The first cocktail that ever surprised me had three ingredients.
It was 10 years ago at New York’s Milk & Honey, the late Sasha Petraske’s groundbreaking cocktail bar that put an emphasis on a proper pour, good ingredients and straightforward mixology.
The conversation that followed my order (it was for a tequila honeysuckle, recipe below) informed me for a lifetime. My bartender made an offhand comment about how anything more than three ingredients meant you were losing the character of the spirit. So for this edition of That's the Spirit, we went out and asked seven of our favorite mixologists to go minimal. Three ingredients, and bitters count as one. Ice does not. Nor do garnishes (one cheats a bit; such is life).
Below: seven perfect three-ingredient cocktails.