Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > DiningBuzz
Reload this Page >

Pre-made cocktail mix suggestions

Pre-made cocktail mix suggestions

Old Apr 22, 21, 12:26 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Silver, Hilton Silver
Posts: 18,150
Pre-made cocktail mix suggestions

First...yes, I fully admit I'm lazy and uncultured.

I've been getting into drinking Old Fashioneds at the bar. Most of the time, it seems like the bartenders also use a pre-made mix and add it to whiskey. So now I want a decent pre-made Old Fashioned mix to add to whiskey at home.

A co-worker likes the Proof traditional syrup (and they sure love to live in my Facebook feed), but I'd love to hear other recommendations.

I left the thread title a little open-ended to allow for suggestions/recommendations/reviews of other mixes (margarita, mojito, sours, etc.).
pseudoswede is offline  
Old Apr 22, 21, 12:31 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
Posts: 23,544
Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
First...yes, I fully admit I'm lazy and uncultured.

I've been getting into drinking Old Fashioneds at the bar. Most of the time, it seems like the bartenders also use a pre-made mix and add it to whiskey. So now I want a decent pre-made Old Fashioned mix to add to whiskey at home.

A co-worker likes the Proof traditional syrup (and they sure love to live in my Facebook feed), but I'd love to hear other recommendations.

I left the thread title a little open-ended to allow for suggestions/recommendations/reviews of other mixes (margarita, mojito, sours, etc.).
I am thinking that the bar probably made up a mix of their own in the morning to be used all day. I don't think many good bars use store bought pre made mix.
I get lazy with margaritas and use Jose Cuervo mix along with triple sec and tequila and whatever else. It saves me juicing limes and making simple syrup (although I often have that in my fridge). I have tried a few others and like Jose Cuervo the best. And I get the "light" one and it is just as good, IMO.
corky is online now  
Old Apr 22, 21, 2:36 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,717
Old Fashioneds are really easy to just do yourself. You can spend extra on the Proof syrups if you happen to like how they taste but an Old Fashioned is ridiculously simple. It's just three ingredients! Like the line in an old movie said, "What could happen to an Old Fashioned?"

I find they're easier to make with simple syrup than a sugar cube, which is probably the "mix" you're seeing in bars. Using syrup means you don't have to spend time muddling bitters into a sugar cube. You can buy simple syrup or just make a batch, which takes all of seven minutes or so. On the stove put a cup of sugar and a cup of water in a pot and bring to a simmer. Stir so the sugar dissolves. Pour it into a container and store covered in the fridge. It will keep for at least a week or two, probably longer. If your syrup is old just look for stuff growing in it before you use it.

In a rocks glass, pour a shot or two of your whiskey of choice. Add a slug of the simple syrup you made, to taste. Add a few dashes of Angostura bitters or orange bitters. Stir. Add ice. Add an orange slice or a cherry to garnish if you like. Drink.

I usually add about 1-2 teaspoons of syrup and 3 oz whiskey, as I don't like my drink sweet.
corky, cmd320 and Duke787 like this.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Apr 22, 21, 3:05 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,335
+1 if youíre after an Old Fashioned donít invest in a mix. Itís literally one of the easiest mixed drinks to make.

You can store simple syrup too so just make a big batch one every few months and then when you want an OF youíve already got that and just need your bourbon / rye and anything else you use to jazz it up
corky, gfunkdave and cmd320 like this.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 21, 4:01 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
Posts: 23,544
Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
+1 if youíre after an Old Fashioned donít invest in a mix. Itís literally one of the easiest mixed drinks to make.

You can store simple syrup too so just make a big batch one every few months and then when you want an OF youíve already got that and just need your bourbon / rye and anything else you use to jazz it up
I have had a jar of simple syrup that I made in my fridge for months. Many months!
corky is online now  
Old Apr 22, 21, 5:28 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,717
While I'm on the topic, if you do use cherries, be sure to use real maraschino cherries. Those day-glo red ones you see everywhere are not real maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries are a specifc type of cherry (marasca cherries) soaked in brandy made from their juice. They are mainly grown in the Dalmatian coast. They are much more expensive and sooooo worth it.

Luxardo is probably the most common brand of maraschino cherry. It's about $23 for a jar. Much more expensive and I could eat them by themselves.
obscure2k, chgoeditor and wrp96 like this.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Apr 22, 21, 6:23 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
Posts: 23,544
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
While I'm on the topic, if you do use cherries, be sure to use real maraschino cherries. Those day-glo red ones you see everywhere are not real maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries are a specifc type of cherry (marasca cherries) soaked in brandy made from their juice. They are mainly grown in the Dalmatian coast. They are much more expensive and sooooo worth it.

Luxardo is probably the most common brand of maraschino cherry. It's about $23 for a jar. Much more expensive and I could eat them by themselves.
Unless you are making buzzed cherry bombs which I make every year (well, not last year) for our 4th of July bock parties. I use regular vodka--not vanilla. Buzzed Cherry Bombs (Vodka Soaked Cherries) | Frosting and a Smile
wrp96 likes this.
corky is online now  
Old Apr 23, 21, 1:38 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Platinum/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,293
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post

Luxardo is probably the most common brand of maraschino cherry. It's about $23 for a jar. Much more expensive and I could eat them by themselves.
They are freaking amazing. I bought them once, and haven't splurged since, but would if we were setting up the bar for a very nice party.

On the topic of pre-made mixes, here are my thoughts:
- As others have said, old fashioneds are easy to make. I use the sugar cubes, but it takes all of 2-3 minutes even with that method. Also, since I'm a Wisconsin kid, I prefer Korbel brandy to whiskey, and a splash of Sprite on the top. But we make them both that way and the traditional way at home. NOW, my brother in law brought over a pre-mixed old fashioned bottle (booze and all) at Christmas, and it was quite good. I don't recall the name, but will ask next time I see him. Of course, being a busy host who was finishing up slicing the beef tenderloin while I was pouring drinks, I didn't realize it was a full mix and so I added my whiskey to his "mix" on the first round. It turned out really sweet and of course really strong...got better with round 2 .
- Margarita mix: I haven't found out that isn't way too sweet for me. My wife makes a very simple mix to which you can just add tequila. Mostly lime juice, a little sugar and some triple sec...I think that's all. But controlling the amount of sugar leads to a much more pleasurable experience.
- Bloody Mary: several are good, but we usually go with the Zing Zang. It also comes in single serve cans which is nice. We have a friend who infuses Costco vodka with peppers and just pours that into tomato juice...inventive, spicy, but just not as good.
- My favorite: Olives jarred in Vermouth. Just plop them into a glass of gin with a couple ice cubes and you have a dry martini.
corky likes this.
JBord is offline  
Old Apr 23, 21, 1:50 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wanting First. Buying First.
Programs: Lifetime Executive Diamond Platinum VIP with Braniff, Eastern, Midway, National & Pan Am
Posts: 9,063
Bittermilk No. 1 bourbon barrel aged old fashioned is a very good pre-made cocktail mix:
https://shop.bittermilk.com/products...-old-fashioned
pseudoswede likes this.
Herb687 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 21, 6:30 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,717
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
They are freaking amazing. I bought them once, and haven't splurged since, but would if we were setting up the bar for a very nice party.

On the topic of pre-made mixes, here are my thoughts:
- As others have said, old fashioneds are easy to make. I use the sugar cubes, but it takes all of 2-3 minutes even with that method. Also, since I'm a Wisconsin kid, I prefer Korbel brandy to whiskey, and a splash of Sprite on the top. But we make them both that way and the traditional way at home. NOW, my brother in law brought over a pre-mixed old fashioned bottle (booze and all) at Christmas, and it was quite good. I don't recall the name, but will ask next time I see him. Of course, being a busy host who was finishing up slicing the beef tenderloin while I was pouring drinks, I didn't realize it was a full mix and so I added my whiskey to his "mix" on the first round. It turned out really sweet and of course really strong...got better with round 2 .
- Margarita mix: I haven't found out that isn't way too sweet for me. My wife makes a very simple mix to which you can just add tequila. Mostly lime juice, a little sugar and some triple sec...I think that's all. But controlling the amount of sugar leads to a much more pleasurable experience.
- Bloody Mary: several are good, but we usually go with the Zing Zang. It also comes in single serve cans which is nice. We have a friend who infuses Costco vodka with peppers and just pours that into tomato juice...inventive, spicy, but just not as good.
- My favorite: Olives jarred in Vermouth. Just plop them into a glass of gin with a couple ice cubes and you have a dry martini.
Excellent ideas here!

I've heard of the brandy old fashioned but have yet to make it to a real Wisconsin supper club to try one. We're moving back to Chicago later this summer (I'm partially excited to be near family and friends and partially sad to leave Maine) so I will have the opportunity.

For margarita mix I think the main option I usually see is Cuervo which I'm sure is all sugar. Margaritas are actually pretty simple to make as well so I'd suggest buying a bottle of fresh lime juice (not Rose's!) and some Cointreau, and giving it a try. A from-scratch margarita is really good - you realize how much sugar there is in the mixes (well, at least the cheap ones most people use I guess).

I don't care for tomato juice so I've never really gotten into Bloody Marys but I will say that I was once at a brunch place in New Orleans (I forget which) that had a make your own Bloody Mary bar. I used green tomato juice and it was AMAZING. I would drink those a lot if I had access to green tomato juice.

I've recently been converted to the "vermouth is good in a martini" club. I have started making them in the 1930s proportion of 1 part vermouth to 2 or 3 parts gin, with a dash of orange bitters. It's really a great drink! I don't know where this "just look in the direction of France and that's all the vermouth you need" machismo came from.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Apr 25, 21, 10:30 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Platinum/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,293
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Excellent ideas here!

I've heard of the brandy old fashioned but have yet to make it to a real Wisconsin supper club to try one. We're moving back to Chicago later this summer (I'm partially excited to be near family and friends and partially sad to leave Maine) so I will have the opportunity.
Early welcome back! Not sure what area you're heading to, but if you need any food or drink recs when you get back, I know the city and the north burbs restaurants about as well as anyone (and I'm humble ), and would be happy to offer suggestions. Of course, as things reopen here, it may be a slightly new landscape for both of us.

Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
For margarita mix I think the main option I usually see is Cuervo which I'm sure is all sugar. Margaritas are actually pretty simple to make as well so I'd suggest buying a bottle of fresh lime juice (not Rose's!) and some Cointreau, and giving it a try. A from-scratch margarita is really good - you realize how much sugar there is in the mixes (well, at least the cheap ones most people use I guess).
You reminded me, my wife sometimes uses Cointreau instead of Triple Sec. I prefer her homemade style to even most restaurant margaritas, so couldn't agree with you more about this.

Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I don't care for tomato juice so I've never really gotten into Bloody Marys but I will say that I was once at a brunch place in New Orleans (I forget which) that had a make your own Bloody Mary bar. I used green tomato juice and it was AMAZING. I would drink those a lot if I had access to green tomato juice.
Would love to try the green. Here's my first rec for Chicago that may change your mind about Bloody Marys. Bub City in River North, for brunch. I assume their "make your own Bloody Mary" bar is closed during COVID, but if/when it reopens, check it out. The drink is not the point...the bar has about 50 toppings with long skewers...sliders, shrimp, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. IIRC, one drink costs about $16, but if you know what you're doing you can fit about $40 worth of food on top. First time we went, we met friends who picked the place. We got there first, I made a drink and thought it was good. Then our friends showed up and I learned from the masters. They didn't even order from the meu.

Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I've recently been converted to the "vermouth is good in a martini" club. I have started making them in the 1930s proportion of 1 part vermouth to 2 or 3 parts gin, with a dash of orange bitters. It's really a great drink! I don't know where this "just look in the direction of France and that's all the vermouth you need" machismo came from.
I used to like them with just a splash of Vermouth. Still fine that way, but I've also graduated to about a 1-3 ratio. In general, I have a new appreciation for Vermouth in general after visiting northern Spain in 2019. Unfortunately, that means I've found myself going to the fancy liquor store and spending more on it than just picking up a bottle of Martini & Rossi at the grocery store.
JBord is offline  
Old Apr 25, 21, 10:43 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
Posts: 23,544
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Excellent ideas here!

For margarita mix I think the main option I usually see is Cuervo which I'm sure is all sugar. Margaritas are actually pretty simple to make as well so I'd suggest buying a bottle of fresh lime juice (not Rose's!) and some Cointreau, and giving it a try. A from-scratch margarita is really good - you realize how much sugar there is in the mixes (well, at least the cheap ones most people use I guess).


.
I use Cuervo but I use the "light" version so it is not all sugar, nor is it artificial tasting or overly sweet. I do add my own triple sec to up the orange flavor & I would use Cointreau or Grand Marnier if I wanted to splurge. I would disagree with buying lime juice....only fresh squeezed. I would never use bottled lime or lemon juice in cooking and I don't in drinks either. I think it is a noticeable difference.
In the summer I like to make all kinds of versions of margaritas.....strawberry with basil, mango, cilantro & jalapeno, peach. etc. This is where the cuervo mix really comes in handy.
corky is online now  
Old Apr 25, 21, 11:53 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,717
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Early welcome back! Not sure what area you're heading to, but if you need any food or drink recs when you get back, I know the city and the north burbs restaurants about as well as anyone (and I'm humble ), and would be happy to offer suggestions. Of course, as things reopen here, it may be a slightly new landscape for both of us.
Thanks! My new colleagues just went to Cafe Babareeba on Friday for happy hour and I was pleased to see it's still around. We are definitely looking forward to all the great restaurants Chicago has to offer. Portland's restaurant scene is really excellent, especially for a city its size, so we haven't been lacking for options here either.

You reminded me, my wife sometimes uses Cointreau instead of Triple Sec. I prefer her homemade style to even most restaurant margaritas, so couldn't agree with you more about this.
I find Cointreau is a nice middle ground between triple sec and Grand Marnier.

Would love to try the green. Here's my first rec for Chicago that may change your mind about Bloody Marys. Bub City in River North, for brunch. I assume their "make your own Bloody Mary" bar is closed during COVID, but if/when it reopens, check it out. The drink is not the point...the bar has about 50 toppings with long skewers...sliders, shrimp, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. IIRC, one drink costs about $16, but if you know what you're doing you can fit about $40 worth of food on top. First time we went, we met friends who picked the place. We got there first, I made a drink and thought it was good. Then our friends showed up and I learned from the masters. They didn't even order from the meu.
If the restaurant is good with it then so am I! Sounds decadent lol

I used to like them with just a splash of Vermouth. Still fine that way, but I've also graduated to about a 1-3 ratio. In general, I have a new appreciation for Vermouth in general after visiting northern Spain in 2019. Unfortunately, that means I've found myself going to the fancy liquor store and spending more on it than just picking up a bottle of Martini & Rossi at the grocery store.
Blech! Martini and Rossi is the vermouth equivalent of jug wine. I usually buy Dolin or Noilly Prat. The bottle is like $20 I think but I buy it so infrequently that I don't care. And my mantra is that life is too short for cheap booze.

Originally Posted by corky View Post
I use Cuervo but I use the "light" version so it is not all sugar, nor is it artificial tasting or overly sweet. I do add my own triple sec to up the orange flavor & I would use Cointreau or Grand Marnier if I wanted to splurge. I would disagree with buying lime juice....only fresh squeezed. I would never use bottled lime or lemon juice in cooking and I don't in drinks either. I think it is a noticeable difference.
In the summer I like to make all kinds of versions of margaritas.....strawberry with basil, mango, cilantro & jalapeno, peach. etc. This is where the cuervo mix really comes in handy.
You're probably right but then I'd have to buy all those limes and juice them. Sounds like a lot of work and I am a lazy lazy man. So I buy a bottle of Fresh Lime and it's more than good enough for me. I also live in the great frozen north so the taste of fresh squeezed lime juice is but a rumor.
BamaVol likes this.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Apr 25, 21, 12:29 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
Posts: 23,544
Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
T






You're probably right but then I'd have to buy all those limes and juice them. Sounds like a lot of work and I am a lazy lazy man. So I buy a bottle of Fresh Lime and it's more than good enough for me. I also live in the great frozen north so the taste of fresh squeezed lime juice is but a rumor.
All those limes? How much are you drinking?? Limes keep a while in the fridge and you can even juice a bunch and freeze in ice cube trays for later. I couldn't live without my citrus squeezer.
https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...ds&wmSkipPwa=1
corky is online now  
Old Apr 26, 21, 10:56 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bye Delta
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold, MR Gold, Nat'l Exec Elite, Avis Presidents Club
Posts: 15,515
If you’re going to go for an old fashioned mix, I’d recommend Gary’s:
Amazon Amazon
pseudoswede likes this.
javabytes is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: