Grow Up! CP's Guide to Upgrading Your Drink

Grow Up! CP's Guide to Upgrading Your Drink

by Mallory Lindsly
07.11.2008


Face it: you’ve been experimenting with drink mixology for a while now. You started off with rum and coke and slowly graduated to more sophisticated drinks and brands. Or have you? If you’re still ordering screwdrivers when you're old enough to sit at the grown-up table, it’s time lose your juvenile drinks and go high-class. For your drinking edification, CP has mapped out the drinker’s evolution for the three most common poisons: vodka, rum and tequila.

Vodka

Three cheers for the liquor that goes down easily (and hopefully won’t come back up). Vodka mixes well with almost any beverage lying around the house, though most people start combining vodka with fruit juices. There’s method in the madness: sugary substances can mask the strong taste of cheap booze.
Growing up: The next step to a vodka graduation party is the Cosmopolitan, which foregoes cheap plastic cups in favor of eye-catching cocktail martini glasses. This glass requires the experience of more veteran drinkers who can keep the liquid from spilling over its edges.
Adult Drink: Flavored vodka is a micro-trend unto itself, and one of the hottest flavor is Absolut’s Ruby Red, a genius substance that almost completely hides the taste of vodka. If you love amaretto sours but hate the syrupy after taste, this is the drink for you:

Absolut's Ruby Red
Absolute Ruby Sour
1 oz Absolut Ruby Red
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple syrup

Fill glass to the brim with ice cubes. Pour the ingredients into a shaker and shake until ingredients are very cold. Strain drinks onto the rocks and garnish with a cherry and lemon wedge. 
 
Rum 

Remember the first time you even tasted rum? Chances are it was a rum and coke or a frozen daiquiri. The daiquiri has spent much time in the evolutionary gene pool, where it was first invented in Santiago, Cuba, where the only ingredients were rum, lime and sugar. Soon the daiquiri “grew up” with the addition of shaved ice, giving it a similar texture of a smoothie. 
Growing up: The Mojito is what a rum and coke wants to be when it grows up. While popular for decades among elderly women and Southern debutantes, this drink has hit a high note over the past few summers.
Adult Drink: A new cocktail that seems to be on the move is the El Presidente. While it’s  rumored President Calvin Coolidge declined this cocktail during the Prohibition Era, the El President has been adopted by the common folk as a happy hour highlight.

El Presidente
2 oz  Dark Rum
1 oz Martini Rosso Vermouth

Mix ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake and pour into a well-chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cherry.

Tequila

Joe Nichols wrote “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” for a good reason: tequila can have some mind-altering side effects that entrance new drinkers. Most tipplers get their first taste of this Mexican booze by way of the infamous margarita. The frozen variety is particularly dangerous, as the shaved ice masks the tequila taste so well that one can down a few of these before feeling the adrenaline-pumping side effects of the alcohol.
Growing up: The tequila sunrise name didn’t blip on radars until the 1973 Eagle’s single “Tequila Sunrise.” Most bartenders are in a hurry and don’t take the time to coax the grenadine into looking like a sunrise, which requires adding grenadine last and allowing it to sink to the bottom in a red blot.
Adult Drink: Pomegranates are 2008’s trendiest fruit, so a Pometini is the best way to graduate to tequila adulthood. The energizing properties of pomegranate juice and Red Bull will, ironically, make you feel like a kid again.


Pometini
2 oz of Tequila
2 oz of pomegranate juice
3 oz of Red Bull
1 oz pineapple juice

Mix ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake and pour into a well-chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cherry.

-----

All drinks, except for the newest trends, are International Bartenders Association (IBA) Official Cocktails.

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