The Hard Stuff (Liquor and Cocktails)


Bottoms up!

After having my mouth water as I scrolled through the beer thread, I figured it might be interesting to chat about the world of distilled and fermented (but uncarbonated) booze.

Feel free to share your favorite concoctions, brands, and even bars. Obscure cocktails and liquors encouraged. Share rare finds or pro-tips about surprisingly enticing stuff off the bottom shelf.

No need to posture about darks and lights, or what constitutes a “proper” drink. All proofs and ingredients welcome here, although let’s leave the beers and ciders to the beer thread and wine to the inevitable wine thread. I think it’s fair to be frank in saying that a drink is unappealing to you personally, but don’t disparage people for having different tastes.

Let’s keep it light, positive, and fun, like my preferred summer tipple: the rum and tonic. Preferably made with an unspiced dark rum like Mount Gay or Gosling’s.


My drink of choice is a Horse’s Neck, which is ginger ale and brandy! (I make mine with ginger ale instead of ginger beer, which is also a delicious option)

In the summer I mostly drink hard cider or a shandy, which pairs excellently with watching your baseball team lose.


Oh man. So.

I make a thing I call “daddy’s helper”…

Wait, let’s start that over.

I make a thing I call the “lite margarita:”

  • 2 shots tequila blanco
  • 12oz of LaCroix (any flavor)
  • 1/4 lime’s worth of juice

Low cal. Not too sweet. Refreshing. Perfect.

…and also very cheap…


My new favorite cocktail ingredient is mezcal. It’s really smoky, good with ginger, bitters or even citrus.


I love Gin and to me there’s nothing finer than a good Gin and Tonic.

For Christmas, My wife got me everything to make an Aviation…Good Gin, Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liquor, good Maraschino Cherries (again Luxardo), and Creme de Violette…an ingredient that until recently was not made anymore.

The drink is bright, floral and citrusy. Here’s a great write up about it if you’re interested:


That’s the first time I’ve seen LaCroix in a cocktail but I suspect it won’t be the last.

I’ve never really thought about flavored water as an ingredient, but man, that does make a degree of sense.


That really does sound a lot better than just plain soda water!


My current whiskey of choice is George Dickle no. 12. I’m not sure if it’s a good whiskey on it’s own, but for me it mixes fantastically with ginger ale. I used to use coke as a mixer, but as soon as I tried ginger ale I haven’t gone back.


Ginger Ale is the be-all and end-all mixer for me. Coke is just a bit too sweet. That said, I’ll take a good straight whiskey over a mixed slightly crappier one any day.


On the whiskey front I have a mild obsession with Wigle Whiskey. I discovered them while a student in Pittsburgh when I was looking for something a little nicer to keep for when good friends came over. That launched a love affair with ryes in general and their unique liquors as well.

I was back in the 'Burgh a little while ago and stocked up. Their Old Sap is an incredible simulacrum of decent Scotch, although fans of peat won’t find much there despite the mellow malt and super subtle maple touch.

I’ve also splurged on a bottle of their 3 year old Monongahela Rye, which is really excellent. Spicy and fierce, it’s a potent glass of rocket fuel that reminds me of the city itself. There’s a bracing quality, but it’s one-of-a-kind and has some character I need to drink more of to accurate describe, although at this price point I’m not in a rush.

If you have the chance to get your hands on a Wigle product, I recommend it very highly.


Black tea is a great mixer if you can make and chill it in advance! Not so much if you’re making it that night.


I went pretty far down the craft beer hole some years ago (lived down the road from a really great little grocery store that stocked TONS of beer, all with BeerAdvocate ratings) – I think my roommates and I were practically trying to make our way through all their options at one point. I’ve slowed down on that a lot, but still enjoy it when I can - just got my hands on a bottle of BOMB! by Prairie Artisan Ales that I’m saving for a special occasion (been trying to track this one down for awhile!)

Otherwise, I mostly drink whiskey if I’m drinking. Straight with two ice cubes. Woodford was what my buddies and I would always go for, which I guess is like “nice enough to be nice without being actually super nice” whiskey.


I drink this a lot:

1 1/2 parts Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
1 part Simple Syrup
1/2 part Pimm’s
2 dashes Bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Ice, Orange Peel, Cherry


I’ve got a hard ginger beer brewing kit at home that I can’t wait to start! Gonna be some excellent Moscow Mules to be had!


Tequila and Pimm’s, that’s an intriguing combo.

What do you call it?


I’m not a beer guy at all, but I’ll drink Guiness/Smithwick’s. My main staples are whiskey–preferably Irish, but I like a good scotch or bourbon–and ciders. Jameson is my go-to, either on the rocks or mixed w/ ginger ale and a lime wedge if I’m feeling fancy. Old Grandad is another abiding favorite. Smith & Forge and Strongbow are my go to ciders, but I’m not picky. Angry Orchard, Crispin, and Woodchuck are all great, too.


“I didn’t have the right ingredient for the recipe I found online and this ended up being really tasty”


I tend to like anything citrus and refreshing, so I usually have some gin in the house. At the moment I’m really enjoying Plymouth Gin as a great all rounder. I work in a games bar, actually, which has taught me the ground rules of cocktail making. I usually just apply those to whatever I have in the house. That said, I like to make syrups. Hibiscus is my go-to, as its tart, berry-like qualities are always welcome. I make a great chamomile paloma, too.


As far as cocktails go, nothing beats a well-made Old Fashioned with not-bottom-shelf rye.


I’m a recent whiskey convert so I’ve been drinking allot of straight bourbon. Now the mint is findable in the garden though so I’ll be having allot more Juleps.
A favorite of mine is a Negroni which is Campari, Gin, Vermouth. Very bitter but in a good way.
I also like to make a Prarie flower. Highwest bourbon (a utah distillery), Elderflower liqueur, and lavender bitters.
Cucumber gimlits my moms favorite . Muddled cucumber, Gin little simple syrup and sparkling water.
My dads favorite is a Moscow Mule, we use Cock and Bull because it’s super gingery, one half lime, and I do two shots of vodka.
I’m definitely more of a fan of herbal or floral flavors, over fruity ones. I think all my recommends up above are nice spring/ summer cocktails as well.