Luxardo Amaro the first time, and had to drop it entirely to make the drink taste even close to a Paper Plane. I also don't think tastewise the Campari is a perfect swap for the Aperol. However, the Paper Plane is an excellent whiskey cocktail when made right.

                1. re: kimfair1

                  Yes, I did not mean to imply that the version I recommended tasted like the current-recipe Paper Plane, but rather that I prefer it, plus it used the ingredient(s) he has.

                  A Campari version (probably) preceded the Aperol version, and also specified Buffalo Trace as the bourbon. This has been widely misprinted (including here in CH) as using Ramazzotti, but the Amaro Nonino is properly used. In researching this, it is unclear when Sammy Ross or Toby Maloney created the Airplane version, and whether the name change was intentional. It does seem that the original version used Campari, and the switch to Aperol (and Elijah Craig) came a bit later. I've contacted the people involved, and I'm not sure we'll every exactly know the history. I still prefer Ramazzotti to Amaro Nonino, though. And it's quite a bit cheaper.

                  I have not had Montenegro, but I've heard it is very orange forward, which would tilt the cocktail away from the blend of a hard pie-spiced amaro plus a bright citrus-forward amaro. Might be excellent nonetheless, but with Aperol, that's a lot of orange in one drink.

                  Fair warning: I like things quite bitter. That said, this cocktail is a template for a huge variety of awesome drinks: equal parts spirit, bright amaro, dark amaro, and acidic citrus.Try Gran Classico, Zucca, just about any mint-free amaro. Lemon, lime, maybe even white grapefruit.

         | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    And to illustrate, tonight was
                    Reposado tequila (Espolon)
                    Luxardo Amaro Abano
                    Lemon juice

                    Superb, although I scaled back the Abano to keep it from dominating too much. Abano has a very strong black pepper flavor.
           | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      I use the Nonino, but my local bartender told me that Montenegro was good in a pinch. I need to seek out the Ramazzotti, however. I generally use the Buffalo Trace as my bourbon.

                      1. re: kimfair1

                        I used Averna, which I've read is a good, cheaper alternative to Amaro Nonino.

                        1. re: kimfair1

                          now that Amer Nouvelle (the "USA" version of Amer Picon) is available, try that instead of Ramazotti

                          1. re: barleywino

                            Do you know how this compares with the Amer Picon available outside the US (which I understand is itself not even the original formula)?

                            1. re: tokyopix

                              Yeah, I second that question. Actually, perhaps we need a new Amer Picon thread.

                              1. re: tokyopix

                                They taste quite similar but the Amer Nouvelle is not caramel colored.

                  2. so many great suggestions here.

                    im dieing to try a sazerac, but im doubting i will be able to find absinthe/herb saint/ or whatever.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: charles_sills

                      Use Pernod or Ricard if absinthe or Herbsaint isn't available. It is just a rinse.

                      1. re: charles_sills

                        My local place has a ten dollar big mini of Absinthe that I use for my Sazeracs.

                        1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                          where are you located? anywhere near canton, ohio? haha

                          1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                            I have that bottle - 100 ml of Grande absente?

                        2. A friend sent this to me yesterday: When Figs Fly--fig jam (or fresh figs), bourbon, orange liqueur (preferably dry CuraƧao), lemon:

                          1 Reply