Three cocktails you must know: Manhattan, SideCar and Daiquiri (recipes)

I love simple, classic cocktails. I’ll save you the “more is less” jargon and simply point out that the vast majority of classic cocktails rely upon four or fewer ingredients with a simple garnish. These classic cocktails have stood the test of time and have offered inspiration for thousands of new cocktails that are typically just a clever variation of the classic. With this in mind I aim to better acquaint you with three classic cocktails that you should know: The Manhattan, Daiquiri, and the Sidecar.

Read more: Three cocktails you must know: Manhattan, SideCar and Daiquiri (recipes)

The wonders of hard apple cider: A substitute for beer fatigue?

Cider Glass

The mention of cider in the U.S. takes most Americans’ thoughts to the cloudy, amber, delicious, but decidedly non-alcoholic beverage found in groceries and farm stands in the fall. Ask for a cider in the U.K. and Ireland, however, and you will be presented with a very different drink. There, cider is most often clear, carbonated, and most definitely possessing alcohol. Many in the states still refer to this variety as hard cider.

Read more: The wonders of hard apple cider: A substitute for beer fatigue?

Fancy, whisky cocktail recipe: The Highland Sour

Sours are often a great and versatile cocktail style taking the essence of the spirit of choice with a fresh, tart, and semi-sweet citrus mix. We love rum, whisky, and Pisco sours and greatly enjoy tweaking the standards.

Read more: Fancy, whisky cocktail recipe: The Highland Sour

Easy, classic cocktail recipe: Knickerbocker

This classic cocktail is one of the oldest drinks you will find in English print. The exact origins are much fodder for debate. Perhaps it was a signature drink of the old Knickerbocker Boat Club in New York. Regardless of its origins, there is no denying that it is a tasty cocktail in any era.

Read more: Easy, classic cocktail recipe: Knickerbocker

Cocktail recipe: The classic Brandy Alexander

At times there is nothing like an “Old School” cocktail made without embellishment. The Brandy Alexander evokes visions and the mood of cocktail parties long disbanded but one I would love to attend from time to time. One of the greatest things about our current cocktail revival is the rediscovery of cocktails long considered passé. The Brandy Alexander is a theme party just waiting to happen.

Read more: Cocktail recipe: The classic Brandy Alexander

Sweet recipe: The return of hot chocolate and cocoa

Hot chocolate; a single sip can bring forth a flood of buoyant memories. The mere mention of the steaming elixir creates mental images of warming yourself near the fire while watching snow fall gently through partially frosted windows. Hot chocolate is the king of comfort foods that is enjoying a renaissance.

Read more: Sweet recipe: The return of hot chocolate and cocoa

Winter warm cocktail: Hot Toddy recipe

This classic winter cocktail can soothe us and at times heal us with its warmth and clever dose of Whiskey. It can be made with great ease and requires no special skills or ingredients. Be sure to brew your tea (loose is best) and use a quality honey.

Read more: Winter warm cocktail: Hot Toddy recipe

Whiskey review: Bushmills “Black Bush” Irish Whiskey, Ireland

This iconic Irish Whiskey was first introduced in the 1930s as “Old Bushmills Special Old Liqueur Whiskey,” a special blend of old malt whiskey matured in Sherry casks. By the 1960s, the distillery had a shortage of old stocks and the label was dropped. Human nature being what it is, the “Black Label” Bushmills’ reputation grew in its absence, moving Bushmills to reintroduce this special blend. Re-branded as “Black Bush,” this upscale whisky was and is a blend of roughly 75% malt whiskey with a respectable portion of Sherry casks.

Read more: Whiskey review: Bushmills “Black Bush” Irish Whiskey, Ireland

Cocktail recipe: Caramel Apple

This caramel apple won’t cause an emergency visit to your dentist. A great cocktail for a Halloween or fall theme party. It’s fruity with a crisp, tart edge just like a good apple. This recipe can easily be multiplied to create a tasty punch for your Halloween and fall parties.

Read more: Cocktail recipe: Caramel Apple

Home bar essentials - tools you need to make great cocktails

Whatever the task, you need the right tool for the job. The same is true for making cocktails at home. Luckily, the right tools are easy to find, thanks to the magic of the Internet, and pretty economical as well. You can put together a basic starter kit of the five essential items we have listed below for under $40. With these five tools, along with a few standard kitchen items, you can make every cocktail out there.

Read more: Home bar essentials – tools you need to make great cocktails