While it continues to be bitterly cold in most parts of the country, which makes it perfect weather for holing up inside and staying cozy with a homemade cocktail! And who better to help guide you through the spirited homebrew brainstorming process than Jean Grae, who once dedicated a song to apple martinis. Hive sat down with Grae recently and got the inside-scoop on how to step up your homemade drink game.
1. Avoid Gin
Always start with vodka! No gin. I went through a gin period. I drank gin for about two years and it was one of those nights where it ended up like, “What the hell am I drinking?” So I don’t drink gin any more. I was drinking really really dirty gin martinis, with Bombay Sapphire, and now gin brings back bad memories. So, vodka!
2. Get Fresh
Fresh ingredients are better. I got a whole bunch of shit the other day, mint and blackberry, that works for cocktails. I just squeeze the blackberries; muddling, too, all that shit is great.
3. Bypass Sugar
I was at the supermarket and last minute I saw this thing that said it was pomegranate martini. It was like $5. It was pink. I knew it was going to be horrible so I got it. I put sugar on the rim of the glass but I did not use the correct ratio they said to use. I got drunk five minutes in. I was like, “Something is wrong here, I’m a professional drinker…” So I stay away from sugars and syrups.
4. Use a Manly Glass
Personally, I don’t care what glass my cocktail is in, but I have a lot of male friends who will get very offended if they don’t get their cocktails in a man glass. They’ll be like, “I’m comfortable with who I am but I just don’t want to drink out of a dainty glass right now.”
5. If in doubt…
When making a cocktail at home you want something that doesn’t fuck you up immediately; you want to be pleased and have a comforting drink. Unless your mission is to get wasted then you make a pint glass of Strong Island: Five liquors and you cut out the middle man with no coke. Just don’t wear anything you like.
Jean Grae’s new album, Cake or Death, is out soon. Watch the video for “Kill Screen” below: