Find your sweet spot with these classic cocktails

June 24, 2011 at 11:19 AM ET

There always comes a point when what's old is new again. Now, classic cocktails are making a comeback, but with a modern twist (I credit "Mad Men" for my own obsession with Old Fashioneds). Tony Abou-Ganim shares recipes from his book, "The Modern Mixologist," for some amped-up versions of old-school drinks. Check them out below and watch the video for some hilarious jokes about "sweet spots."

Shochu Caipirinhas

Shochu (pronounced "So-shoe") is from the Japanese culture and made from rice. Where Sake is brewed, Shochu is distilled like vodka. It is mixable (where Sake is not) and also lends itself to flavors! It is a new category to the United States and gaining attention in restaurants, lounges (and liquor shops) across the country.

Two of the hottest flavors for summer are the KAI Young Coconut Shochu and KAI Lemongrass & Ginger Shochu. These spirits are light and refreshing and so unique that they will be at the top your must-have party drink list. Shochu is also available in plain for those folks who prefer a non-flavor when having a cocktail.


  • 2 oz KAI Young Coconut or Lemongrass Shochu
  • ½ whole lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 4 chunks of fresh pineapple

In a mixing glass muddle lime, pineapple and simple syrup, add Shōchū and ice; shake to mix, dump entire drink into a chilled Old Fashioned glass.

Skipper's Brew

Move over, Arnold Palmer… The Skipper's Brew is an updated version of the classic iced tea and rum.

It is summer 2011 and it's time to take your favorite "spirited" iced tea and give it a face-lift! The key to updating any iced tea is to add rum. Rum is an ingredient that takes an ordinary beverage and turns it into a memorable one -- that special drink your guest's will never forget!


  • 8 oz Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum
  • 4 oz Cointreau
  • 16 oz freshly brewed iced tea
  • 8 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 oz agave nectar
  • Sliced lemon wheels and mint sprig for garnish

KLG & Hoda Cooler

Using fresh mango puree, fresh lime juice and the hot new flavored vodka such as Skyy Blood Orange Vodka, this all adds up to one delicious drink! The idea is to build flavor on flavor.


  • 1 ½ oz Skyy Blood Orange vodka
  • ¾ oz Campari
  • 1 oz fresh mango puree
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Chilled soda water from the siphon
  • Mango spears and mint sprig for garnish

In a mixing glass add vodka, Campari, mango puree, lime juice and simple syrup; shake with ice until well blended. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with mango fan and mint sprig.