I don’t know if it has something to do with the fact that I’m turning 35 this year, but I’m not that tolerant to alcohol anymore. Quite honestly, even in college I never was the guy who could chug a whole 26 oz of spirit in a party and still being able to go to the gym class the day after but still… I feel like I’m getting old and I hate it.

 Low ABV Cocktails

Another problem I have is that not only I like to create new concoctions but I love to sip on them. That’s why lately I decided to dig seriously into the world of low ABV cocktails.

Like in the traditional cocktail world, I believe you can sort low ABV cocktails into categories. Stirred, shaken, fruity, long, short … there is one for every occasion. First you have to choose your base. Sherry, vermouth, ports, aperitifs and beer would be a good list to start with. Then you need to find your creative line. Do you want a seasonal cocktail, pre-dinner drink, digestif…? Some base like port pairs so well with the wintery vibe while bright dry vermouth is perfect for a summer patio party. But, in my opinion, there is a way to turn any base into what you want. All you need is to find the right ingredients to highlight your inspiration.

Something I also like in low ABV drinks is sometimes to put a small amount of high proof spirit that stands out to give a different feeling. For example, sometimes just a ¼ oz of Mezcal in the mix can make you feel like you are having a full-proof cocktail. Its flavour is so dominant that you are sure it is the base of the drink. This trick doesn’t work with vodka for example because flavour-wise, ¼ oz of vodka would get lost in a full drink. So make sure to choose a bold and flavourful spirit if you do want to add one in the mix. Peaty scotch or Agricole rhums are also great picks for that.

Because summer is coming, here are 3 long low ABV drinks of my own.

Low ABV Cocktails

Mon Sherry!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
  • 1 oz Lustau Olorosso Sherry
  • ¼ oz Branca Menta
  • 2 oz Passion Fruit cordial
  • ¾ oz Fresh Orange juice

METHOD:

  1. Pour all ingredients in a Tiki mug.
  2. Fill with crushed ice and swizzle using a swizzle stick or a bar spoon.
  3. Garnish with a mint sprig and a straw.

 Pa-low-ma

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ oz Noilly Prat Extra dry vermouth
  • ¾ oz Don Julio blanco
  • 1 ½ oz Coriander, orange and grapefruit cordial
  • 2 Dashes Bittered Sling grapefruit hopped bitters
  • 2 oz Soda water

METHOD:

  1. Pour Tequila, Vermouth and Cordial in a highball.
  2. Fill with ice and add 2 oz of soda water.
  3. With a bar spoon, make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge

Perfume of spring

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz St-Germain
  • ¾ oz Kaffir lime leaves and Bergamot cordial
  • 2 oz Soda water

METHOD:

  1. Pour the vermouth, St-Germain and Cordial in a wine glass.
  2. Fill with ice and add 2 oz of soda water.
  3. With a bar spoon, make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Garnish with Thaï basil sprig and St-Germain spritz.

For all cordials, use the same method. Put all the ingredients in a bag sous vide or an airtight container if you don’t have the sous vide. Cold infuse for 24 hours. Strain and bottle up.

Passion Fruit cordial

  • 100 gr Fresh passion fruit
  • 7 gr Citric acid
  • 4 gr Tartaric acid
  • 250 gr Sugar
  • 600 ml Water

Coriander seeds, orange and grapefruit cordial

  • 85 gr Orange zest
  • 55 gr Grapefruit zest
  • 50 gr Coriander seeds
  • 15 gr Citric acid
  • 5 gr Tartaric acid
  • 250 gr Sugar
  • 600 ml Water

Kaffir lime leaves and Bergamot cordial

  • 60 gr Kaffir lime leaves
  • 50 gr Bergamot zest or 1 ½ ml of Bergamot extract if you don’t have access to fresh fruit
  • 15 gr Citric acid
  • 5 gr Tartaric acid
  • 250 gr Sugar
  • 600 ml Water

Hope you will enjoy those. Cheers!

Jean-Felix

This is a selection of bar tools I’m dying to get for myself. I even went further in my shopping and found some amazing home decor pieces that would make your home bar, a dream bar.

 

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