I promised a new spirit, and here it is, first an apology, I somehow had neglected to photograph today's cocktail, so I had to make one and sort out an image (such hardship I put myself through for you guys).
Bourbon, is an easier spirit to use than scotch as it's generally smoother & less strongly flavoured, it has a drink all to itself in the roster of classic cocktails, the Manhattan. Lets make one and then talk about it a bit more.
1 Part sweet vermouth
2 Parts Bourbon
1 dash angostura bitters
Stir with a lot of ice, strain into a glass, drop in a maraschino cherry (and a little of the syrup)
Simple enough. What you get is an outstanding cocktail that you can spend a lot of time experimenting with. Some aficianados rate this as the king of cocktails, placing it above the Martini. As with a Martini you have a lot of variation to play with, the Manhattan comes in dry,sweet & perfect by altering the vermouth. You can also move it around the dryness scale by altering the Bourbon. Jack Daniel's (not a Bourbon, but easily obtained) is quite neutral, Woodford reserve makes a very fine Manhattan. Use your favourite Bourbon & treat it well, its the major player in this drink. I like to drop the maraschino cherry through the completed drink as I can use a dash of the syrup, the same way I use pickle juice in a Gibson. Spend time tweaking your Manhattan, and your Martini, this will give you 2 killer cocktails that are very easy to make. Knowing them well will mean you can rustle up an impressive drink with a limited drink cabinet.
If you take a close look at the photo, you'll see "the tears of strong wine" in what cocktail fans like to call "the window". It's the space between the top of the drink & the rim of the glass, that prevents spillage. A classic cocktail glass is that shape for a reason, most of which is allowing you to circulate a party holding the glass and not getting your drink warm. I'll talk about glassware in detail later, now though I'm going to enjoy my Manhattan, I suggest you do too.