Food

What’s Your Drink?

What's Your Drink?

Do you have a go-to drink you make at home? Knowing how to make a mean cocktail can feel like a hidden talent.

When I first moved into my studio apartment, I bought a bottle of Campari from my new corner shop to celebrate. It was sweet, a little bitter and a nice companion for Sunday-night television premieres. Since then, I haven’t strayed from Italian apéritifs (safe to say, neither has anyone else). Lately, I’ve been drinking Americanos — with equal parts Campari and vermouth, a splash of club soda from a freshly cracked can (very important), and one or two large square ice cubes. If I’m hosting friends, I like to serve Aperol (a less bitter, lower alcohol content apéritif) and sparkling water in a carafe with a handful of orange slices, preferably to the tune of a scratchy old country record. And, like magic, my 175-square-foot apartment feels like paradise.

Do you have a favorite drink? Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway preferred mojitos; Jane Austen, French wine; F. Scott Fitzgerald, gin rickeys; and Maya Angelou, sherry. Cheers!

P.S. On drinking alone, and how to order the perfect glass of wine.

(Photo by Christine Muhlke/Instagram.)

  1. Jana says...

    So you should definitely try Negroni – the Milanese type of the Americano. Campari, Vermouth & Gin plus large ice cubes and, very important, orange zest.
    Or, a little lighter, Negroni Sbagliato (italian for “wrong”) for which you use Prosecco instead of Gin.
    Salute!

  2. Nice article..

  3. polyana says...

    When I want to unwind in the evenings, I’ll go for a glass of red wine, or a G&T on warmer days (or a glass of whiskey when I’ve had a rough client). As for hosting, since we love G&Ts, for my birthday last year, we had a party at our apartment, and my boyfriend bought a few bottles of gin, tons of tonic, and put together a G&T bar with sliced limes, mint leaves, cucumber sticks and rosemary stems, and colorful stirrers so my friends could join me in celebrating with my favorite drink (and various variations of it).

  4. I learned to drink the famous Aperol Spritz when I was in Paris (I avoided it the whole time I was in Italy… unfortunately!) however a classic mojito will always be dear to my heart.

  5. Jess says...

    Smiling ear to ear because of this post! I am a die-hard negroni girl!

  6. Shelly Bailey says...

    I also love American/Campari/old fashion. Thanks for mentioning…..have you been to Amor y Amargo? Delicious and fun.

  7. Paige says...

    Fun tip: almost all good cocktail bars will give you the recipe for their drinks if you ask nicely! Those are some of my most treasured slips of paper in my recipe box! :)

    • Paige this is so cool! Definitely didn’t know this and will absolutely try it!

  8. stefana says...

    We’re currently doing Moscow Mules every evening and my only dislike with them is how fast I need a refill. Vodka, ginger beer, ice, a wedge of lime and (very important!) one or two slices of cucumber that take it to a new level of freshness and make for a fun, edible cocktail stirrer.

  9. Gloria says...

    My favorite ital. drink ( besides Montepulciano) would be an Aperol mix: either Aperol Spritz or Aperol Sour. Both very nice sundowner even in cloudy Germany.
    Aperol Spritz is 2parts Aperol, 3 parts Whitewine or Prosecco and 1 splah Soda top with a black olive.
    Aperol Sour is 5 cl Aperol, each 2cl lemon juice and Sugar syrup and 3cl orange juice. Shake with ice cubes and top with a slice of orange.

    • Both of these sounds heavenly. Will have to try for summer!

  10. Amanda DeWit says...

    We’ve been hooked on Mark Twain cocktails: fresh-squeezed lemon juice, scotch, bitters and simple syrup. Give it a good shake, and voila! Everyone we make it for says it’s the best cocktail they’ve ever had.

    We got the recipe from this cocktail book. It quickly became a favorite and makes a great gift. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0762457260/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500600435&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=the+new+cocktail+hour&dpPl=1&dpID=61k1iQj5U-L&ref=plSrch

  11. My new drink, rosé and grapefruit La Croix. It’s the pink wine spritzer that makes summer so fly. Also, it makes me feel like Ned Flanders, which I enjoy.

    • Absolutely need to try this immediately, can’t actually believe I’ve been living without this.

    • MA says...

      Makes you feel like Ned Flanders – ha!! Now that is a great reason to enjoy a drink. I love Ned.

  12. jenni says...

    Gin and tonic all the way. I love scotch on the rocks. I love rose and ice. Or a french 52

  13. This is a lovely comments section! I got so many ideas!!

    I stick with champagne! I decided life was too short to not celebrate everyday, so why not celebrate with the most sparkling of drinks?

    It’s a dream of mine to open a bookstore with a chic champagne bar :)

    • Veronica says...

      Now THAT would get me to read more books ;)

    • Sherri says...

      Books and Bubbles! 💕💕

    • omg so glad you guys like the idea!! I guess I’ll have to run with it :)

  14. Bombay pimms. Pimms No.1 and ginger beer. Strawberries and pomegranate seeds as required. SO DELICIOUS.

  15. yes to all the italian aperitifs! our other go to drinks are bourbon rickeys (bourbon, soda water, and a squeeze of lime) or maple bourbon sours (a’la Julia Turshen’s recipe from Small Victories).

  16. CK says...

    Gin, fresh lemon juice, muddled mint and elderflower liqueur

    • Jackie says...

      Have these ingred. Going to make one right now! Xo

  17. Ashlee says...

    Bars: Gin & Tonic (with lots of lime)
    Casinos: Tequila Sunrise (feels especially loud in that setting and tastes great even though typical casino cocktails are generally terrible)
    Restaurants: Margarita (on the rocks w/ salt) for summer or Moscow mule during fall/winter
    Football Season: Hard Apple Cider or Blue Moon
    Christmas/NYE: Champagne with Chambord and fresh berries

    • Amanda says...

      Yes to all!

    • Janine says...

      What a great selection!

    • talia says...

      YES! Great list!

  18. Rachel Oliphant says...

    I don’t drink, I eat. And have been craving the pictured pigs-in-a-blanket!

  19. Ali says...

    Anything that involves sparkling wine. Aperol Spritz, French 75 and the old/new Seelbach. Divine.

  20. Ivy says...

    When I need a break from the various Campari based concoctions –
    Vermouth Bianco (sweet, white vermouth – NOT dry!) with 1 or 2 ice cubes, lemon, or orange twist…best enjoyed outdoors or at least near a window.
    After dinner, Amari of various sorts.

  21. Paige says...

    I LOVE Americanos after sipping them by the sea on a trip to Nice (how snooty is THAT?)! But my #1 all time favorite go to drink is called a Hanky Lanky staring gin and Fernet Branca. #2 (if you’re not into Fernet) is a Martinez. Both are heaven in a cocktail glass.

    • Paige says...

      Ugh. Autocorrect. Hanky Panky!

  22. Leslie says...

    I love an Aperol spritz Or and Americano–although I’ve had more than one bartender tell me they don’t serve coffee when I’ve ordered one out. This summer I’m loving a gin rickey: gin, 1/2 lime, fuzzy water. So refreshing.

  23. Wuselbibi says...

    I love white wine. Dry, with lots of fruit, tangy but not in a sparkling way.
    White Burgundy, Colombard, Riesling or Grüner Veltliner can be delicious. Served as cold as the fridge can go, but never with ice! I’m sure I’d be hearing the poor, delicious wine crying in the glass while the ice cubes crack and melt the taste away.

    Sometimes I’ll take a rosè, but will be back to my favourite whites the next time!

    When I’m out and no good wine is available, I’ll take a Hugo or a Mojito!

    • Paige says...

      Gruners have been our jam this summer!

    • Wuselbibi says...

      😍 heart eyes! Where do you buy it in the US? (If you are living there.) As far as I know, Grüner Veltliner is common only in Austria and Germany.

      Cheers to you with a great glass with “Pfefferl”

      Also, did you ever try Scheurebe? You might like her…. tastes a lot like blackcurrant and is fruity, fresh and juicy. I’d recommend to try it if there is an opportunity!

    • Anna P says...

      Hurray for Scheurebe and Gruener Veltiner! But my favorite of the Frankonian German wines is Silvaner or Mueller-Thurgau. Good luck finding these though; most of the wine produced in Frankonia is consumed within a hundred kilometers of the region. They love what they produce!

  24. Whiskey! I have a super hard time drinking liquor straight (even things you’re supposed to, like scotch), so I usually mix it with a bit of whatever sweet drink we have in the house. Right now we have a delicious blackberry lemonade from Huberts, so that’s what my whiskey is currently cozying up to!

  25. Midge says...

    Jack and lemonade in the summer, bourbon and ginger ale in the fall, Frangelico over ice with a float of cream at Christmastime, strawberry daiquiris for my birthday, Kir Royales when I’m out. And year-round: tequila with margarita mix and orange juice — we call it a Margarita Sunrise. I love cocktails!

  26. Alex says...

    I’m totes preggers, so haven’t been enjoying my summertime favorite, Negronis. I also love a Boulevardier (like a Negroni, but instead of gin, bourbon!). Oh how I want one right now, with a thick orange slice and lots of ice…lil’ baby, you’d better be cute ’cause mama’s foregoing summertime cocktails for you! ;)

    • Alex, I’m so with you! I’m at 33 weeks and missing all the Negronis, Americanos and Aperol Spritzs that usually mean lazy summertime evenings (or afternoons, let’s be honest.) It seems like a small thing to miss in the grand scheme of babylife but man LaCroix is just not a substitute.

  27. Mary says...

    Vodka and soda, with a squeeze of lime and lots of ice. Doubles after we play co-ed soccer.

    • jules says...

      I’ve been adding some bitters to vodka soda this summer and I love it!

  28. I’m a Scotch fan, myself (neat, please), but if cocktails are in order, I like to experiment with things citrusy or herbal. My most recent find is a Paloma recipe with Mezcal rather than the typical tequila (shameless plug, it is on my blog!). Gin muddled with cucumber and soda is nice, too.

    • Tay says...

      YES! Love mezcal, love a Paloma! Will have to check out your recipe

  29. Amanda Huskin says...

    I know it typically works better in winter, but my husband and my go-to drink is an Irish Coffee. It’s like dessert. He just handed me one before dinner though and I’m not complaining.

  30. I came across he most insane looking drink on Instagram a while back from Pub Royale in Chicago – a “dressed Hamm’s”. I tried it at home and while I wouldn’t recommend more than one unless you have an iron stomach, it was REALLY GOOD. Take a Hamm’s beer, cover the whole top of the can in Valentina hot sauce, put some spicy salt on top, crack open the can and stick a lime wedge in the mouth. Every sip of cheap ass beer gets a little salt, lime, and hot sauce. Mmmmmm

  31. MM says...

    If you love Aperol Spritz you should try a “Hugo”. It’s been very popular in Italy and Austria as a summer longdrink for a few years:

    Prosecco, elderflower sirup, soda, a few leaves of fresh mint and slices of lemon

  32. Sara says...

    Sazerac all they way. I can make an okay one myself, but you really have to go to either a super hipster bar or a really old school hotel bar for the bartender to know what one is and make it well. And on my list to make this summer is Il Palio, which sounds like the perfect summer drink for this bourbon lover: http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/il-palio-manhattan-boulevardier-cocktail

  33. My two favs at home are. 1) 2 shots kettle vodka, 1/2 lime juiced, about 2tsp symple syrup. Shake over ice. Pour in tall ice glass and top with very fizzy sparkling water. 2) One large glass sauv blanc, 3 large ice cubes, 1 tbs compari. stir.

  34. White porto and Schweppes! I tasted it during a wine tour at Calem cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is divided from the town Porto by the river Douro. Our expert guide was a young woman with the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard: listening to her we couldn’t help but falling in love with porto wine forever (and buy a lot of bottles at the end of the tour!). It was eleven summers ago, my last trip as single!

  35. Anne says...

    Hemingway Daiquiri – white rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur.

    • Paige says...

      this is one of the first real cocktails I ever drank and it’s still a favorite!

  36. So many exotic options to try…….I am a simple Jack Daniels on ice kinda gal, but I am making a list of things to try.

  37. I love a good, dry rosé. The best one I’ve found is French – it’s call Les Fleurs du Mal. Worth seeking out.

  38. Love this post, Stella! For dinner parties, I’ve been making simple blood orange margaritas (100% blood oj + espolon + lime +triple sec). I have a theory that tequila makes people dance, so it always end up being a dance party. :) :) And my friend makes the prettiest white wine spritzer — she just adds a little ginger beer, a dash of bitters, and then a TON of cut citrus. It’s especially perfect sipping in mason jars while gossiping. And coming up with alternative names for Beyoncé’s children :D.

    P.s. two thumbs up for those pigs in a blanket. XO

    • kirstin says...

      oooh they all sound lovely

  39. Sarah says...

    Aperol Sprizt – cheers!

  40. Alice says...

    Negronis, whiskey sours, and brambles. And I always have and forever will enjoy a g&t or whiskey st the end of a long day.

    My husband, drawing on his long-past bartender days in Italian cocktail bars, makes my drinks mostly. He occasionally still creates cocktail menus for bars. He’s not great at diy, but he does drinks so, so, well He makes all the classics and experiments a lot. He won my mum over on their first meet with a caprihina, and created my sister her own cocktail for her wedding day that he personally trained the bar staff for and helped serve to 100+ people while in his kilt. He doesn’t always serve up in his kilt, sadly.

  41. Maire says...

    At home, I just make G&Ts, or I make up a sangria with a bottle of wine, whatever LaCroix, soda and fruit is in the fridge, and maybe a tiny hit of brandy. When I go out for cocktails though, my go to order is always, always always a Sidecar. (cognac, cointreau and a twist of lemon)

  42. Amanda says...

    One of many, this one we dubed after a vacation to Beaver Creek Colorado… The Sour Beaver: sour mix, cranberry juice, vodka and a splash of lemon juice.

    Other wise, Merlot 100% :-}

  43. Tess says...

    Gin and tonics with extra lime. Perfect anywhere, anytime (cooking Christmas dinner at home, at sunset on a porch in Maine, at a bar in Cambodia, while watching a movie after a horrible day at work,…)

  44. I’m a gin and tonic girl too :) I also like gin and lemonade in the summer!

    • Amanda says...

      or Gin in Limeade!

  45. Egle says...

    Oh, Campari is my biggest love! You should try Campari Orange (1part of Campari & 3parts of Orange juice) add some ice and it’s the best drink ever! As you, Stella, i am also a huge Aperol Spritz fan, there’s nothing better than Aperol Spritz on a warm summer day and the coctail is very easy to remember 3-2-1 (3parts of prosecco, 2 parts of Aperol and 1part of soda) and i have to say, you really need to measure as that makes a huge difference! also we were recently visiting Chicago and barman added green olive, i have to say it was delicious!!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Egle, I have never heard of Campari Orange — I can’t wait to try it. Thank you! The green olive tip is awesome, too.

      xoxoxo

  46. Abby says...

    I have two:

    One is just a regular ol’ gin and tonic. Although the original hardly needs improving, I love adding different things: Thai basil, cucumbers, rose syrup, different bitters, etc.

    The other is a Milano. It’s equal parts gin, Galliano, and lemon juice, shaken with ice, then strained into a pretty glass. They’re dynamite.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yum, Abby! Thanks for sharing xoxox

  47. AJ says...

    Loving your style Stella! Must admit, unless I’m hosting a party (rare!) at home it’s usually just wine or sometimes a G&T at the weekend (but going off those). But this has totally inspired me to mix up some more exciting drinks to enjoy at home – just for me! I love an aperol spritz.

  48. Elizabeth says...

    It depends on the season! Right now, it’s so hot in Nashville that my husband and I have been reaching for tequila or vodka–usually mixed with juice and topped with whatever flavor of La Croix we have on hand. Thank god it’s almost quitting time because I could go for one right now. :) Also, I’m making those Americanos this weekend. They look divine!

  49. Kelly says...

    After a trip to the south of France & Italy earlier this summer, we are all Aperol, all the time. Spritz me! #AperAllDay :)

  50. In the winter I love a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, sometimes a dark & stormy with bundaberg ginger beer, and in the warmer months I like a weak vodka gimlet – although let’s be real, I’ve pretty much been on a chilled white/rose wine IV drip since March, haha!

  51. A mojito! Unless I’m at a dive, then it’s bourbon & soda w/ lime. At home, I love making cocktails, and need to spend more time messing around with them! I love mixing up different margaritas at home in the summer, and during the chillier months, bourbon on the rocks gets me by.

    Mostly, though, I’m drinking craft beer or wine.

    • Eliza says...

      Mmmm. I could drink mojitos by the gallon. I don’t, but I could. The perfect summer drink.

  52. liz says...

    My dad used to bartend. I visited him at work one hot summer afternoon before the evening rush. It was quiet and we talked a bit about how things were going for me. I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling great and he brought me bitters on ice. It was perfect, cool, sort of herbal, settled my nerves and tummy. My other sweet memory of having a drink took place in Paris. My sister and I stopped at a café one evening while we were waiting for a table at a restaurant near by. We sat outside and ordered Kirs. The waiter was tickled that we ordered a French drink. He was curious how we had come to even hear about it. We had a fun time talking to him while we enjoyed the drinks.

    • Paige says...

      You’re so right about bitters! Their original purpose was medicinal! I love a few drops of peychauds in sparkling water to soothe my tummy!

  53. Janine says...

    Filthy Vodka Martinis. I basically want olive brine in a glass with a splash of vodka. They never make them dirty enough for my liking at bars. Luckily, my husband has become my personal bartender. Returning the favor is easy, as he likes a scotch on the rocks.

    • Jackie says...

      Haha. This reminds me of the drink my husband and I call Dirty Martinez. Basically a super dirty gin martini. :)

  54. Paige says...

    My boyfriend introduced me to French 75s when we first started dating and when I never knew what to order at bars. Champagne, gin, fresh lemon, and a little simple syrup. I always feel so classy ordering them, and they are simple enough to wow my guests at home.

  55. Caipirinhas because I’m Brasilian and they’re refreshing. But Mojitos are a yummy option too. As of late I’ve been drinking Pimms Cup but I’d like to think it’s because I’m flashing back to my London days when I imbibed in them because they tasted like delicious fizzy water.

    • Sarah says...

      I love Caipirinhas!

  56. Ruth says...

    wait, you live in 175 square feet?! apartment tour, please!

    • Hannah says...

      I was about to say the same thing! Yes to this!

    • Kerry says...

      Yes, I was in to the drink tips then got totally distracted imagining myself in 175 square feet. Aw, New York! I’d love to see and hear how you make it work.

    • Stephanie says...

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Yes please!

  57. Suzanne says...

    When I’m lazy: La Croix + vodka. (Tastes so refreshing in the summer!)

    When I’m fancy: a bourbon cocktail with bitters. MMMMM!

  58. I love anything with st. Germain. My favorite right now is lemonade, club soda, st. Germain, and vodka. It is so delicious.

  59. Melissa says...

    I just returned from vacation in Ireland where I learned how to make a proper Bailey’s coffee. Yum!

  60. JP says...

    French 75! Or lately, at home I’ll freeze rose and blend it with frozen fruit – raspberries, strawberries, or mango. So good!

  61. Melanie says...

    I learned to love Aperol Spritz when I was in Venice two years ago. But my go to drinks are either a Bacardi and diet coke or a rich Cabernet sauvignon.

  62. K says...

    Manhattans! My husband and I like to order them out without any detail of up or on the rocks to see what the bartender does. It’s different everywhere. Our mission this year was to perfect the cocktail at home and I think we’ve done it!

  63. Ashley says...

    Not that it’s a cocktail, but everyone that knows me even slightly knows that my drink is Jameson on the rocks! I love having “my drink”. I love that it isn’t sweet, that it isn’t too difficult to drink, that it gets slightly more mellow as the ice melts, that it doesn’t require mixers, and I love that I know how 1, 2, 3, 4 of them will affect my body! :)

  64. I don’t drink alcohol, but it’s a dream of mine to have a few cocktail options on hand that I could mix for people when entertaining. Right now the only option is the half a bottle of vodka in my freezer, kept for use in pie crusts.

    My favorite drinks are lemonade and sweet tea, and sadly even in the summer I’m not guaranteed a bar in NYC will have either!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      vodka in pie crusts? that’s awesome, i’ve never heard of that!

    • Lorena says...

      Katie, you had me at pie crusts! By any chance, do you have a link to your recipe that uses vodka in the pie crust? Intriguing!

  65. Years ago there was a cocktail recipe on the Anthro blog for the “Garden Greyhound”–vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, homemade rosemary simple syrup, and a splash of club soda. SO good! I’ve only made the rosemary syrup a few times, but sometimes I’ll do a lazy Greyhound with just the grapefruit, vodka, and soda. Also I make “Tito’s Mojitos,” another lazy weeknight cocktail using Trader Joe’s staples–Tito’s vodka, that fresh limeade they sell by the quart, and club soda. So refreshing!

  66. elizabeth r says...

    A great caipirinha is always good. A great mojito is also very refreshing. I am not great at crafting cocktails but I for sure appreciate them. I don’t love vodka, am getting a taste for bourbon, and am a sucker for anything with elderflower. A French 75 is also a nice treat.

  67. golden earth girl says...

    I don’t drink but I am really loving Dr Brew’s komucha. They have great flavors like hints of thyme/lavender or rose, also a spicy habanero mango one. Plus they are good for you!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      They sound so delicious! Added to my grocery list :)

    • Jackie says...

      Great to know!! Thank you for mentioning. That’s my only beef with G&Ts- the sugary tonic gets to be too much.

  68. Nina says...

    Manhattans when it’s cold, Negronis when it’s hot!

  69. Jac says...

    I like having a really nice cognac at home and gin and tonics when I am out!

  70. Kari says...

    When I go out: definitely love a negroni! At home: sparkling wine with a splash of Campari, and my homemade sangria which is equal parts dry red wine and a blood orange Pellegrino. Garnish with some fruit, if you wish. Guests ask for the recipe all the time and I’m like, “You guys. It’s a total hack.” Hahaha.

    • Alex says...

      Your quick sangria sounds so much better than the one I remember my mother making when I was a kid: red wine and FRESCA!

    • Andrea says...

      Alex: red wine and fresca is delicious! It’s called Tinto de Verano in Spain, where I first encountered it.

  71. Kat says...

    Question – do you have any tips for tuning down amazing drinks? I drink water, that’s it! Personal preference. No soda, no juice, no wine, nothing. Just plain old boring water! I find it tricky to gracefully turn things down with a new crowd. Thanks!!!

    • elizabeth r says...

      Just say “Just water for me, thanks!” and if they push it or say something like “But I make the best sangria!” you can say something like “I am sure it is delicious, but I prefer water.” Most people won’t push it past that. Most people won’t push it past the first statement if they are good hearted. There are all sorts of people don’t drink-calories, a personal or family history of alcoholism, etc. I doubt most, if any, human would judge you for your water preference. We could all stand to drink more water. If anybody does judge you, that’s not a person you want to be around. True friends like your personality no matter what.

    • Lisa says...

      My husband also doesn’t drink. He never explains himself (because it’s his own business!), and just says, “No thanks, I don’t drink.” If we’re out at a bar with friends, he always gets club soda with lime. And if we’re going to a party at someone’s house, we always bring a pack of La Croix with us. I feel you though – drinking is such a cultural thing, it can almost feel like your making others uncomfortable if you don’t!

    • I’ve showed up at parties with my own lemon and mint. Sliced and muddled in a wine glass, then topped up with water. I call it ‘fancy water’. I get ‘oooh, what’s that?’ a lot.

    • I’m an all water all the time kinda lady myself. I just say “that looks lovely but I don’t drink. I’m good with water, thank you!”
      That’s usually good enough for most people.

  72. katherine says...

    At home, if I just want a drink to have on the couch while I watch tv or read a book, I like to have old fashioneds in the winter, and campari sodas (with a little bit of gin sometimes) or white wine in the summer.

    If I’m having pals over, I like to make jalapeno margaritas–i stick a sliced jalapeno in the tequila a day or two before everyone comes over, and make a pitcher of them. It’s really good!

    And if I’m out for a drink, I loooove dirty gin martinis! Too fussy to make on my own (so many IMPLEMENTS to clean, nothankyou) but I love them. They make me feel sexy and adult. And actually, I kind of like having a drink that I only ever order when I’m out? It makes dirty martinis feel a little extra special.

  73. Michelle says...

    I was served a Prosecco and Aperol with big ice cubes a few days ago, it was delicious and great for the summer. Gin and tonic is good too – I don’ t usually like it that much but tried a new local gin and it gave the drink a really nice lemon/vanilla note. Garnish with a sprig of mint!

  74. raq says...

    If you like Aperol and Amaro- you should DEF try a Paper Plane- equal parts Amaro Nonino, Aperol, Bourbon and Lemon juice. Its my favorite drink!

  75. Alyssa says...

    I’m pretty simple. I’ve always loved just a vodka tonic or a vodka sprite. I love Jim Beam Apple with club soda. I just don’t like anything too sweet but nothing too bitter either. And it has to be super cold when I drink it!

  76. Liz says...

    I’m on a negroni kick now, but my old standby is bourbon + ginger beer + a few dashes of apple bitters. SO GOOD!

  77. Jodi says...

    Whenever I am traveling to Austria, I am always ordering what is called a “weisser spritzer” – essentially a white wine spritzer. It is so refreshing, so simple, and you can drink a few of them without getting a wine headache or becoming tipsy. It’s similar to the Hugo drink others mentioned but no flavored with the syrup.

  78. Lee says...

    My solid has always been – and probably always will be – a Manhattan with Amarena (preserved Italian cherries). If you haven’t switched to these cherries in lieu of the anemic awfulness of american cocktail cherries, you DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING. They are amazing on cheesecake, in a cocktail or straight out of the jar (shhh…).
    My favorite place to enjoy a cocktail is Sel Rrose in NYC. You can order anything on the menu and it will be stellar.

    • Alex says...

      We used amarena cherries as the standard cocktail cherries at the restaurant I used to work at and they are THE BEST! Plus they made the perfect mid-shift pick-me-up.

  79. Becca says...

    Wine spritzers are my jam these days. Any wine (literally any, the grosser the better) and any kind of sparkling water (flavors are ok, sprite works too). Squirt of fresh citrus (again any kind, there’s a theme here …) and you’re good to go! My fave thing about the spritzer is that it’s low alcohol and hydrating, and gives you a tiny buzz but leaves you feeling fine! My husband make a great mezcal margarita but I can’ t have too many of those and be a productive person the next day ;-)

    • Alyssa says...

      Mmm I discovered the magic of some pinot grigrio with a peach pear LaCroix last year. I get exactly what you’re talking about…it’s half water but you still feed good!

  80. DC says...

    Tequila and grapefruit juice with a sprig of something from the herb garden. Cheers!

    • Summer says...

      I second that! So good!

    • Michelle says...

      Well that sounds perfect and so easy!

  81. Jenna says...

    At home I go between a few different drinks: a glass of wine, a red wine spritzer (a few ounces of red over ice, a generous splash of whatever flavor of Polar seltzer is open, a dash of OJ, a squeeze of lime), a gin and tonic but only in the warmer months, or Smitten Kitchen’s Vermontucky (bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice and water).

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Delicious, Jenna!

    • Erin says...

      Vermontucky! Nice.

      Have you ever had a Vermosa? Apple Cider and champagne! So yummy in the fall!

  82. Vodka, lime, a can of any-flavored La Croix.

  83. Marie says...

    I’ve never had Aperol. Where do I buy this? Is there a specific brand? My summer drink is a Pure la croix mixed with 1800 coconut tequila and a squeeze of fresh lime. So refreshing!!

  84. Megan says...

    I’d love to see your apartment! I’m living in a small space too and would love ideas. My go to has been a gin and tonic – so refreshing.

  85. Courtney says...

    Wine. In fact, in college, I used to hide bottles of red wine in my purse when we went out to bars because college bars never had a decent house red. #oldsoul

    On another note, can we go back to 175 square feet?! We need a house tour ASAP!

  86. shelley says...

    cucumber vodka, lemonade, soda water. tastes like a spa, it is dangerous.

  87. Kate says...

    I bottled Americanos in individual servings for the 4th of July (with cute flag bottle caps!). I was excited and everyone agreed they were adorable, but only a few actually enjoyed the bitterness. Their loss–my fridge is stocked for a while!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha, Kate. I feel you! Such a cute idea, though.

  88. Stella, Quality Italian in Midtown makes THE BEST Aperol cocktail I have ever had, and it’s easy to recreate at home: pour 1-2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses into a wine glass. Add 1 ounce Aperol and stir until the pomegranate molasses is dissolved. Stuff a fat wheel of grapefruit into the glass and top off with Prosecco. Delicious.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Lucy!!!!! You are amazing. This sounds so, so wonderful. On my list now!

  89. shannon says...

    Does anyone at COJ drink coffee?? My husband and I don’t drink alcohol, but we are in luuurrrve with our Nespresso machine. Would love to see coffee recipes/rituals/tips featured sometime.

  90. Melanie says...

    Bourbon old fashioned’s (tho my version is a bit more simple – bourbon, a splash of bitters, a twist of orange, a marachino cherry and a large round ice cube). I’m also a big fan of craft beer, and the darker the better. Though for some obscure reason ever since giving birth a year ago my tastes have changed and I suddenly love Chardonnay (which I used to detest) so this summer i’ve been keeping a box (the good kind) around. Any one else’s tastes change after having a baby?

    • Paige says...

      I’m a big red wine person, and after having my son, some of my favorite wines just tasted a little…off. maybe from not drinking for so long? I powered through it and am thankfully back to normal now! Can’t think of any i started liking that i didn’t like before though. Child birth does weird things to a person!

  91. Erin says...

    it’s either moscow mules or margaritas! but i’m definitely favoring beers — more specifically sour beers that my husband picks up for me! so good!

    • Trisha says...

      woot! feeling you on the beers!

    • Rose says...

      If you like sour beers, try La Folie from New Belgium Brewery. It’s pricy ($15 for a large bottle where I live) but SO, so good!

    • Sara says...

      YES to the mules, margaritas and beer!!!

    • Erin says...

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE sour beers! Must be an Erin thing.

    • Paige says...

      Mmm sour beers!! :)

  92. jen says...

    Dutch chocolate flavored wine from the dollar store. Over ice.

    • MBH says...

      My quick and easy drink this summer = trader joes jalapeno limeade + tequila and DONE :)

  93. Dawn says...

    Bacardi Oakheart and Ginger in a can: it’s like the best dark and stormy of your life and all you have to do is pour it from the can! My family and I were at a Blue Jays game on a recent trip through Canada and some locals suggested we try it; we are hooked. Only caveat: it seems to be sold only in Canada (if I’m wrong, someone please let me know!). We’re getting a friend who is visiting home in Montreal to stock up for us!

    http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/oakheart-ginger/497826#.WW-UELFOmf0

  94. Kelsey says...

    I like a bourbon old fashioned at home. I like a fancy cocktail or an interesting glass of wine when I’m out!

  95. Carrie says...

    I think I am allergic to alcohol! I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older I can’t even get through one drink without feeling AWFUL! It’s as if the hang over symptoms show up immediately. I can drink wine without any issues, and maybe one beer…but I just cannot do mixed drinks. Strange how it’s gotten worse with age.

    • Amanda says...

      Same. It’s a bummer, isn’t it? I’m really trying hard to embrace being a teetotaler since on drink makes me feel bad. Fresh squeezed fruit in my water helps. Bubbly water with a little juice and some kind of herb thrown in is good too. RIP our drinking days!

    • A lot of hard liquor (and, really any alcohol) can give me migraines. Might be something to check out as they are common migraine triggers…

  96. Maureen says...

    I’m Scottish and Scottish gin has made a huge surge in popularity in recent years. I recommend you Google “5pm Gin Map of Scotland” to see a really cool map of Scottish gins which includes their botanicals and the garnish recommended by the distiller.

    An interesting garnish really jazzes up a G&T, and the garnishes on the map include torn basil, kiwi and loads more you wouldn’t usually consider. My favourite is Eden Mill Love Gin from St Andrews which recommends frozen raspberries as a garnish.

  97. Elizabeth R says...

    I vote for a post on how to make good cocktails in bulk for pitchers.

    • Courtney M says...

      Yes!

    • Mina says...

      Yes!

    • Sara says...

      YES!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Great idea, Elizabeth! We’ll keep that in mind. Thank you!!

  98. Stacy says...

    I know this isn’t the point of your article, but OMG Stella — if you are living in a 175-sq-ft studio apartment, I hope you will show us how you decorate it! I (along with a bunch of your readers, I bet) love to see creative and thoughtful ways of decorating tiny spaces. :)

    If I’m drinking at home on a normal night, my go-to drink, I’m embarrassed to say, is a bourbon-and-coke. If I feel like putting any effort into it (or my husband is willing to make me one) I’ll almost always have a classic bourbon Old Fashioned (no muddled fruit for me thx) or classic Manhattan (with Rittenhouse Rye).

    This post makes me want a cocktail and it’s only 10 a.m.!

    • shannon says...

      YES, please have us “over for a tour.” We’d love it. :)

    • Jac says...

      Yeah my studio is about the same size! And I like having everything at hand…but every single thing seems to feel like clutter. Post please!

  99. Kelley says...

    My husband and I live in ~400 square feet up by Prospect Park and that’s pretty small — but 175 is impressive, lady!

    Current fave drink: a French 75 w/gin topped with a splash of Prosecco — garnish with a lemon twist to make it feel a little extra fancy ;)

  100. Super gingery dark and stormy!

    • Louisa says...

      Me, too – Maine Root ginger ale and a dark rum. My 6-year-old neighbor loves ginger ale and when he drops by I make him a ginger ale and I get a dark & stormy. :)

    • brianna says...

      Louisa, that’s the cutest thing ever.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cute, louisa!

  101. Kelly says...

    My sister sent me a gift card to Cocktail Courier after I had given birth to my daughter. (btw, great new Mom gift :) ) and they sent me the ingredients for a smoky old fashioned. Holy. They specifically used Cleveland Underground Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Hickory Wood, but I think a variety of bourbon’s would do. Simple syrup; 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters; a rinse of Triple Sec, and, the kicker, a garnish of smoked rosemary.
    Normally, I’d do a Negroni on a summer night. And someone mentioned Pimm’s cup which I need to bring back into my life.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yum!!!! This sounds so delicious.

  102. g says...

    I love a good gin and tonic….i’ve recently discovered rose gin, which is so delicious mixed with some tonic, ice, and a few dashes of bitters.

    On a different note, I would love to see an apartment tour of Stella’s studio! I live in a small space and I love to see how other people make it work

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Rose gin sounds so amazing, G! That sounds like a game changer.

      And thank you for your note about small space living! We will definitely keep that in mind — I’m still going through a lot of trial and error with my apartment :)

  103. Ami says...

    If you like Campari, try to find Bigallet China-China — it is like Campari except 91,000 times better! It’s also impossible to find, but it’s like my personal treasure hunt. A shot over club soda + a twist of orange is easily my favorite drink.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ami, thank you for this tip!!! Will now be on the lookout. :)

  104. Em says...

    I hated drinking until I discovered whiskey gingers (which I can now throw back with relative ease). They’ve become my drink, and people are always so impressed whenever I march up to the bar knowing exactly what I want.

    But the coolest part? They were my grandpa’s go-to drink, too! I had no idea he liked Presbyterians, as they’re also called, until my parents told me I was carrying on a family tradition. How cute is that?

    • I love this! My sister and I always make/order Highballs when we’re missing my grandfather.

  105. Natalie says...

    175 square feet?! You MUST do a post about this.

  106. D. Beickert says...

    A really great site for at home cocktails is “How to Drink” on Youtube, and the host is great.
    I also subscribe to Cocktail Courier… they ship all the ingredients to your door! This is especially helpful since my husband and I don’t get out as much as we use to with a toddler at home!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you for these tips, D!!

  107. cooper says...

    It’s not at all classy, but I’ve been really craving Malibu + Coke this summer :)

    I also discovered some delicious cocktails-in-a-can at Trader Joe’s from Joia Spirit – the Sparkling Greyhound (Vodka + Grapefruit Chamomile & Cardamom soda) is DELICIOUS! (I think they may be limited to the Midwest at this point.)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      We’ve been so curious about the canned cocktails, Cooper! Awesome to know Trader Joe’s has some great options. :)

  108. Rebecca says...

    The Aperol Spritz has been a favorite since I first had it in Venice on our honeymoon. One plus, in my view, is that the alcohol content is actually lower than a glass of one, so I can drink two and not be knocked out the way I would be by other cocktails.

    • Rebecca says...

      That was supposed to say “lower than a glass of wine.”

  109. Kristyn says...

    This summer I discovered how much I love a good old Pimm’s Cup. So refreshing!
    In the winter, either a bourbon Old Fashioned (especially with clove cardamom simple syrup) or Carpano Antico over an ice cube when muddling is just too much work.

  110. Emilie says...

    Gin & tonic! Anything that involves more than two liquid ingredients is too complicated to make at home. Lots of ice + Hendrick’s gin + Fever-Tree tonic + 2 lime wedges (one for squeezing in the drink and another for the rim of the glass) = perfection. Currently pregnant and really jonesing for one of these!

  111. JR says...

    I married into a whiskey sour family (it’s been their go-to drink since my husband’s grandparents started making them while entertaining in the 50s and 60s). I’ve had many a rowdy Christmas Eve thanks to that libation. We served them at our wedding too!

    • Erin says...

      My family’s Christmas Eve traditional drink is the highball. A little too strong for me, but, they love them!

    • Eliza says...

      My in-laws’ holiday drink is milk punch. Not a fan.

  112. I’m taking a break from alcohol and have developed a serious La Croix addiction – grapefruit is my current fave.

  113. Erin says...

    I have been loving sour beers. Simple and delicious.

    However, recently I have taken to canning (yep, old school grandma style) fresh fruit in alcohol. I have made bourbon sour cherries, bourbon peaches, whiskey maple peaches, and vanilla cinnamon rum peaches. These will make my friends and family all very happy around the holidays when I pull out the jars and mix them with seltzers or champagne!

    • Stacy says...

      Oh please please please share how you make your bourbon sour cherries and bourbon peaches! Sounds amazing! Is there a specific recipe you use? Tips and tricks?

    • Erin says...

      If you already know how to water bath can, the recipes are part of Food in Jars by Marissa McClelland. :) Cherries were easier to make than peaches but, hopefully both are equally delicious!

  114. Laura says...

    I’d also love to hear about everyone’s go-to drink to order at a bar (rather than to make at home).

  115. Kate says...

    Our house drink is the Greyhound. We are very loyal to our brands and like them with Tito’s vodka and Indian River ruby red grapefruit juice. Sometimes we make it a Salty Dog and add kosher salt to the rim. They are so refreshing, especially in warmer months. My husband claims we don’t get sick very often because of our daily dose of Vitamin C!

    • Ditto to this. This is my go-to as well!

  116. Jen says...

    Rum and Tonic has got be the easiest drink to make. You just need high quality rum and a really good tonic. I use Fever Tree tonic. A little rum, a splash of tonic over ice, squeeze some fresh lime juice, swirl and serve. It’s really refreshing on a hot summer day.

  117. Caroline says...

    I love to make Manhattans, preferably with deep-red, Luxardo maraschino cherries – the cherries are pricey (about $20 a jar at Williams & Sonoma), but a jar lasts a long time, and they are so much better than the usual neon-red kind!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Oh my goodness, Caroline. I could live off only Luxardo cheries for the rest of my life and be so, so happy. Delicious.

    • Sarah says...

      That’s my drink, too! Tastes so good after a long day…

    • Alyssa says...

      My husband loves Manhattans. It’s one of his favorite drinks if we go out.

  118. I love a New York Sour. The only downside is that it takes a little explaining at the bar, but I’ve got that elevator pitch down: Please a whiskey sour and float some red wine on it!

    • Adrienne says...

      New York Sours are my drink too!

  119. Megan says...

    Is it juvenile to still be picking up several bottles of cheap moscato every grocery visit and calling that adulting (In my defense, I am not yet even 25.)? If I’m going “all out” though, mules are my favorite. Canada Dry simply will not do though. I’ll go out of my way to find a six-pack of spicy, earthy ginger beer. A jigger (or two) of vodka, lots of lime, and some muddled mint and you’re in business. On a random Tuesday, ginger beer and a splash of elderberry liquor feels very sophisticated.

    Cheers!

  120. erica says...

    Moscow mules (with fever tree ginger beer) or gin and tonics. Classic, refreshing, and yummy!

  121. Mallory says...

    Gin + tonic (or seltzer) + a splash of grapefruit — a flavorful twist on a classic!

  122. For myself I love a sidecar, but for groups I love whipping up a big batch of *whatever*. I don’t do mixology normally but company means I make experimental jugs of awesomeness that vary each time. I usually have a cava or sparkling water base, a dash of some Italian aperitif (usually Campari for me too), something sweet (crème de cassis, Chambord, Midori, Frangelico, or just plain Cointreau), lots of lemon juice, base spirits if I want to make it stronger (from flavorless vodka like Grey Goose to rich local bourbon-style whiskeys), bitters, and whatever else I feel like tinkering with and have on hand (fruit, liqueurs, shrubs, fancy maple syrups, floral waters, etc.). Everyone always compliments these concoctions but I’m never able to recreate them exactly.

    • Angela says...

      Sidecars make me think of Mary from 5 Mary’s Farm. She makes them all the time and will do Insta Stories about all her variations. They all look so delicious, but alas, I have 2 months left of this pregnancy.

  123. Lindsay says...

    My go-to cocktail at home is a whiskey sour…or if I don’t have lemons, just whiskey.

  124. Mouse says...

    In the summer, white Lillet on ice. Reminds me of the 70s somehow. I must be barefoot with my hair loose and frizzy and wild, and be sitting on our patio.

  125. Kate says...

    The Jasmine:
    1 1/2 ounces gin
    3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (though, I actually prefer lime!)
    1/4 ounce Triple Sec
    1/4 ounce Campari

    Combine the gin, lemon juice, Triple Sec, and Campari I’m a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a glass. Lovely. Cheers!

    • Paige says...

      I need to try this!! Love gin and campari!

  126. brianna says...

    I don’t drink anymore, but in college, I was a sucker for a good vodka/cran.

  127. Carrie says...

    Vinho Verde! It’s a slightly sparkling Portuguese wine that is, dare I say, more refreshing than rosé!

    • Nicole says...

      i have been hooked on Vinho Verde since my then-boyfriend (now Husband) took me to meet his big Portuguese family more than 10 years ago. It’s the best–but sometimes hard to find in the US.

  128. Prathi says...

    Ooh, a white negroni with equal parts Gin, Dolin Blanc, and Cocchi Americano (or Lillet Blanc). And a grapefruit slice to gild the lily.

    For a crowd: 1 part grapefruit juice, 1 part aperol, 2 parts Lillet Blanc (or Lillet Rose if you can find it, and 3-4 parts sparkling wine.

    • Paige says...

      Love the idea of a grapefruit wedge!

  129. Annie Green says...

    I invented this only a few weeks ago: the Thrice Blessed.
    Equal parts gin, elderflower liqueur and home-made rose syrup. Good whoosh of ice cold tonic. Ice. Stuck in some nasturtium flowers and borage. Bottoms up!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Awesome, Annie! “Good whoosh of ice cold tonic” — yes!!!!

    • Julie says...

      This. Sounds. So. Good.

  130. Jen says...

    Vodka, Seltzer (or club soda), and a splash of lemonade (or cranberry juice, depending on my mood) – so light and refreshing…and sometimes dangerous. I’m not sure if it has a formal name?

    • Annie Green says...

      I’d call this a Bitter Russian. Or The Putin. Take your pick.

    • Steph says...

      I do this with blueberry vodka and call it a Huckleberry. Very summery to me.

    • Sarah Beth says...

      Vodka & soda with a splash of cranberry is called a “rose kennedy.” It’s my longtime drink at weddings, but I’ve yet to meet a wedding bartender who knew the name! You can google it, though, I didn’t make it up :)

  131. Meg says...

    G&T or a Last Word (equal parts lime, gin, chartreuse and maraschino liqueur; also excellent with mezcal.)

    • Paige says...

      Last Word!! I think Chartreuse has a little magic in it to taste so good!

  132. My summer drink right now is sparkling water and elderflower syrup from Ikea! I think it would be great in a gin and tonic.

  133. Emily says...

    gin and tonic with lots of lime and sliced jalepenos.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love that tip, Emily!

  134. Lucy S says...

    My dad makes a fierce Caipirinha but I can’t replicate it at my place!

    So I’m a fan of a Dark and Stormy- spiced rum and ginger beer (not ginger ale!). Delicious.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yum, Lucy!! Love that your dad makes Caipirinhas. Sounds delicious, too.

    • Lucy S says...

      Yeah he’s awesome. He got margarita burns at Coachella last year from all the salt rims, such a dude. We actually had caipirinhas at my wedding as opposed to Pimms which is traditional here in the U.K. 😍

  135. Monica says...

    Gold rushes, always! They’re easy to make and drink.

  136. Ryan says...

    175 square feet?! Holy cow. Have you shared that here before? I’d love to see how you’re maximizing that small space!

    • Lak says...

      Agreed, would love to learn more!

    • brianna says...

      Yes, please! We need a house tour. My life goal is a tiny house. I always say I couldn’t live in less than 400+, but I’d love to see how you do 175.

  137. Sasha says...

    This summer I’ve been making rhubarb sparklers. You boil fresh rhubarb, a few pieces of fresh ginger, sugar and water to make a syrup. Then chill, pour over ice and sparkling water. Beautiful pink color, the rhubarb is tangy sweet and the ginger is refreshing.

    • Amy says...

      This I’m going to try!!

    • Jodi says...

      I’ve been making that recipe from the Kitchn all summer! I usually start with rhubarb (it’s my favorite) and will add in whatever odd fruit I have to make the full 4 cups. It’s amazing mixed with some prosecco, or mixed with vodka and a freshly opened can of seltzer. Craving one just writing this!

  138. Oof Campari is far too bitter for me! I like a traditional daiquiri or Manhattan, personally!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha, I keep trying to convince my friend Lynsey to like the bitterness of Campari. She is not having it.

  139. Colleen S says...

    I make a sparkling lemonade drink with a splash of rum (and club soda). Not a big drinker, and definitely hate the taste of liquor in anything I drink, which is why I don’t drink in restaurants.

    • Colleen S says...

      But I love a mojito that doesn’t taste of rum.

  140. Sarah Beth says...

    I’m not a big drinker, but I do love a fresh Pimms Cup in the summer. I love that you can drink them all afternoon and only get lightly buzzed. They’re easy to make, and friendly to a variety of mixers (lemonade, selzer, tonic, sprite, even the ubiquitous lacroix!) so it always feels like I have the supplies on hand to make one.

    • Paige says...

      Oh Pimms Cups are the best! We brought a Pimms Cup basket (basket full o’ supplies) to a friend’s house recently and had a ball. Definitely a perfect summer drink! :)

  141. Connie says...

    My absolute favorite drink is ruby port. But if we’re talking cocktails, I really enjoy a good rye manhattan. We make them at home after the kids are asleep, and it’s such a lovely way to unwind, crafting them in the quiet of the kitchen together. When we are entertaining, we are most likely to offer up mules: it’s fun to break out the copper mugs when friends are around. :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love hearing this, Connie!! Makes me want to invest in copper mugs. Thank you for sharing.

  142. At home I usually make simple things like Old Fashioneds, gin + tonics and gin rickeys, or a whiskey ginger. Sometimes we get “fancy” and make margaritas (not from a mix!). But when I go out I love a negroni!! My absolute favorite.