Part of the fun of cocktail making is the experimentation. Some cocktail recipes are incredibly straight forward and need no alteration, while others you can get wildly interpretive and customize to your hearts content.
That’s the thought behind evolving cocktails, a growing segment of cocktails that shift in flavour, texture and taste as you drink over time. It’s something I was first introduced to at Chicago’s groundbreaking restaurant The Aviary, where experimentation is the name of the game and nothing is as it seems.
But you don’t have to go to an award winning restaurant to be able to experience these great cocktails. Here’s a few that you can make at home, with a little patience and practice.
This is a twist on the “ice mold cocktail” that was created at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s Prohibition bar in Vancouver. You get two full cocktails out of this masterpiece, a soft white negroni and a traditional negroni that bleeds into the glass as the ice melts. It’s labour intensive, but wholly possible to do at home.
- 2 oz Gin
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz Suze (or Cocchi Americano)
- 1 oz Dry Vermouth
- 1 oz Gin
Method: Prepare ice molds as usual and freeze for approximately 3-4 hours (this will depend on your freezer temperature), so that the shell is hardened but the interior is still liquid. Bore a small hole with either a warmed drill or heated injector needle. Empty the water out and add in the traditional negroni mixture with either the needle or a small funnel. Add a little bit of water over the hole to seal the ice ball and let sit back in the freezer for approximately half hour.
Mix the white negroni in a old fashioned glass and add a single negroni ice ball to the mix. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
This is the type of cocktail that really impresses guests. It’s very colourful, lots of fun to make and it tastes like a beach vacation.
- 0.5 oz Grenadine
- 2 oz Orange Juice
- 2 oz Rum
- 0.5 oz Blue Curaçao
Method: Using a large collins glass or hurricane glass, drizzle grenadine in the base. Use a bar spoon to carefully drop in ice, filling the glass about 2/3 of the way. Again, use the barspoon to layer on orange juice. Set aside.
In a cocktail shaker, combine rum and blue curaçao. Stir well. Use the barspoon once more to float on the blue layer over the orange juice. Garnish with an orange wheel.
Not only does this cocktail look impressive but the layers allow different flavour profiles to come through as you enjoy the drink.
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 4 oz ginger ale
- 2 oz Averna liqueur
Method: Stir lemon juice and ginger ale over ice in a highball glass. Using a cocktail spoon, or a teaspoon, gently pour the Averna over the glass so it floats on top. Garnish with a lime wedge.