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Challenging Cocktails

Challenging Cocktails


When it comes to crafting the perfect cocktail, an excessively stocked bar is your best friend. Whether you’re a Mai Tai master, a Long Island Iced Tea native, or a Singapore Sling savant, chances are you have everything you need to whip one up without breaking a sweat.

But once in a while, it’s nice to challenge yourself with a cocktail so excessively time consuming or ingredient heavy, that you’ll clear your schedule just to get it right at least one time. We’re talking dozens of ingredients, complicated homemade tinctures and infusions, and fire.

Think you’ve got what it takes to conquer these excessive libations? Take a look at a few of the world’s most challenging cocktails, pick up the ingredients at your closest Spec’s, and give it a go.

Ramon’s Gin Fizz

A gin fizz doesn’t seem that hard, right? This one has a few more ingredients than usual, but nothing that you don’t already have. The reason this one makes the list is the deceptive amount of vigorous shaking required to get the consistency just right.

2 oz gin
12 oz heavy cream
12 oz lemon juice
12 oz lime juice
34 oz simple syrup
3 dashes orange flower water
1 fresh egg white
Club soda

Add all the ingredients except club soda to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice to shaker and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass. Pour a little bit of club soda back and forth between the empty halves of the shaker to pick up any residual egg white, and then pour into the glass.

The Classic Bloody Mary

Due to its combination of ingredients and range of flavors, the brunch staple Bloody Mary was named the most complicated drink by the American Chemical Society. “It’s a very complicated drink,” said Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D., an expert on the chemical analysis of flavors at International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. “It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations—sweet, salty, sour and umami or savory—but not bitter.”

2 oz premium vodka
4 oz tomato juice
2 dashes Tabasco
2 tsp prepared horseradish
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch celery salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 lemon wedge
1 lime wedge
Celery stalk for garnish

Pour celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the juicy side of lemon wedge along the lip of a pint glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated. Fill with ice and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop in. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake gently and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.

Rum Martinez

Japan has developed a reputation for lovingly crafted cocktails and the Rum Martinez is no exception. It’s even served with its own cigar. This is more art than manual labor or an extensive ingredient list.

 45ml Ron Zacapa Centenario 23
45ml Vermouth
1 tsp Maraschino
1 dash original rum bitters
Wood chips

Rinse the inside of a decanter with rum. Fill a teapot and strainer with wood chips, then toast the chips to ignite a small flame. Pour the rum from the decanter into the teapot—with the chips still smoking—and let sit. Use the same wood chips and a smoke infuser to fill the decanter with smoke. Stir the rest of the ingredients in a glass with ice, then strain into the decanter. Add the rum, cap the decanter, and gently swirl the mixture to let the flavors blend. Slowly pour the decanter into a low cocktail glass and serve with a light cigar.


Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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