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Wow guests with your bartending skills this holiday: 3 Cocktails you’ll want to have in your line up

J.M. Hirsch’s new book "Pour Me Another" has 250 ways to find your favorite drink. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — In his new book, "Pour Me Another," J.M. Hirsch, editorial director at Milk Street, has 250 ways to find your favorite drink.

He joined the show to demonstrate how to make three of them!


The basic Daiquiri is a model of simplicity and balance. Variations date to at least the late 1880s, when Jerry Thomas wrote about a rum sour called the Santa Cruz Sour. But it was during the early 1900s in Havana that the drink became an icon. Constante Ribalaigua Vert at Floradita Bar perfected the blend of white rum, lime juice, and sugar. Many classic recipes call for equal parts lime juice and sugar, but I find it too sweet and knock down the sugar just a bit. Bitters aren’t common, but I love the lightly herbal-floral notes a dash of Peychaud’s bitters adds. If you don’t have any, buy some! But Angostura bitters also work well


  • 3 ounces white rum
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce agave or simple syrup 
  • Dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • Ice cubes


In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, lime juice, syrup and bitters. Shake with ice cubes, then strain into a coupe.

Lime in de Coconut

This is my take on Dale DeGroff’s lime- and coconut-heavy summer sipper that is light, refreshing, and probably goes down a little too smooth. Where DeGroff uses ginger syrup, I opt for ginger liqueur. He calls for both coconut water and cream of coconut, but I find just the former adds plenty of tropical flavor and keeps the cocktail from tasting heavy.


  • 2 lime rounds
  • ¼ ounce agave or simple syrup 
  • 6 to 10 granules kosher salt 
  • 2 ½ ounces vodka 
  • 1 ounce coconut water
  •  ½ ounce ginger liqueur
  •  Ice, cubes and crushed


In a cocktail shaker, muddle 1 lime round, the syrup, and salt. Add the vodka, coconut water, and ginger liqueur. Shake with ice cubes, then strain into a coupe or old fashioned glass filled halfway with crushed ice. Garnish with the second lime round.

Salty Dog 

The Salty Dog likely started life as the Greyhound during the 1930s, when Harry Craddock mixed grapefruit juice with gin. A few decades later, somebody added salt and the Salty Dog was born. It’s a rare exception in cocktails, which generally lean sweet. The Salty Dog is supposed to taste a little briny, an interesting match to the botanicals of the gin and the sweet-sour grapefruit. Over the years, many bartenders decided to give the Salty Dog a margarita treatment, skipping the salt in the cocktail and instead adding it to the rim of the glass.

I’m a big believer in salting cocktails. But I struggled to make a modern Salty Dog I enjoyed. No matter which version I tried, the grapefruit juice—used almost always in a 2:1 ratio to gin—overwhelmed the liquor, turning it bitter. At that point, the salt only made the mess worse. 

The solution turned out to be obvious: Give the Salty Dog the real Margarita treatment—but not its salty rim. Take the flavor profile of the original, but use the proportions of a margarita. In place of the classic orange liqueur that rides shotgun to tequila, I took a tip from Dale DeGroff’s Salty Dog Retooled, which, among other changes, adds elderflower liqueur (and bitters). 

As for the salt? I stick with my usual approach. Too much salt—particularly on the rim of the glass—blows out the flavors of a cocktail. But just a hint rounds out and blooms the other flavors. That’s the approach I took here. It produced a far better, far more balanced cocktail than the seawater approach of so many other recipes.


  • 2 ounces gin 
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice 
  • ¾ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 6 to 10 granules kosher salt
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes


In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, juice, elderflower liqueur, salt, and bitters. Shake with ice cubes, then strain into a coupe.

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest at 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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