Dorflingers, Red Snappers, and Blue Motorcycles
If you know your cocktail basics, you probably know some of the standards and their base spirits. Mojitos are made with rum, Negronis are made with Campari, and Bloody Marys are made with vodka. Right?
To begin with, there are plenty of simple substitutions and variations for some of the most classic cocktails, some of which are so common that they've taken on entirely new names. The Gibson, for instance, is a version of the Martini where the only real difference is the garnish.
On top of that, you can create six different versions of the Margarita just based on which orange liqueur you use (if you use one at all).
Finally, let’s not forget that most cocktails came out of pure experimentation, curiosity, and limitations. Sometimes you don’t have every ingredient under the sun, and being forced to try out some substitutions can lead to all sort of new discoveries. You could even stumble upon your new favorite drink.
I’ve put together a list of variations and substitutions to play with, many of which are quite common, and some of which may surprise you.
Surprising Spirit Substitutions For Classic Cocktails - on VinePair