Rule One: Don't choose the least expensive brand of liquor, even though the nuances of the finest spirits will be masked by the fruits and other ingredients. Name-brand products cost a little more, but they bear fuller flavors than spirits with names that you don't recognize.
Rule Two: Keep lots of fresh citrus fruits on hand. A squeeze of lemon or lime makes flavors sparkle.
Rule Three: Don't let the dominant fruit flavors make you forget that each of these drinks contains about two ounces of alcohol. We think these proportions produce the best results, but you may want to ease up on refills.
GARY AND MARDEE HAIDIN REGAN are the authors of The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys.(Chapters Publishing)