A Sustainable Toast to the New Year

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Make the most of your pantry with these no-buy cocktail ideas.

As someone who loves trying new things, I often find my liquor cabinet stocked with many half-full bottles that were purchased for a specific cocktail recipe I was testing out many moons ago. Staring down these miscellaneous ingredients can quickly become frustrating — I don’t want to buy anything new until I make my way through what I have currently, but what am I supposed to do with scotch, crè​​me de violette, Cointreau, and pacharán?

If you’ve found yourself facing a similar conundrum, or are just looking to start experimenting with cocktails, here are some simple ways to get the libations flowing without making an extra trip to the store.


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A variety of fruits and drinks.

Choose Your Own Adventure Cocktail


  • Author: Julia Cooper

Description

The building blocks of many classic cocktail recipes follow the same essential ratios. Use this basic recipe to mix and match ingredients you have on-hand!

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Ingredients

Scale

2 oz. spirit (Aperol, Campari, gin, rum, mezcal, tequila, vodka, whiskey)

+

1 oz. “sweet” (simple syrup, agave, honey, maple syrup, grenadine, triple sec, maraschino liqueur, Limoncello, Amaretto)

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1 oz. “sour” (lemon juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice)

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(if desired) Make it bubbly by topping with seltzer, club soda, or tonic water


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Red and purple drinks in mason jars.

Jam Jar Cocktail


  • Author: Julia Cooper

Description

Have a finished jam jar that still has some sweet goodness gooped up inside? This cocktail is for you!


Ingredients

  • Jam
  • Spirits
  • Citrus juice
  • Club soda or substitutes

Instructions

  1. First, add a couple tablespoons of water to the jar and pop in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen up the leftover jam.
  2. Next, add 1 to 2 oz. of your preferred alcohol (gin, rum, tequila, mezcal, vodka, whiskey).
  3. Add 1 oz. of citrus juice (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange).
  4. Close the jar and shake to combine.
  5. Top with bubbles (sparkling white wine, seltzer, club soda, tonic water).

Make Me a Cocktail

Try “Make Me a Cocktail” — Here, you can upload whatever ingredients you have on hand and the site will generate cocktail recipe ideas!

Cheers!

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Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper is a co-editor of Bluedot Boston with a passion for environmentally conscious food and beverages. In addition to her work with Bluedot, she teaches in Emerson College's Writing Studies Program, and curates the natural wine/craft beer program for Black Sheep Market in Cambridge, Mass. Julia's cat Sofia is retired from her eight years as the bodega cat for a fine wine store on Boston's Newbury Street.
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