Cocktails on a Budget

I recently ran into an Instagram follower who made the comment “I wish I had the money to make the cocktails you make.” Let me let you in on a little secret of mine. I’m a low budget boozer.

Cocktails can be expensive! It’s part of the reason I don’t go out as much as when I first started. When I make cocktails at home, I try to stick to a few budget saving rules:

One: Use as few ingredients as possible. Enter the classics. Most old school recipes only have 3-4 ingredients (including citrus).

Two: Find different ways to use the same spirit. For instance this past month I’ve been sticking to gin. I’m basically making as many different cocktails as I can using gin as the main ingredient. When the bottle is gone I move on to the next spirit.

Three: I stopped buying things just to try them. Instead I look out for them at bars and ask for a taste. If I like it, I’ll ask the bartender to suggest a drink using that product. Only if I really think I’ll get some use out of it will I purchase it for home.

 Four: I remember to store low percentage (less than 30% abv) liqueurs and vermouth in the fridge. Chilling them helps them last longer and keeps the flavor from “turning”. The longer they last the less frequent I have to buy them.

While I miss the days that I would buy booze with total abandon, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to break the bank whenever I want to make a cocktail at home. 

Nikki G. Davidson