Whether it’s a classic cocktail or a crafty new concoction, when it comes to preparing a powerful home remedy, the cocktail should taste as good as it looks.
Here are some creative infusions that serve the purpose well…
1. The Bloody Jasmine
Here’s a novel pairing from Down Under. Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin (£39.95, 70cl, Master Of Malt) is crafted from gin and shiraz grapes and this plum choice can be mixed with tonic or soda; and unlike sloe gin, the abv is 37.8% (rather than less than 30%) so it works well in cocktails.
Ingredients: 20ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, 20ml Campari, 20ml Dry Curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau), 20ml fresh lemon juice, 1 dash of orange bitters, and a lemon twist for garnish.
Method: Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupette glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
2. Dark ‘n’ Stormy
For a rum cocktail with minimum effort and maximum taste, try Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum (£25, 70cl, Waitrose) to capture island life in a shot.
Ingredients: 50ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, 75ml Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer and squeeze of lime.
Method: Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the ginger beer and then pour the rum slowly so that it floats on top of the ginger beer. Add a squeeze of lime and garnish.
3. Sergeant Tibbs
A competing cocktail in this year’s Beefeater MIXLDN, the world’s largest gin-based cocktail competition, budding mixologists just need to pinch Granny’s tea set to create this cocktail, which takes inspiration from 101 Dalmatians and is made using Beefeater London Dry Gin (£14, 70cl, Sainsbury’s).
Ingredients: 50ml Beefeater London Dry, 60ml single cream (well chilled), 10ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, and powdered green tea for a garnish.
Method: Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake (no ice). Pour into a pretty tea cup and garnish with powdered green tea in the shape of spots.
4. Candlelit Manhattan
Who says making a cocktail at home has to take any effort or lots of ingredients? Here’s a vintage cocktail made with rye whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters – handily mixed in a bottle for you.
Created by Ryan Chetiyawardana, crowned the world’s best bartender at the Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirit Awards in 2015 and man behind the Dandelyan Bar, London, it’s a bespoke bottle with excellent credentials.
Method A Manhattan is simple enough but this is even easier. All you have to do with Mr Lyan’s Candlelit Manhattan (£42.75, 50cl, The Whisky Exchange) is serve it well chilled and garnish the glass with a maraschino cherry.
5. The Dorset Donkey
Believe it or not, this English vodka is made entirely from the milk of grass-grazed cows. Black Cow Vodka (£28, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) can be enjoyed neat on the rocks, but with the added benefit of blueberries, this cocktail has colour and character.
Ingredients: 40ml Black Cow, 10ml morello cherry liqueur, 20ml lime juice, 15ml honey water, 3 stalks of sage, 6 blueberries and 75ml ginger ale.
Method: Drop four of the blueberries into the bottom of a highball glass with two sprigs of sage. Using a muddling stick or similar, gently press the berries and herbs into the bottom of the glass. Pour the vodka, liqueur, lime and honey water into the glass. Add cubed ice to fill the glass, then top with ginger ale. Give the glass a quick stir to lift the berries and sage through. Garnish with a sprig of sage and two blueberries.
6. Old Dog
On the back of the trend for no-age-statement blended malt, Copper Dog Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (£27.95, 70cl, The Whisky Exchange) combines eight Speyside single malts and, with its fruity profile and hints of honey and spice, it’s designed specifically for mixing in cocktails. Here’s an old fashioned recipe to tinker with…
Ingredients: 50ml Copper Dog, 5ml sugar syrup and dash aromatic bitters.
Method: Pour the whisky into a rocks glass and add a few ice cubes. Build the sugar syrup and bitters over the ice. Stir and garnish with an orange rind twist.
7. Wild Turkey Kentucky Mule
For a long, refreshing cocktail that comes with a good kick, swap vodka for Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey (£23, 70cl, Tesco).
Ingredients: 40ml Wild Turkey, 15ml freshly squeezed lime juice, dash angostura bitters, ginger beer, lime and fresh mint for garnish.
Method: Half-fill a shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, lime juice and bitters. Shake vigorously and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with lime and a mint sprig.