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Old Fashioned

This is a fantastic cocktail steeped in history, that has spawned many versions over the years with different base spirits (including Vodka). This has happened due to the rise in popularity of cocktails, cocktail bars and cocktail barmen - who seem to be enjoying being seen as the new celebrity chefs (Sommelier's are next.....we insist!).

However, after both making and sampling many of these creations, we still keep coming back to what we will call the purity of flavour and providence that is the original (with a twist of course!).

The starting point as always with good food and drink is the quality of the ingredients. There are a number of Bourbons that we are happy to recommend for a brilliant Old Fashioned - Knob CreekBuffalo TraceBulleit orFour Roses Single Barrel Bourbon. However, for us, the absolutely perfect base is the Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon - heaven!

INGREDIENTS

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon (free pour), a sugar cube, Angostura Bitters, a fresh orange, two Maraschino cherries and two cubes of ice.

METHOD

  1. Take an Old Fashioned glass or tumbler and drop the sugar cube in.
  2. Pour over 6-8 drops of Angostura Bitters on the cube and cover with some of the Bourbon (do not pour more of the Bitters or it is game over early on!).
  3. Take the back of a spoon and gently crush and dissolve the sugar. Then add the ice cube and cover with more Bourbon. Stir for twenty seconds.
  4. Next squeeze the juice from the cherries into the glass and drop in the flesh. Add another ice cube and stir.
  5. Take the orange and slice a four inch piece of peel. Rub the peel oil onto the lip of the glass, squeeze a few drops of juice into the glass and pop half the peel in as a garnish.
  6. Fill up the glass with Bourbon (depending on how thirsty you are!) and then serve immediately.

The GWC

We are often asked what style of cocktail is great for parties, especially cocktail receptions. Of course, there are many (the best of which feature - or will feature - on this site). Last Christmas, however, we were looking along the line of Briottet liqueurs and Giffard liqueurs for some inspiration to create something new. Actually we found quite a bit of inspiration (see our Cocktail Recipe for our very own Russian Rasper).

Prosecco has certainly seen an immense rise in popularity in the past five or so years. Some say that it is because it is better value (some 'far cheeper'!!) than Champagne, especially if being free-poured at a party. However, for many (including us, who wouldn't dare want to appear 'cheap'!) it is because often it is more of a crowd-pleaser, less dry and more accessible for your guests than Champagne (especially at the lower levels of insipid Champagne 'party bottles' scoured from the shelves of a supermarket). 

Any of these Prosecco's are great for The GWC - Botter Gold ValdobbiadeneBotter Silver Spumante or Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Treviso Brut. However, for us, you don't want too much fruit in the Prosecco for this cocktail. Therefore we think the Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Frizzante Treviso Spago is absolutely perfect!

INGREDIENTS

Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Frizzante Treviso Spago, Briottet Pain d'Epices (Ginger) and a carefully sliced or scratched shard of crystalised ginger.

METHOD

  1. Pour 3 ml of Gingerbread Liqueur into a Champagne flute (or wine glass if you are thirsty!).
  2. Top up the glass with Prosecco.
  3. Serve with a shard of crystalised ginger into the bottom of the glass, so that it flavours the liquid as it falls.

Russian Rasper 

We are often asked what style of cocktail is great for parties, especially cocktail receptions. Of course, there are many (the best of which feature - or will feature - on this site). Last Christmas, however, we were looking along our extensive shelf of Briottet liqueurs and Giffardliqueurs for some inspiration to create something new. Actually we found quite a bit of inspiration (see our Cocktail Recipe - The GWC).

Prosecco has certainly seen an immense rise in popularity in the past five or so years. Some say that it is because it is better value (some 'far cheeper'!!) than Champagne, especially if being free-poured at a party. However, for many (including us, who wouldn't dare want to appear 'cheap'!) it is because often it is more of a crowd-pleaser, less dry and more accessible for your guests than Champagne (especially at the lower levels of insipid Champagne 'party bottles' scoured from the shelves of a supermarket). 

Any of these Prosecco's are great for a Russian Rasper -Botter Gold ValdobbiadeneBotter Silver Spumante or Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Treviso Brut. However, for us, you don't want too much fruit in the Prosecco for this cocktail. Therefore we think the Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Frizzante Treviso Spago is absolutely perfect!

INGREDIENTS

Bonotto delle Tezze Prosecco Frizzante Treviso Spago,Russian Standard Vodka (or Snow Queen if you can stretch - it's worth it), fresh raspberries, white chocolate and a sugar cube.

METHOD

  1. Place the sugar cube into a Champagne flute (or wine glass if you are thirsty!).
  2. Pour in some iced Vodka to cover the cube
  3. Squeeze the juice from two fresh raspberries into the glass
  4. Carefully pour in the Prosecco (try not to create too much fizz)
  5. Drop two whole raspberries into the glass
  6. Garnish with some grated white chocolate and serve immediately.

Caipiroska

We all love a Caipirinha which is based on the sugar cane spirit of Brazil, Cachaça. It was allegedly first created in the capital Brasília way back in the 1930's firstly as a local thirst quenching vehicle and then for the influx of internationals. It is now firmly a staple on cocktail menus around the world, loved for its combination of the sweet and the sour, the power and the ice. 

Some, however (including us) feel that Cachaça can be a little over-sweet and maybe a little over-bearing in the final mix (traditional or not!). So we prefer the alternative base of a good quality Vodka like Snow Queen or Stolichnaya Blue. We feel that this allows the flavours of the ingredients to work at their fullest within the glass and complement the oils in the limes. Some barmen use caster sugar for the recipe, however we feel this dissolves to easily and use granulated sugar instead which we feel has more texture for the simple rustic finish. See what you think and let us know!

INGREDIENTS

Snow Queen Vodka (or Stolichnaya Blue), two limes, granulated sugar and crushed ice.

METHOD

  1. Slice two limes into eight pieces each, and muddle (lightly crush and mash) in an tumbler or Old Fashioned glass to release the oils and juice of the limes.
  2. Scoop two heaped teaspoons of sugar over the limes.
  3. Pour a little vodka over the top and using the back of the spoon, release the limes from the bottom of the glass.
  4. Crush ten cubes of ice and add to the glass.
  5. Fill with vodka, and to mix, invert a similar glass over the top of yours and shake the liquid and limes between the two glasses (a show-boater for your next party!).
  6. Finally invert into the glass you wish to serve and serve.
  7. There should be bits of lime and sugar over the rim, and probably down the side of the glass as well. That's OK - it is meant to be rustic! Enjoy.

The Woo Woo

Again, this is a little twist on the original - boosted up for your next barbeque, party or quiet summer moments in the garden.

It is a relatively simple long drink in the sense that you can adapt the quantity of alcohol you use, depending on your plans for the rest of the day(!), but we feel there should be some kick - after all it is a cocktail, and when you make the effort to make a drink like this, it may as well be worth it!

As always, we recommend a good quality Vodka, as even with all of the other ingredients, you will notice. You could happily use Snow Queen or Stolichnaya Blue, but naturally we have opted for Sipsmith (to keep the garden party properly English).

INGREDIENTS

Sipsmith Vodka, Archer's Peach Schnapps, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, ice cubes and a slice of orange to garnish.

METHOD

  1. Place six cubes of ice into a three piece cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour in 3oz of Vodka, followed by 2oz of Peach Schnapps.
  3. Add two ounces of each of the juices.
  4. Connect the shaker and shake until a frost appears on the outside of the shaker (no frost, not mixed, too much frost, too diluted).
  5. Remove the top and mid sections of the shaker and pour (ice and all) into a tall highball glass.
  6. Slice a piece of orange and sit on the edge of the glass and serve.

The Romance

This is another twist on a classic many know as the White Russian. We give it a boost here to keep things fresh.

This is a brilliant drink as it can be served almost as a dessert after a meal, with/without before/after coffee. It is creamy and sweet, but there is a lively freshness due to the way that it is mixed - light and chilly! Originally this drink would have used double cream in the ingredients. We believe (healthy lot that we are!) that a 50:50 combination of single cream and skimmed milk offers the best results. They key is to shake the drink vigorously enough to smash the ice cubes into shards of ice and create a liquid full of bubbles. This lightens the texture and flavours of the drink when you serve. 

There are a number of Vodkas which work really well in this mix, like Cold River or Stolichnaya Blue (for added kick). However, we feel that the actor Dan Aykroyd'sCrystal Head is outstanding for the Romance. 

INGREDIENTS

Crystal Head VodkaKahluaBriottet Creme de Cacao, Single Cream, Skimmed Milk and ice cubes

METHOD

  1. Place 5 cubes of ice into a three piece cocktail shaker.
  2. Add 2oz of Vodka, 2oz of Kahlua and 2oz of Cacao.
  3. Pour enough of the cream and milk mixture to cover the tops of the ice (just enough or it will be too anemic).
  4. Put the shaker together and shake well to crush the ice and create many air bubbles.
  5. Strain into a Martini glass and serve. The top should have shards of ice floating amongst the bubbles. Delicious!


 

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