Variety in martinis is to be avoided, but this article in PUNCH is sensible: The 21 Best Martini Recipes. Look especially at “The Bar’s House Martini,” which is the best “batching” version I have come across, as well as the recipes for the “Beefsteak Martini,” the “Gin Blossom,” and the “Alaska.”
We are not usually fans of “beer cocktails” but, if one must, this recipe from Imbibe for the Jealous Moon may be bitter enough with the amaro to pass in warm weather.
Also from Imbibe, and more to my taste, is The Dancer, a gin-fizz variation
A rye Manhattan is a spectacular drink. This article (again from PUNCH) sets out some favorites. For our money, though, nothing beats Rittenhouse:
The rye whiskey recommended by the majority of the surveyed bartenders was Rittenhouse—a time-tested rye produced by Heaven Hill Distillery that’s aged for a minimum of four years. “Rittenhouse has the perfect spice profile, hits that 100-proof sweet spot that stands up in cocktails, and is generally readily available, which is important to consider in today’s American whiskey market,” says Colvin. With notes of honey, caramel, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg, and priced around $25 to $28, it ticks all the boxes of a workhorse rye whiskey.
The key there is the “100-proof sweet spot that stands up in cocktails . . . .”
Speaking of rye, one of my favorite drinks in recent months has been “The Conference,” from Death & Co:
1/2 ounce Rittenhouse 100 rye
1/2 ounce Buffalo Trace bourbon [I like Elijah Craig]
1/2 ounce Calvados
1/2 ounce Hine H Cognac [plain Courvoisier VS also works]
1 teaspoon demerara simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl bitters
Garnish: 1 lemon twist an 1 orange twist
Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a double rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with the lemon and orange twists.