The Food Network Recipes Built Cocktails

Built Cocktail Nov 18, 2019

The Food Network Recipes Cocktails are built right in the serving glass when they need a gentle mixing treatment, such as drinks with carbonation. Hot drinks can also be built in the glass, since no ice is needed for chilling or dilution.

FAVORITE GIN AND TONIC

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

The gin and tonic is a classic example of a highball, a family of cocktails made with a spirit and a high proportion of nonalcoholic mixer, typically something sparkling.

This essential gin cocktail was born in 19th-century South Asia and Africa, where British colonists drank quinine-rich tonic water to treat malaria. Eventually they added gin, and today this iconic drink is enjoyed around the world. There are multitudes of gins and tonic waters to choose from, from mass-produced to small-batch.

makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces London dry gin

1 ounce tonic syrup

5 ounces seltzer, chilled

Lime wedge

Fill chilled collins glass halfway with ice. Add gin and tonic syrup and stir to combine using bar spoon. Add seltzer and, using spoon, gently lift gin mixture from bottom of glass to top to combine. Top with additional ice and garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

The Food Network Recipes GIN AND TONIC 

LILLET TONIQUE

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

Low-alcohol cocktails have always been popular in Europe, especially during the predinner hour as an appetite simulator. They’ve become increasingly appreciated in the United States in recent years, and we are big fans of this trend.

For this low-alcohol aperitif, we turned to Lillet, an elegant fortified wine from France that has been automatized with citrus and herbs. It’s similar to vermouth in that its alcohol content is greater than that of wine but less than that of a liqueur or a spirit. The original formula, dating to the 1870s, contained quinine (the ingredient that wards off malaria and makes tonic water bitter), but that was removed in the 1980s, making the current iteration of Lillet lighter and more citrus-forward.

Traditionally Lillet is served on its own over ice as an aperitif, but we wanted to create a cocktail with it, one that was playful while still maintaining the aromatized wine’s air of sophistication. So we decided to put the quinine back in. And our tasters agreed—we initially tried to add fizz via plain seltzer instead of tonic, but they found this version lacking in flavor and complexity.

We ultimately discovered that incorporating ¼ ounce of our Tonic Syrup in addition to the seltzer provided a lovely, balanced mix of citrus, herbal, and floral flavors. To garnish, we simply added a lemon slice, which helped emphasize the citrus notes of the Lillet. We prefer to use our homemade Tonic Syrup and seltzer here; however, you can substitute 3 ounces of store-bought tonic water for the syrup and seltzer, if you like.

makes 1 cocktail


3 ounces Lillet Blanc

¼ ounce tonic syrup

3 ounces seltzer, chilled

Lemon slice


Fill chilled wine glass halfway with ice. Add Lillet and tonic syrup and stir to combine using bar spoon. Add seltzer and, using spoon, gently lift Lillet mixture from bottom of glass to top to combine. Top with additional ice and garnish with lemon slice. Serve.

The Food Network Recipes LILLET TONIQUE

MOSCOW MULE

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

The exact origins of the Moscow Mule are up for some debate, but the fact that this cocktail was born out of necessity in the 1940s is not. As the most famous story goes, an overabundance of product triggered a brainstorming meeting between a vodka distributor (John G. Martin) and a friend (Jack Morgan) who owned the Cock ’n’ Bull bar in Los Angeles and who also happened to produce his own brand of ginger beer.

One night, Cock ’n’ Bull bartender Wes Price decided to experiment with these two ingredients that his boss was trying to push. With the addition of lime juice, the Moscow Mule was born.

The story continues that Jack Morgan’s girlfriend had inherited a copper factory, along with an inventory of poorly selling copper mugs. Thus they decided a copper mug should be the signature vessel for this drink. (A collins glass works just as well, however.) Even if there’s some legend in this story, one truth is that this cocktail was responsible for significantly increasing the popularity of vodka in the United States in the mid-20th century.

We found the key to a great mule was to add enough potent ginger flavor to temper the strength of the vodka. To achieve that goal, we created a spicy, not-too-sweet Ginger Syrup using both fresh and ground ginger. A splash of lime juice increased the overall brightness of the cocktail by enhancing the gingery snap. We prefer to use 1½ ounces of our homemade Ginger Syrup plus 5 ounces of seltzer here, but you can substitute 6 ounces of any premium store-bought ginger beer for the Ginger Syrup and seltzer.


makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces vodka
1½ ounces ginger syrup
½ ounce lime juice, plus lime slice for garnishing
5 ounces seltzer, chilled


Fill chilled collins glass or mule mug halfway with ice. Add vodka, ginger syrup, and lime juice and stir to combine using bar spoon. Add seltzer and, using spoon, gently lift vodka mixture from bottom of glass to top to combine. Top with additional ice and garnish with lime slice. Serve.

The Food Network Recipes Moscow Mule