A Lady and Her Liquor, Part 2
Having bought the ingredients, there is still the matter of mixing them. One of the ABC's here is to know that whisky or gin (or rum) is the alcoholic base of most mixed drinks and that a jigger is an average amount for each drink. (A dash extra is sometimes a good idea and sometimes not; but skimping will never make you popular.) Remember, too, never, never to mix Scotch with anything but plain or charged water.
As to the recipes, you can, of course, get a good book and follow it. But anybody ought to be able to master the recipes for Martinis, Manhattans, and Old-Fashioneds without undue strain. Having mastered them, do not try to improve on them. You can't. This is not a field in which to use your imagination. Don't think, either, that it would be nice to have some unfamiliar cocktail for variety. Your guests won't agree with you. Worse, even, than the woman who puts marshmallows in a salad is the one who goes in for fancy cocktails.
Here are some standard recipes for the drinks we've suggested.
Highballs: a jig~er of Scotch in a tall glass with ice and plain or charged water. Or a jigger of rye, with ice and ginger-ale or charged water.
Martinis: two parts gin to one-half part French and one-half part Italian vermouth. Add a twist of lemon peel and ice and stir (not shake) till really cold. Serve with a pitted, unstuffed olive in each glass. (There are innumerable variations of this recipe, but this one is a classic.)
Old-Fashioneds: Set out one glass for each person. Place a lump of sugar in each glass, add a dash of Angostura bitters and a very little water and crush the sugar. Put in each glass a slice of orange, a slice of lemon, a stick of fresh pineapple, and a maraschino cherry. Add a jigger of rye and fill the glass with ice.
Serve a "muddler" with each glass and let your guests amuse themselves.
Manhattans: Two parts rye to one part Italian vermouth and a dash of Angostura bitters. Add ice and shake and serve with a cherry in each glass. (A cherry with a stem is an epicurian touch.)
One of these four drinks is almost everybody's favorite, but you will have occasional guests with violent theories about what is good for them (and you). The two largest schools are the No-Sugar-with-Alcohol School and the Never-Mix-Fruit-]uice-and-Alcohol School. Leave out the sugar in Old-Fashioneds for the first, and don't serve Old-Fashioneds to the second. For all the other drink dieters, Scotch and soda or Scotch and plain water is the answer.
Above all, don't serve fruit-juice and gin cocktails indiscriminately. These are responsible for most of those Mornings After.