Jess Hubbard

No doubt about it, 2020 has been an absolute dumpster fire of a year so far.

Social distancing and self-isolating have become commonplace and our bars and restaurants have been shuttered for who knows how long. Thankfully, some places are beginning to re-open their doors, however we’re all aware things still aren’t the way they used to be – yet!

 

It’s in these crazy times of uncertainty that one question has undoubtedly been on everyone’s mind: "How am I supposed to get a good cocktail?" Well, fear not because I’m going to show you how to make a quality libation in the safety and comfort of your own home. And we’re going to do it with ingredients that you can easily come by or may even already have in your kitchen as we speak! 

The best part of making these cocktails at home is that you no longer have to navigate overly pretentious cocktail bars with “complicated for the sake of being complicated” menus and that one bartender who’s probably judging you on the way you pronounce Curaçao. Truth be told, that bartender probably mispronounced it for the majority of their career too, but they’d never admit it. 

 

Now we’re going to need a few items to get started, but as I mentioned, all of the needed ingredients should be readily available to you.

The first cocktail I’m going to show you how to make is a citrusy, fizzy, gin-based drink I call Garden of PelhamTo make this delicious yet simple libation, you’ll need to combine the following ingredients into a cocktail shaker:

 

45 ml Gin

14 ml Triple Sec 

1 tablespoon of orange marmalade

 

After adding those three ingredients together, add ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Then, strain into a stemmed cocktail glass or coup. Top with roughly 90 ml of Prosecco and garnish with an orange peel.  

 

Next up, we’ll be going a slightly different route with a coffee cocktail I’ve dubbed Spirit in the Night. To get started, you’ll need apple brandy, 10 cinnamon sticks, one whole banana, one cup of brown sugar and one cup of your favorite coffee! For this one, you don't need any ice whatsoever as it’s served hot, but you will need to do some simple prep before you get to enjoy the deliciousness of this sweet concoction.  

To start, you’ll need to place all 10 cinnamon sticks into the bottle of apple brandy to let the flavors infuse. After two hours, strain out the cinnamon sticks and any debris the sticks may have left behind. Next, boil one cup of water then add one cup of brown sugar and a whole banana, sliced. Let cool and strain into a bottle for refrigeration. Now, we’re ready to make a cocktail! Combine the following ingredients into your favorite coffee mug, stir and garnish with a cinnamon coated banana slice.

 

120 ml coffee 

45 ml cinnamon infused apple brandy

25 ml brown sugar banana syrup

 

The beauty of this drink is how versatile it is. You can just as easily make one of these to enjoy with breakfast or to help wind down after a rough day; or better yet, both! 

In times like these, friendship and a good drink can go a long way to soothing the soul. Even though we might not be able to get together at our favorite bars right now, we can still enjoy a delicious cocktail and toast to life with good friends – just from a socially acceptable distance. Whether it be Zoom, Facetime or a small gathering of mates in your living room, this is the time to reconnect and share a cocktail or two….or three or four. I mean, the world is still relatively shut down and none of us even know what day it is, so we can finally drink before noon and feel okay about it. The beauty of making cocktails at your home bar is that the drinks never stop flowing and there’s no last call. So, go on and indulge yourself. I won’t tell…