It’s easy to blame James Bond for ruining proper Martinis. Purists and people who like to talk down to others will tell you 007 has no class for ordering his Martinis shaken, not stirred. But maybe you like your drink slightly more diluted and super frigid. Perhaps little flecks of ice floating in your glass don’t bother you. In fact, perhaps you like little flecks of ice. If that’s all true, then you need to try shaking your Martini like a salt shaker. Heck, even if you are a diehard stirred Martini drinker, you should try a shaken Martini—it makes for a much more aperitif friendly cocktail. Martinis are highly personal beverages, and breaking the rules could lead to your next favorite libation.
Use Canned Whipped Cream in Irish Coffee
Fresh is best, except when it isn’t. Go ahead and grab that can of Reddi-wip. You know the feeling you get when you spray compressed and artificially sweetened whipped cream straight into your mouth? You can’t do that with the fresh stuff. And who cares if it carries the same stigma as drinking milk from the carton? The only thing better is spraying it onto Irish Coffee. It’s fast and efficient, with the added bonus of being artificially delicious with booze underneath. And if you find anyone who says they haven’t enjoyed Reddi-wip on its own at least once, you’ve found a liar.
Put Expensive Scotch into Cocktails
Catching the nuances in an old, rare and expensive scotch is a delight. But you know what else is a delight? Using it in a cocktail and seeing how it transforms something like a Rob Roy or a Penicillin. You’re not wasting good scotch by breaking this rule; you’re seeing what it can really do and how it plays with others. Break this rule as soon as you can afford to.
Garnish Your Bloody Mary with Something Garish
Common cocktail rules state that, other than extravagant tiki garnishes, the decoration on top of your glass shouldn’t distract from what’s inside. Throw that out the window. Do something crazy with your Bloody Mary. Put some fried chicken on top, or a whole fried chicken if you can make it work. Add some bacon (or a bacon straw) and don’t settle for just one pickle slice. A Bloody Mary is designed to be a recovery drink/meal, and nothing says recovery like a boatload of fried, pickled and bacon-wrapped food.
Break the 2:1:1 Ratio
Many good cocktails, at their most basic, are two parts spirit to one part sour and one part sweet. Following this rule will give you plenty of respectable cocktails like the Margarita, Daiquiri and Sidecar. But, on occasion, it’s acceptable to leave the land of the balanced. Make a Margarita so sweet it makes cheap hotel bar Margaritas taste like sour Warhead candies. It’s your life, and something has to satisfy that sweet tooth. Add a couple extra splashes of good rum to your Daiquiri if you’re in the mood for something with more of a kick. Balance is reliable, but balance can also be boring. Spice things up and live life on the unbalanced side every once in a while. You won’t regret it.