Drinks with Timeless Appeal


June 11, 2024

Words by: Marcia J. Hamm

High-test cocktails for the brave of heart

If your significant other prefers an herbaceous, spicy, or smoky tipple over something more fruit-forward, a classic cocktail with a hint of ruggedness and made with a high-end spirit should appeal. 

The world of small-batch tequila is an ever-expanding one, rife with intriguing product and bottle design. Clase Azul Reposado features a unique, hand-painted cobalt blue feathered design on a white decanter. Even when empty, the bottle deserves a place on the shelf to serve as an art piece for years to come. This reposado is masterfully aged in American oak casks for eight months, imparting its unique hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla flavours with an exceptionally smooth finish. ​This tequila deserves to be sipped on its own, but with the sweet flavours imparted from being aged in wood, it is also delicious when accompanied by bittersweet chocolate. Clase Azul is available in 375ml and 750ml bottles from select retail stores. Expect to pay $185-$250.

José Cuervo, arguably the most popular tequila worldwide, does a fine job alongside three other manly monikered brands in a Four Horseman. This cocktail is strong with a distinct, warm burn, so take a seat at the bar and have a drink with José, Johnnie, Jack, and Jim.

Four Horsemen

Yields 1

¼ oz José Cuervo Gold
¼ oz Johnnie Walker Black blended Scotch
¼ oz Jim Beam bourbon
¼ oz Jack Daniels whiskey

Add tequila, Scotch, bourbon, whiskey and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and strain into a rocks glass, neat or over ice. 

Feeling a bit introspective? How about a cocktail made with dark rum to match the mood. The Dark ‘n’ Stormy speaks of mystery while conjuring up images of faraway lands, especially when made with a high-end rum like Dictador Aurum XO. A good quality ginger beer will enhance the already spicy, chocolate flavours created from the fermentation of unique, virgin, sugarcane honey in this Colombian spirit.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Yields 1
2 oz Dictador Aurum XO rum
¾ oz lime juice
3 oz Jamaican ginger beer

Lime wedge 

Add ice, dark rum, and lime juice to a tall glass. Top with ginger beer, stir to combine flavours and garnish with a lime wedge.

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