7 Classic Cocktails Fit for a Tiny Kitchen

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No room for a fully stocked bar? A tiny house doesn’t have to signal the end of holiday entertaining. Impress guests with iconic cocktails that call for three ingredients or less.


An authentic martini requires a bit of forethought but not much else. Place a stemmed glass in the freezer until it’s properly chilled (about an hour). Meanwhile, mix ice, 1 oz. of dry vermouth and 4 oz. of gin in a cocktail shaker, but forget what you heard – purists insist that a martini be stirred, not shaken. Strain into the glass and top with an olive or lemon peel garnish.


Whether this classic cocktail originated at the Manhattan Club or another New York bar is up for debate, but it’s still a tavern mainstay 140 years after it first burst onto the scene. And with good reason. It takes just 2 oz. of rye whiskey, 1 oz. of vermouth and 2 dashes of bitters to mix a matchless drink. Stir, strain and top with a maraschino cherry.


The Sidecar is said to have traveled quite a distance, making its way from France to England during World War I, and later to America. Along the way, the recipe’s proportions were subject to some tinkering. Today’s Sidecar typically includes ¾ oz. of Cointreau, ¾ oz. of lemon juice and 1 ½ oz. of cognac, shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass. A sugared rim lends a festive vintage finish.


Set sail for Havana but leave your blender behind. A true daiquiri needs nothing more than 2 oz. of white rum, 1 oz. of fresh lime juice and ½ oz. of simple syrup, shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass. Ernest Hemingway added grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur to concoct the Hemingway Daiquiri, announcing, “I drink to make other people more interesting.”


This modern classic proves you need little more than vodka and orange juice (in equal parts) to pull off a proper cocktail. A glass is necessary, yes, but even a spoon is optional. Victorino Matus, author of “Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America,” says American oil workers invented the drink while on the clock in the Persian Gulf decades ago. Because they were discretely imbibing on the job, they used a screwdriver to stir.


What to do when a bout of scurvy compromises a night out? If you’re a seaman in the early 1900s, you add a shot of vitamin C to your gin. Thomas Gimelette, surgeon general of the Royal Navy, came up with a remedy now bearing his name: 2 oz. of gin, ½ oz. of lime juice, ½ oz. of simple syrup. These days, it’s enjoyed for its refreshing flavor rather than any medicinal properties. Mix and serve with a lime garnish.


The Italians can be credited for many of life’s pleasures – Renaissance art, Prada’s spring collection, Burrata cheese – but the Bellini is arguably one of Italy’s greatest contributions. It all starts with Prosecco, which adds just as much sparkle to the season as its French counterpart (at a fraction of the cost). Gently stir two parts of Italian bubbly with one-part fresh peach puree in a chilled flute, and relish an indulgent Roman holiday.

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