Ben and I love well-done mixed drinks and often frequent our local (let me have this Portlandia moment) mixologist who makes insane combinations like lavender, coconut milk, and lemon or rum, coffee, cocoa and cayenne... So we decided that we wanted to take an evening, and our entire bar cupboard to make our own signature cocktail. Guess what looked pretty, was a ton of fun, but tasted terrible? Our drinks. Turns out it's not so easy.
This entire venture was inspired by Ben's proclamation that he liked martinis the other day. I am not a huge fan as they always feel like really HUGE shots. In the mixing spirit, Ben wanted to try making a hop-tini by infusing vodka with fresh beer hops but it tasted too bitter, so he shifted to a traditional gin martini. A minute later, he promptly mixed the martini with tonic water and squeezed in some lime, called it a gin and tonic, and we're never speaking of martinis again.
We took turns "crafting" our cocktails. I first made a peach tea simple syrup (easy and awesome and one win from this experiment). It tasted sweet, peachy, and perfect, but when mixed with prosecco... it didn't really taste like anything. Not a total bomb, but kind of disappointing. I'd try a stronger tea and less sugar. Ben then made a horrifying drink out of red wine, club soda, tequila, and orange zest. Ick! He thought it tasted okay, but I am telling you that it tasted like drinking watery tequila with a red wine chaser.
The final drink crafted was mine and I thought I was onto something. We often (very good) drink lemon drops in our house and started adding honey as a sweetener to give them some extra flair. I was interested in making a spearmint, honey, lemon-drop but the grocery store was out of mint so Ben suggested basil. I've seen a bunch of basil cocktails and love basil in all foods so I gave it a shot. But what happened was not pretty. I muddled basil and added it to a honey, fresh lemon juice, and citron cocktail. It smelled like a fart. And it tasted like muddled basil in lemon juice... at first interesting, and then not good.
We ended up tossing the entire batch (of all the cocktails) and settling in with the bottle of prosecco. The end result was that we decided it was time to start making drinks that have already been perfected by others. Suggestions? We've already got the gin and tonic, lemon drop, and old fashioned down pat.