mxmologo It’s time for Mixology Monday again, something that I have not participated in for a couple of months.  I have been on a little uncreative spree, so I figured this could be a good way to get back into it.

The theme for this month is “First Time”, chosen by the ladies of LUPEC Boston.

What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure – but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?

To this all important question I have several answers.  First of all, although I am relatively new to the cocktail world, I prefer well made classics to the syrupy/sugary messes that are served at most bars, and as such consume most of my drinks at home because I don’t feel like paying $10 for a drink that tastes like soda water and 7up.

When mixing up a drink for a friend, I will inquire as to their tastes.  Are they a big beer drinker?  Do they prefer wine?  White or Red?  Are they feeling adventurous, or just looking for a little refreshment.

The most common drink I will make for a newbie will be a Collins.  Simple to make, can be adjusted for their tastes, and can be made with different spirits.  Essentially a Collins is a variation on a sour, and is made by adding soda water to the sour’s ingredients.  My personal favorite would be the standard Tom Collins.

Tom Collins
2oz gin
1oz lemon juice
3/4oz simple syrup

Shake up gin, juice, and syrup in a shaker with a lot o ice.
Strain into a collins glass filled with ice, and top with soda water.


This drink can also be made with other base spirits such as vodka, rum, or whiskey. For a slightly stronger drink I would serve up a fizz or sour, although I think that there are a lot of great drinks that be used to open someone up to the world of cocktails.