When stocking a bar (both home and professional) it’s important to be resourceful first. You can leave the never-ending variety of tinctures, shrubs and syrups – and the exorbitant overhead – to craft cocktail bars. Because mixing drinks doesn’t have to require a bevy of obscure ingredients, as we don’t often need to produce dozens of unique recipes. But a good bartender knows the value of versatility. And can bang out an impressive number of drinks with just a small handful of ingredients.
Of course, the details of that versatility will differ with each person. But the key to consolidation is versatility. Because few drinkers have the time, space, or cash to have a wealth of liqueurs, fresh juices and homemade syrups on hand. Which is why it pays to stock some basic spirits – like gin and bourbon – as well as modifiers – like vermouth and orange liqueur – that can be combined to create a number of solid cocktails.
PAMA is one example of a versatile mixer. This pomegranate liqueur blends easily with everything from vodka and gin to brandy and whiskey. It can be used as a primary spirit, if that’s your thing. It can be substituted (with different, yet typically good results) for home-made grenadine. Or it can be subbed for certain syrups and liqueurs to add a different dimension to cocktails.
Add PAMA and fresh lemon juice to a primary spirit and you can concoct a range of delicious classics. Like the New York cocktail, Jack Rose and Gin Daisy, to name a few. And all that without having to drop tons of money on a bunch of ingredients. That’s a potent combo that’ll keep the drinks flowing and your guests happy.
2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz PAMA
1/2 oz simple syrup
Shake first four ingredients with ice. Strain into a Collins glass. Top with soda, and garnish with a lemon wheel.