A cold beer next to a hot grill, a bloody mary before the football game or a glass of wine to get things started…all good options. During the winter, nothing beats a Tom and Jerry after snowblowing the driveway. I like traditional cocktails…martinis (see below), manhattens, margaritas and Irish whiskey on the rocks. Of course, growing up in Wisconsin, we can’t forget the brandy old fashioned. As for the flavored vodkas and sweet liqueurs…I will leave that to someone else. 🙂

The Martini. King of the classic cocktails. There are many opinions on the proper recipe. Whether gin or vodka, shaken or stirred, wet or dry, twist or dirty…all good, if it works for you.

I use a variation of Hawkeye Pierce’s description of the finest, dry martini: “I’d like a dry martini…a very dry martini. A very dry, arid, barren, desiccated, veritable dustbowl of a martini. I want a martini that could be declared a disaster area. Mix me just such a martini.” OR “You take six jiggers of gin, and you drink it while staring at a picture of Lorenzo Schwartz, the inventor of vermouth.”