How to Make the Perfect Cocktail

DR Mixologist Darryl Robinson
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 02, 2009

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Darryl Robinson has spent the last ten years mastering the perfect cocktail in New York City’s hot spots. He shares some of his signature drinks, tips for cocktail success and how to get the biggest buzz for your buck.

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Muddled Lemons (3 slices)
Muddled Pineapple ( 1 slice, or splash of pineapple juice)
• ½ oz Simple Syrup
• 3 oz Gin
• 1 oz Combier
Shake and strain into a chilled sugar-rimmed Martini glass

The Mixologist Says: This drink is perfect because it’s somewhat sweet and somewhat sour. I always suggest adding Gin and it is a great way to spice up your martini.

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• 1 ½ oz Rum
• ½ oz Pommegranate Liquor
• ½ oz mango puree or nectar
• Muddled limes and dash of sugar

Shake with ice in a rocks glass and garnish with mint leaves.

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In these economic times, Darryl suggests trying a martini.

“You get more bang for your buck. A martini has anywhere between four to six ounces of alcohol. A regular drink has half and martini will only cost about $3 more. You can get a minor buzz without breaking the bank. Go ahead and go for the cosmo or apple martini or try something new.”

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Shake in an iced shaker, strain into a champagne flute and top off with champagne.
• 1 ½ oz Bourbon
• Muddled mint leaves, limes, and 1 teaspoon sugar
• Champagne

Add ice to a rocks glass, shake, top off with champagne, and garnish with mint leaves.

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• 4 oz Pinot Grigio
• 1 oz Ciroc Vodka
• ½ oz Peach Liquor
• Apple juice

Add apple juice, served in an iced wine glass with an assortment of seasonal fresh fruits.

The Mixologist Says: If you are still getting comfortable with making drinks, with friends over make one large drink for the occasion instead of making cocktail by cocktail, which can be time-consuming.

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• 2 oz Cognac
• Splash of Grand Marnier
• Champagne
• Dash of bitters
• Pinch of sugar

The Mixologist Says: Make your own mixed drinks instead of buying them premixed like Nuvo and Hypnotiq. It’s a more authentic taste and three more times alcohol for your dollar.

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Darryl encourages drinkers to branch out from their regular cocktails to try new things.

“We as Black people love rum which is fine, but there are so many other options to try,” he says.