- Aleksey Reznikov is the head bartender at the Garret West, a cocktail bar in Manhattan’s West Village.
- The veteran mixologist gave Insider some tips for making bar-quality cocktails at home.
- He says the gimlet, paloma, Moscow mule, negroni, Aperol spritz, and old-fashioned are simple cocktails that even amateurs can make.
- If you’re in the mood for a little more of an intricate cocktail, the Garret is selling pre-batched cocktails to support its staff.
- Bottles of the bar’s most popular cocktails are available for pickup at its East Village location and for delivery on Seamless.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A gimlet is typically made with gin, but, if you don’t have it, you can use some other kinds of liquor.
For this cocktail, Aleksey Reznikov, head bartender at the Garret, says that all you need is equal parts lime juice and simple syrup, which is just a combination of sugar and water (three-quarters of an ounce each), and two ounces of gin. Shake the combination and serve it over ice.
“When it comes to brown liquor, lemon juice is preferable,” he said, so swap lime juice out for lemon juice in that case.
Technically speaking, the name of the drink will change based on the spirit you use – like a light rum gimlet is actually a classic daiquiri. “But don’t overwhelm yourself with specific names,” he said. “As long as you like the way it tastes that’s all that matters.”
If you have tequila at home, try making a paloma.
For this bright and classy cocktail, all you need is one teaspoon of sugar, half an ounce of lime juice, one-and-a-half ounces of grapefruit juice, and two ounces of tequila.
Reznikov says to shake the drink, pour it into a tall glass over fresh ice, and top it with a splash of seltzer. For garnish, use a grapefruit slice. If you have salt nearby, you can even salt the rim of the glass.
If you’re not a fan of tequila, Reznikov says you can use mezcal or vodka instead.
A Moscow mule is easy to make if you have vodka and ginger beer.
This cocktail has just three required ingredients: a splash of lime juice, two ounces of vodka, and ginger beer.
Reznikov recommends putting the lime juice and the vodka in a tall glass, filling the rest with ginger beer, and garnishing with a lime. He says you can also add Angostura bitters on top if you have it.
Vodka can be substituted with mezcal, tequila, gin, bourbon, or rye whiskey in this case. If you’re going with brown liquor, though, he recommends using lemon juice instead of lime juice.
If you’re looking for a cocktail-bar vibe, and you have more than just liquor and juice in your home, Reznikov recommends making a negroni.
If you’ve got sweet vermouth and Campari on hand, you’re all set to make this simple cocktail.
To craft this drink, Reznikov recommends one ounce each (or equal parts for a larger batch) of sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin. Stir components together in a tin and pour it over fresh ice. Reznikov recommends garnishing with an orange slice or a twist.
He says the gin can be substituted with mezcal, tequila, bourbon, or rye whiskey.
“Mezcal negroni is my negroni of choice,” Reznikov said.
For an Aperol spritz, of course, you’ll need a bottle of Aperol.
Reznikov calls the Aperol spritz “the drink of the summer.”
“They made this one easy for you,” he said. “The directions are on the back of the bottle.”
The Aperol website also lists out the recipe for the drink: First, add ice to a glass, then add equal parts prosecco and Aperol in that order, and finish with a splash of soda water and an orange slice.
You can even add tequila or vodka to give this bright, summertime drink an extra kick. One sip and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy.
An old-fashioned calls for bourbon.
Combine three dashes of both Angostura bitters and orange bitters, a teaspoon of simple syrup, and two ounces of bourbon. Ingredients get stirred directly in the serving glass and garnished with an orange twist, Reznikov says.
“If you don’t have orange bitters, don’t worry, just use four-to-five dashes of Angostura only,” he added.
Bourbon can be substituted with mezcal, tequila, or aged rum. Reznikov said the latter is actually one of his favourite variations.
- Read more:
- We did a blind taste test of cheap wines from Costco, Target, and Trader Joe’s, and the winner cost less than $US5
- Disney, McDonald’s, and other beloved brands are sharing recipes for their famous dishes online so you can make them at home
- Photos show how common baking mistakes can drastically change your chocolate-chip cookies
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding baker has an easy hack for her lemon loaf recipe to make it taste like the royal cake
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.