Attorney David Kramer dabbles in mixology with his own all-natural cocktail recipes. He shares four refreshing recipes to try this summer.
By Cheryn Hong
Photography by Ronald Pickering
Most people know David Kramer as a practicing attorney of 14 years, but his neighborhood friends know him for his all-natural cocktail drinks. Before becoming a lawyer, Kramer worked for Chrysler. Yet his mixologist roots stem from when he was a college bartender at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit.
Law felt natural for Kramer to pursue as a vocation. Even though it wasn’t always clear, he knew he wanted to be active in society.
“After undergraduate I didn’t have a real direction of exactly what I wanted to do,” says Kramer, 49, of Ferndale. “Law seemed like a natural step because that’s where different rights and obligations are decided, and I wanted to be involved in putting forth good causes and purposes.”
Even though a passion in both law and mixology may seem unorthodox, Kramer says his hobby came naturally to him. He adds there is a similarity between taking care of house guests and clients that he enjoys.
“When I have a client as a lawyer my job is to take care of them and handle their legal issues because they’re the priority. Similarly, when hosting people for a party, I want to take care of my guests,” Kramer says. “I want to do the best for them and make it a good experience, whether it be a house party or a lengthy litigation.”
Kramer’s cocktail recipes come from hosting house parties he’s held with his wife. They hold dinners regularly, which developed Kramer’s interest in pairing certain drinks with foods to enhance their guests’ experience.
This good experience is what propelled Kramer to create homemade and all-natural cocktail recipes. He says that by taking another small step, people can elevate their drinks from tasting like they’re store-bought to homemade.
“You can obviously go to a party store and buy a jug of sour mix, but it’s just corn syrup and a bunch of fake flavors. You can make sour mix; it doesn’t take much time,” Kramer says. “Simply take lemons, limes or any citrus fruit you want. Then if you add sugar, cook it, cool it, and add that to your cocktails. It’s cheap, easy and tastes a heck of a lot better.”
Though it may seem time consuming to balance a full-time job as an attorney and prepare drinks for friends and family, Kramer says by planning a little each day, anyone can make time to produce great drinks.
“Taking a little more time is what makes a drink. I make a grapefruit simple syrup two or three days ahead of time. So, when I have a party, it’s ready to be served, and I don’t think twice about it,” Kramer says.
With his love for unique and refreshing cocktails, Kramer says he wants to help others expand their drink preferences and introduce them to better quality and tasting beverages.
“People in my age group have grown up drinking traditional cocktails such as Jack and Cokes. My belief is that if somebody drinks that, they should try a better alternative such as an Old Fashioned, which has hints of cola in it,” Kramer says. “I want to help people expand what they like and find them a good tasting and healthier alternative.”
Four all-natural drink recipes by David Kramer
3 ounces Atxa Rojo
Pour Atxa Rojo over ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with large peel of orange
2 ounces dry gin
3/4 ounce Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
½ ounce Campari
3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice
Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and serve neat or over ice. Garnish with grapefruit peel.
2 ounces dry gin
3/4 ounce Atxa Rojo
3/4 ounce d’Orange Citrus Vermouth
1 ounce Cynar
Sprig of rosemary
Add sprig of rosemary and bitters to ice. Add liquid ingredients. Stir well with ice. Strain and serve over large ice cube. Adapted from 100Negronis.com.
2 ounce Tequila Reposado
1/2 ounce lime juice
6 ounces soda
1-2 ounces grapefruit simple syrup
Pour the tequila, lime juice and grapefruit simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake well, pour over ice in a Collins glass and top with soda and a sliver of grapefruit.