Fruit preserves are one of my favorite things to have around. They offer a consistent flavor and sweetness no matter the climate or season, and you can get them pretty much anywhere. Dropping a plop into your shaking tin is a great lazy way to spruce up an otherwise unremarkable cocktail―and you don’t have to bother making simple syrup to sweeten it.
Feel free to riff on this, based on your mood, preference, or whatever ingredients you have. Some suggestions: vodka and anything; gin and raspberry; tequila and fig; rye and cherry; pisco and strawberry; rum and plum; bourbon and orange marmalade. You can also play around with which citrus ―lemon or lime―works best for each combination.