Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell Baker, American essayist and journalist
Although I like my bourbon neat (or on the rocks), I also like to mix it up into a cocktail, especially in the summer. Since I’m still pretty much a novice bartender, I don’t have a huge arsenal of recipes at the ready, but I do have a decent collection of mixers.
Enter the New York Times’ “Summer Drinks Randomizer.” This interactive chart is broken into three categories - liqueurs, base spirits and mixers. You can choose one, two or three options from the pulldown menus based on what you have on hand, and a classic cocktail using those ingredients will be revealed. Or, even more fun, you can press the “Randomize” button and watch all of the dials spin - sort of like a slot machine of sippage.
Last night, I used the Randomizer to discover the Fancy Free, above. I used Sazerac rye rather than Bulleit, and I didn’t have orange bitters, but the drink still turned out great. Take the Randomizer for a spin yourself and let me know what happens.