Caitlin’s Cocktails: My Favorite Spirits and Cocktails

Can I get a “heck yeah” for the weekend?

Most of the time, when Friday rolls around, I’m popping the cork on a bottle of wine. However, on the rare occasion I’m feeling particularly celebratory, I will mix up a quick cocktail. I think there’s just something fun about putting everything together. Plus, I have a wicked sweet tooth so cocktails are certainly a treat.

There are five spirits I always keep in the house, in case an opportunity to play bartender comes up. I stick to the basics: gin, tequila, whiskey, rum, and scotch. Below I’ve shared my favorites and the cocktails I prefer to make with them.

Gin / Thompson Bros Organic Highland Gin

I’m heartbroken to say that I’ve recently run out of my favorite gin and that there doesn’t seem to be a bottle in my near-future (unless I feel like paying $50 for shipping). I picked up a bottle of Thompson Bros in Scotland on our family trip to Europe last summer after we had lunch and a cocktail at the distillery. Talk about a smooth gin. I’m still searching for an adequate replacement here in the states (we toured Beefeater on that trip as well and I am a fan) but I haven’t found a new ‘favorite’ quite yet. The ultimate bummer because, gin is my favorite spirit. I’m a huge fan of a really sour Gimlet and I actually prefer gin in my Mojitos with fresh mint, lime, and simple syrup. Plus, it’s my favorite spirit to experiment with (see my Clementine Gin and Ginger) when I’m looking for something new.

Tequila / Espolon Tequila Blance

If I’m taking a shot of liquor, tequila is my shot of choice and I’m pretty sure that’s the same with all my college besties. However, I prefer to use Espolon Tequila when whipping up Margaritas, my #1 cocktail of choice. My Aunt shared her very classic recipe with my Grandma and now it’s in the family: Tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave. Simple and sweet.

Whiskey / Jameson Irish Whiskey

I think that whiskey is one of the most versatile spirits there is when it comes to making cocktails, especially because you can go ice cold or hot. Jameson is a tried and true classic for me- it’s the one I grab because I know it’ll do the trick. If I’m pouring whiskey and it’s the fall or the wintertime, I’m probably making a spiked cider or a hot toddy. If it’s the spring or summer, I like to use whiskey in a Mule with ginger beer and lime.

Rum / Goslings Bermuda Black Rum

I’m a Newport girl at heart which means I love a good Dark and Stormy. There’s something almost too perfect about the combination of ginger beer and Gosling’s Bermuda Black Rum. It’s a cocktail that always transports me right to a summertime state of mind and I’m ready to bury my feet in the sand. My family visited Bermuda when I was a kid, and while there wasn’t much indulging then, Gosling has a special place in my heart.

Scotch / Oban 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

With the Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask coming in as a close second, Oban is Ryan and my favorite type of scotch to have in the house. He definitely drinks it more frequently then I do (on Fridays it’s usually a glass of red wine for me and a celebratory scotch for him.) Truthfully, the only way we drink it is neat. However, if you’re looking for a cocktail then grab some lemon juice, simple syrup, and froth some egg whites for a traditional Scotch Sour.

Your turn! What’s your favorite spirit and cocktail? I hope that if you’re indulging, you’re being smart and responsible. All good things- in moderation. I also hope I’ve given you some inspiration for this weekend’s happy hour!

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