Moscow mules have been done to death, and your cranberry vodkas have really got to go. A new year is around the corner and that means it’s time to take your novice cocktail orders and give them a sophisticated makeover!

We’re turning your cocktail style from Kristen Stewart to Meryl Streep, Nicolas Cage to George Clooney. You don’t have to settle for a mediocre drink, especially when mixologists work hard to create cocktails with immaculate flavor profiles.

Become the sophisticated wine connoisseur you’ve always wanted to be! Read our blog that doesn’t even come out until January 2017 called “Wine Tasting: The One Time When Spitting Wine Is Appropriate.” That’s right, you get first look!

Caipiroska

Prepared with vodka instead of the usual cachaça, this modern classic is a riff on Brazil’s national cocktail (the Caipirinha). Well-balanced, this cocktail is refreshing from the citrus flavor of the lime to the earthy notes of the rosemary sprig.

2 oz Vodka
1 tbsp Sugar
1 Lime
Sprig of rosemary

Cut lime into wedges. Muddle wedges in an Old Fashioned glass with sugar. Add vodka and ice. Stir well. Slap a sprig of rosemary in between your hands to express the essence of its oils and garnish.

Related cocktail: Substitute gin for the vodka. Add cucumber when muddling. Now you have a Cucumber Rosemary Gimlet—another sophisticated cocktail.

Añejo Honey Sour

This Santa Monica favorite is not your standard tequila cocktail—it’s aged and, well, sophisticated. That’s the point of this blog, right? You can drink this one on your pretend yacht. A play on the Gold Rush cocktail (bourbon, lemon, honey) this smooth, creamy cocktail is just sweet and citrusy enough to balance out the complex, smokey añejo (aged) tequila.

2 oz Añejo tequila
3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Honey syrup
Egg white
Grapefruit peel

The honey syrup is a 3 to 1, honey to water ratio. Combine lemon juice, honey syrup and egg white into shaker and “whip it.” Add the tequila and some ice. Shake again. Double strain into a Coupe cocktail glass. Light a match and warm both sides of the grapefruit peel and express the essence of the oil. Edge the rim, foot and stem. Garnish.

Bourbon Renewal

The Bourbon Renewal is a take on the classic Whiskey Sour and considered one of the most popular cocktails in Portland, Oregon. Created by star mixologist Jeffery Morgenthaler at Clyde Common, the sweet crème de cassis mixes with oaky bourbon to produce this deep, earthy and tart drink.

2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Crème de cassis
1/4 oz Simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into double old fashioned glass with ice. Light a match and warm both sides of the lemon peel and express the essence of the oil. Edge the rim, foot and stem. Garnish.

Sgroppino

This cocktail is commonly enjoyed amongst Venetian locals (Venice, Italy) as a palate cleanser, dessert or pre-dinner drink. It’s a good one for any celebration, especially for the new year.

1/2 c Chilled Prosecco
1 oz Chilled vodka
Lemon sorbet
Fresh mint

Pour the Prosecco and vodka into a Champagne flute.  Spoon a scoop of sorbet into each flute. Garnish with fresh mint.

Vieux Carré

The Manhattan, Old Fashion and Negroni are great, but have you tried the Vieux Carré? Literally meaning “French Quarter,” this spirits-driven cocktail originated in New Orleans at the city’s famed Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteolone circa 1930.

3/4 oz Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Sweet vermouth
5 dashes Bénedictine
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon peel

Add liquids into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir and strain into a Bucket glass over a large ice cube. Garnish by twisting or warming a lemon peel over the surface of the drink to express its oils, edge rim, and then drop the peel into the glass.

Hemingway Gimlet

Earnest Hemmingway loved his gin. Found at Stanton Social on the lower east side (of NYC) this gin and citrus cocktail is seriously refreshing, just like when you find a really good book.

2 oz Gin
1/4 oz Maraschino Luxardo Liqueur
3/4 oz Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 oz Simple syrup
Grapefruit peel

Add ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a Coupe cocktail glass. Garnish by twisting or warming a grapefruit peel over the surface of the drink to express its oils, edge rim, and then drop the peel into the glass.

Cheers!

There you have it—six cocktails for the new, sophisticated you! Drop by sometime for a drink! One of our professional mixologists will whip you up a great cocktail. Have a happy New Year’s, and we’ll see you in 2017!

Still drinking wine out of the wrong glass? Not every wine glass is made the same. Some are better for whites; some are better for reds. Get the 411 on stemware and read the blog  “Are You Ruining the Wine? Choosing the Right Wine Glass.”

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