To learn how to disguise liquor in a cocktail, one can simply look to the cocktails of the Prohibition era. Using color, flavors, and fun names you can make a delicious cocktail and drink as many as you would like. I have included my favorites and their recipes and twists but I encourage you to take a chance and do some googling. There are a ton out there!
The sidecar is a great classic cocktail. It is a three to four step cocktail that's perfect for when you want something sweet and sour. The combination of lemon juice and cognac makes it not overpowering and the color hides it in that prohibition style.
1 1/2 oz Cognac
1 oz Orange liqueur
1 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (optional)
Recipe: In a shaker with ice, pour cognac, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and optional simple syrup. Shake until cold and pour into a chilled coupe glass.
I personally add simple syrup to this because I find the original recipe not sweet enough. You can also add other fruit flavors: peach or strawberry would be great with it. The sidecar is a very classy, simple cocktail that allows you to stick to the original or add your own preferences and change it up.
The White Lady cocktail is another delicious lemon forward cocktail. It's a simple coupe style cocktail that's perfect for afternoon tea or happy hour. I like it as a pre-show cocktail before the theatre. It makes me feel a little fancy, a little drunk, and always like a lady. My version above adds in blackberry syrup to the mix so it's more of a pink lady but still so delicious.
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz orange liqueur
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz blackberry syrup (optional)
Recipe: In a shaker with ice, pour gin, lemon juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and optional blackberry syrup. Shake until cold and pour into a chilled coupe glass.
For the white lady, you want to go with flavors to boost the profile. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are great to add but not take away too much of the tartness of the lemon juice.
As you can see both of these cocktails rely on lemon juice, coupe glasses, and are not alcohol taste forward. That is what you find in the cocktails of that era. It's why I prefer them for small parties. They are great to sip on and not feel immediately drunk but will definitely get you tipsy. There are many different cocktails from the prohibition era that play into this vibe: Gin Gimlet, The Southside, Singapore Sling, and Jack Rose to name a few. The important tips are to remember that you shouldn't see the alcohol and it should be colorful. These cocktails also give you the chance to experiment with some retro cocktail glasses. I highly suggest getting a set to elevate the fun!