5.12.17 / Any Bar / Anywhere

The Best Spirits For Celebrating World Cocktail Day

It’s hard to keep up with food and drink holidays – every week you can find a day that someone, somewhere has decreed as a day to celebrate tequila. Or gyros. Or cognac. Or chocolate chip cookies. It’s always National _ Day, but tomorrow marks a holiday we can get on board with. May 13th is World Cocktail Day (there was also a National Cocktail Day in March for our American readers), and as fans of cocktail culture, at hotels or otherwise, we abide. To celebrate, we’ll whip something up using an array of spirits we have at our disposal, but for those who are still developing their mixology skills, we have a few suggestions. Stock up on any of these spirits to immediately enhance your cocktails, so you can celebrate tomorrow with pride.

Monkey 47 Dry Gin

Among the best spirits, and easily the best gin we’ve ever tried, Monkey 47 hasn’t always been easy to get a hold of in NYC – until this year. The brand re-introduced their namesake gin, which feature 47 botanicals and only come in 375ml bottles (that would look equally good in an apothecary after its intended use). It has so much character that you can easily enjoy it neat like scotch, but unlike whiskeys, its properties would enhance just about any gin-based cocktail as well.

Try: You can go with a simply drink like a Gin and Tonic or Tom Collins, but the Gibson is our top pick – essentially a martini with a pickled onion instead of olives, the drink replaces the saltiness of olives for a hint of sweetness in the onions that pair with Monkey47’s botanicals perfectly.

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Slane Irish Whiskey

Despite the increasing popularity of Irish whiskey, people have a tendency to focus on the same brands, leaving little room for exploration. But Irish whiskey has a wide range of tastes, and Slane is the newest way to expand your palette. Created in the centuries-old Slane Castle, the Triple Casked whiskey has a complex flavor thanks in part to the use of virgin oak, which is atypical for Irish whiskey. To boot, the Slane Castle has hosted a concert series since 1981with Guns N’ Roses headlining in just a few weeks – giving the brand a bit of a rock edge.

Try: Of course an Old Fashioned works, but if you’re going to do Irish whiskey you might as well go for it: try the Irish Manhattan, which adds Guinness to whiskey, vermouth, and bitters.

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Gem & Bolt Mezcal

Mezcal is one of Mexico’s great treasures, but only in the last 5 years has it attracted significant attention from both consumers and mixologists alike. And while there are different varieties that offer different taste profiles, Gem and Bolt have done something unique. The ‘Bolt’ refers to the bolt of flavor from damiana, a mythical Mexican herb. The extra floral touches give it a little more herbal sweetness and a little less smoke, making it the perfect mezcal for cocktails.

Try: You can replace tequila with mezcal for a more flavorful version of classic cocktails like the Margarita, or use it for the citrus-forward Paloma.

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VDKA 6100

While we lean towards robust spirits, sometimes you need alcohol to just take a backseat while the rest of the ingredients shine. That’s where vodka comes in, but not all vodka is created the same. Robert De Niro doesn’t just attach his name to anything, and his VDKA 6100 is made with glacial lake waters from New Zealand, and is not nearly has harsh as some of the other vodkas out there. Which means that with VDKA 6100 anything can become a cocktail tomorrow.

Try: A Bloody Mary to start, a Vesper Martini for sustenance, and a White Russian to cap it all off.

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Domaine de Canton

In the spirit of cocktails (no pun intended), it’s always worthwhile to have one killer mixer. Domaine de Canton might be the best option. Ginger adds a hint of sweetness and spice into numerous cocktails, and you can make a flavorful cocktail with any spirit you have. Plus, the bamboo-styled bottle design will look good in any home bar.

Try: Add it to a Moscow Mule, a Dark & Stormy, or a Mojito to give each of them an extra hint of flavor.

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