I've been a "home mixologist" for a few years and enjoy few things more than a well crafted cocktail. I may just be the snootiest of snoots when it comes to beverages. This thread is for anyone interested in mixology to share recipes, ideas, tips, etc.
I personally like variations on classic cocktails (e.g. martini, Manhattan, Sazerac, Negroni, etc.) more than the current trend - at least in Toronto - toward distracting from the base spirit. Here's a recent one from my home bar:
Small piece of pineapple (about 1/4 of a 0.5" slice)
1.5oz Plymouth gin
0.5 oz dry vermouth
0.5oz Pama pomegranate liqueur
dash of habanero bitter (homemade, can be substituted with any spicy bitter or even a bit of chili oil)
Muddle pineapple in the bottom of a mixing glass
Add ice, gin, vermouth, pomegranate, bitters and stir thoroughly
Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a generous lemon twist, being sure to squeeze out some of the lemon's oil onto the top of the drink
The fruit in this one is pretty subtle, and doesn't overtake the gin. I found it important to use a relatively neutral gin (i.e. I wouldn't use Hendricks or anything similar here).
In case you're interested, I made my bitters with
1 cup vodka
1/4 cup citric acid
1tbsp cinchona bark
1tbsp dried rosemary
1tsp dried habanero
Mix ingredients in a saucepan covered over LOW heat for 5-10 minutes and then seal in a jar for 6-8 weeks before using.