A reader wrote:
Happy New Year! I have a bit of a question that may seem out of the way, but I’m hoping that you may have an answer. As of 12:30am yesterday (1/1/87) I turned 21. Point blank, I hate the taste of alcohol. I’ve had it in varying contexts, strong Cali. Wines, shooters, Dark and Stormys (which I had IN Bermuda and it was nasty as hell) even the “shot” of rum in fruit drinks from time to time.
Personally, it all tastes like I’m opening the medicine cabinet and downing fingernail polish remover or witch hazel/rubbing alcohol. With that said, I’m not looking by any means to, “Drink to Get F'd Up” (as you so awesomely put it), but to have a standard go-to drink(s).
So my basic question is, do you recommend anything “light” but “respectable”. As of yet the only thing that doesn't completely bother me are “standard” Daiquiri, margaritas and Kahlua [shots].
Many thanks, Mitch
From your short list of drinks you like I can deduce that you could start with something called the New Orleans Sour(1). This is just the name of a family of drinks that use:
1. Base Liquor
2. Orange-flavored liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, etc…)
3. Lime Juice
This formula is used for the Margarita (Tequila as base) and the Daiquiri (Rum as base), which you listed as tolerable. I suspect you would really like a Cosmopolitan (Vodka as base and splash of cranberry juice). The Cosmo really is a good modern classic don’t let the “girly” drink stigma deter you.
A slight variation to the New Orleans Sour uses lemon juice instead of lime juice, which is very close. Some drinks with this formula is the Sidecar (Brandy as base) and Kamikaze (Vodka as base).
I would highly recommend the Sidecar because it has the elements you like and it has a sugared rim, which you might find blends with the Brandy really well.
However some of these drinks might be tough to order at a high volume bar. You might just ask for a Vodka Sour, Rum Sour, Tequila Sour, Whisky Sour, etc… the family of drinks called the Sour is a base liquor and a sweet and sour mix.
How to get a Sidecar
This whole section is devoted to this topic… Bar Fear