If you’re seeking an extra strong cocktail with ABV undiluted by any added ingredients, then these mixer-free stirred drinks belong in your cocktail repertoire. These drinks are made with straight liquor and straight liquor only. That means no sodas, syrups, juices or garnishes—not even a lemon twist. Here, the best strong cocktails that only call for booze and nothing but booze.
8 Cocktails That Are All Booze and Nothing but Booze
If you’re a Martini fan who craves something more adventurous every now and then, the Bijou is for you. Bracing gin is mellowed by sweet vermouth and green Chartreuse to form a complex and herbaceous flavor profile.
Named for another New York borough, this cocktail never saw the same level of fame as the Manhattan, but the Brooklyn is definitely worth mixing up. Rye whiskey, dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur combine with bittersweet, orange-flavored Amer Picon to form a wonderfully sweet-tart-bitter cocktail. Unfortunately, Amer Picon isn’t typically available in the United States, but you can still achieve a near perfect Brooklyn by using another fruity amaro, like Bittermens Amère Nouvelle.
Apple brandy, rye whiskey and green Chartreuse make the Diamondback at once sweet, spicy and herbaceous. For best results (and an ultra-potent drink), use all overproof spirits.
It may not be as well known as its gin-based brother, the Corpse Reviver #2, but the Cognac-based #1 is arguably the better drink of the two. Calvados, a traditional French apple brandy, blends with Cognac and sweet vermouth to create a rounded, rich and woody drink that tastes as delicious with breakfast as it does after dinner.
Named for the acclaimed 1970s film, this equal-parts cocktail made with smoky scotch and nutty amaretto was supposedly a favorite drink of actor Marlon Brando (aka Don Corleone). Whether or not that’s true, it’s still a great digestif cocktail to sip after a big meal.
For a sweeter take on the Godfather, swap out the scotch for Cognac to create the French Connection—another cocktail inspired by filmdom. Named after the 1971 thriller, this cocktail’s sweet and approachable flavors can easily fool a drinker into misjudging its potency.
Those watching their waistlines can forgo creamy White Russians in favor of its moodier predecessor: the Black Russian. The simple combination of vodka and coffee liqueur was created in the 1940s as a symbol of the dark times following World War II, but we prefer to overlook that doom and gloom while enjoying this easy nightcap.
One of the booziest Champagne cocktails there is, the Death in the Afternoon mixes a jigger of absinthe with chilled bubbly to create what its inventor, Ernest Hemingway, referred to as “opalescent milkiness,” otherwise known as le louche effect.