A plea for Simplicity.

I’ve been spending more time looking at other people’s cocktail recipes lately. Certainly more so than creating my own cocktails, as evidenced by the lack of posts on this blog.

I’ve been re-reading David Wondrich’s contemporary classic Imbibe! on the origins of cocktails and the drinks of Jerry Thomas. I’ve been studying bar menus. The excellent Dutch Kills in Long Island City, NY posts their menu as a pdf for download here. And recently, I came across this video:

Even more than making me want that Caipirinha, one thing stuck with me. Andrew Bohrer (whose smart and angry Cask Strength cocktail blog is required reading) states the simple truth:

THE BEST DRINKS HAVE 3 INGREDIENTS.

Here are some 3 ingredient cocktails off the top of my head that you may recognize: Manhattan, Negroni, Margarita, Daiquiri, Caipirinha, Whiskey Sour, Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Cuba Libre, Champagne Cocktail. (No, I’m not counting ice or garnishes as ingredients.)

When I look back through this blog at drinks I’ve made, the least successful ones have more than four ingredients. So, I’ve been making, drinking and most of all enjoying simple drinks with three ingredients. You should too.

Or sometimes four; I can’t give up Sazeracs.

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