Indianapolis’s 10 Must Try Cocktails of 2014

By: J. Daniel Samons ~ Ripple Effect Social Magazine

With the emergence of so many craft beer locations and microbreweries, I thought it would be nice to highlight some specialty cocktails to try in 2014. So here in no certain order is my top 10 picks enjoy.

 Cucumber Collins, Goose & Gander

CucumberThe Cucumber Collins is a crowd-pleaser made from cucumber-infused vodka and topped with both fresh and pickled cukes. Muddled huckleberries give it a faintly purple hue that perfectly complements the jewel-toned interiors.

 Must-Try: Aperitivo Cocktail at Osteria Morini


The drink – named for the concept of stimulating your appetite with a pre-dinner cocktail – mixes the infused Beefeater gin with the wine-based Cardamaro Amaro and an Italian orange soda known as aranciata to beautiful effect.

Balance is the key to its success, with elements of fresh, green flavors playing well with the herbal tones and the sweetness or the orange. It’s a good thing it’s relatively low in alcohol because it goes down entirely too easily.

 The Mack Truck


 Annette from Detour American Grille Keystone suggests the Mack Truck. She says it’s a large drink that is made in the same tumbler as a Long Island Ice Tea meaning you get a lot of alcohol for you money. It’s made with Crown Royal, Peach Schnapps, Chambord, Pineapple Juice and Cranberry Juice. Girls and guys alike enjoy the fruit punch taste.

 The Americano


 This drink was a favorite of American expats during Prohibition. Prior to then it was known as the Milano-Torino, for the cities where its two main ingredients were first made: Milan (Campari) and Turin (sweet vermouth). The ingredients consist of Campari, Vermouth, Chilled Club Soda, Orange Wheel and Lemon twist for garnish.

The Daiquiri


 Daiquiris often mean frozen drinks flavored with commercial sour mix and cheap rum. Leo Robitschek loves introducing people to the real deal: “They’re shocked that three simple ingredients can create such a complex drink.” The ingredients consist of White Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Simple Syrup.

 The Fruitless Old Fashion

Num6 Steve from Broad Ripple Tavern suggests The Fruitless Old Fashion. He feels it really embodies the way in which craft cocktails are moving forward from pre-prohibition style drinks. He explains that in the past you would have used raw fruit and sugar compared to today in which you want to use a Gom Syrup, Grenadine, and Bitters to get the fruit flavors instead of real fruit in which chemicals or other substances may be present.

 Gimme S’more


 This is the perfect time of year for drinks that taste like desserts and served warm. This cocktail, made with homemade graham cracker liquor, falls into both categories. Yum! Whisk 1 tablespoon Graham Cracker Liquor, Brandy, and Cocoa in 12-ounce heat-proof mug. Top with Marshmallow and serve.  Whisk 1 tablespoon Graham Cracker Liquor, brandy, and cocoa in 12-ounce heat-proof mug. Top with marshmallow and serve. 

 Flatwater Elder Fashioned


 Andrew from Flatwater suggests the Flatwater Elder Fashioned. He explains that Flatwater hand selects a barrel of Elijah Craig and has a personal label put on it. This ingredient is the main focus for their Elder Fashioned. The Elijah Craig is accompanied with a splash of St Germain, Bitters, Soda, a muddled cherry and orange complete the cocktail.

 Winter Sangria

num9Sangria seems like a drink for patios and summertime but this recipe is winter appropriate. For this cocktail, just add cinnamon and clementine. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange liqueur and honey. Add cinnamon stick, blood oranges, apple and pears, stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature to macerate, at least 1 hour, until ready to serve. Add wine and soda, stir gently to combine, and serve immediately over ice.

Moscow Mule


 A Moscow Mule is a pretty simple cocktail to make with only six ingredients and no special techniques. Now, where I come from a Moscow mule has about five ingredients too many for a camping trip (My preferred camping cocktail is bourbon in a flask), but if you want to make your own for a camping trip or an evening at home here is what it consists of. Vodka, Simple Sugar, Fresh Lime Juice, half cup of Ginger Beer, Fresh Mint, and a slice of lime. Put ice and vodka into a copper cup (Don’t have a copper cup? Use an iced glass.). Add the simple sugar, lime juice, ginger beer, and stir. Serve with the slice of lime and mint sprig.

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