Cocktails

Cocktails are back, slicker and less fussy than ever (without the umbrellas)…

Our top five in-trend &/or classic must try cocktails:

5. Bloody Mary

bloody-mary

Still searching for the best ever Bloody Mary? Our favourite Bloody Mary in Great Horkesley is easy to prepare with much less fuss than most. Just a few ingredients will give you everything you need: Absolute Vodka, Big Tom tomato juice, Fee Brothers Celery and ice. Only the very hardened drinker will need more, but for those add salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco to taste. Serve with a celery stick and a side dish of olives. For alternative takes on the Bloody Mary see Red Snapper (the gin alternative).

Red Snapper

The original ‘Bloody Mary’ made with gin instead of vodka.

Ingredients:
  • 50ml Gin Mare
  • 100ml Tomato Juice
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Worcester Sauce
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon
Method:
  • Chop an inch of cucumber into small pieces
  • Add cucumber, Gin Mare, Tomato Juice, 3 dashes Worcester sauce, pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard
  • Strain into a tall glass filled with ice
  • Add Tabasco to taste and garnish with a long sliver of cucumber, two lemon slices and black pepper
Variations:
  • Bloody Mary swap the Gin Mare for vodka, remove the cucumber and garnish with celery
  • Bloody Maria swap the Gin Mare for reposado tequila and garnish with a whole chilli
  • Michelada swap the Gin Mare for a crisp lager, remove the cucumber and garnish with a lime wedge
  • Bloody Pirate swap the Gin Mare for Kraken Dark Spiced Rum
  • Bloody Shame remove the Gin Mare and serve spiced tomato juice with no alcohol

4. Expresso Martini

expresso-martini

This cocktail requires an Espresso machine, Kahlúa coffee-liqueur and Absolute Vodka. Add in the coffee and coffee-liqueur in equal parts and double the mixture with vodka. Shake it all up with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with a few coffee beans sitting atop the creamy head, the black soup beneath.

For another take on this fantastic pick-me-up there`s the Ben Gibbins version. Cocktail expert Ben Gibbins, of Enotria & Coe, has been helping us to help you make the best possible cocktail for your special occasion. Try this:

Espresso Martini (BG)

A classic pick-me-up, or a great after dinner drink.

Ingredients:
  • 25ml Black Cow Vodka
  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 12.5ml Honey Sirop
  • 25ml/single shot espresso or strong coffee
Method:
  • Fill a cocktail (martini) glass with ice and water and stand it to one side
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard
  • Discard the ice and water from the cocktail glass – it should now be well chilled
  • Fine strain (through a Hawthorne Strainer and a Fine Sieve) into the cocktail glass – there should be a fine foam on top of the drink
  • Garnish with coffee beans if you have them

3. Old Fashioned

old-fashioned

This whisky cocktail remains a classic. We like to use Turkey Rye bourbon, half again of Gomme, a few drops of Fee bothers orange bitters and a twist of orange peel to garnish. We add in a little but not too much ice. Here`s the Ben Gibbins version:

Old Fashioned (BG)

One of the originals, traditionally made with Rye but this can always be swapped for Bourbon, a quality dark rum or even a quality reposado tequila.

Ingredients:
  • 50ml Wild Turkey Rye
  • White Sugar Cube
  • Angostura or Orange Bitters
Method:
  • Add sugar cube and a splash of Wild Turkey to a rocks glass (large tumbler)

2. Gin Martini

gin-martini

The perfect bone-dry Dry Martini is arguably Tanqueray Ten and Martini Dry (shaken, not stirred, with ice cubes), then served with a green olive on a cocktail stick.  We used to opt for two parts gin, one part dry vermouth, but that was in the old days! Now I prefer it in equal parts. As a variant on the theme try a premium vodka (Snow Leopard is perfect) with Noilly Prat for a drier taste and a twist of lemon. It makes a great Vodka Martini and aperitif, coming in eighth, but of the two in 2016/17 it was always going to be the year for gin  ..

1. Negroni

negroni

Our top cocktail of 2016/17 is Negroni, two part Monkey 47 premium gin, one part Martini Rosso Reserve, one part Campari and a drop of Fee Brothes orange bitters. Stir the mixture into ice,   garnish with an orange wedge. This makes one truly great apéritif. Here`s the Ben Gibbins version:

Negroni (BG)

The classic pre-dinner aperitif – bitter, clean and refreshing.

Ingredients:
  • 25ml Gin Mare
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml Martini Rosso, or other sweet red vermouth
Method:
  • Fill a rocks glass (large tumbler) with ice
  • Add all the ingredients and stir
  • Garnish with a slice of orange peel

Cocktail runners up:

Daiquiri, Mojito, Martini (Vodka), Manhattan,  Cosmopolitan, Bee`s Knees, Tequila Sunrise, Margarita, Singapore Sling, Black Russian, Sea Breeze, Mandarin Martini, Harvey Wallbanger, Moscow Mule, Bellini, Pineapple Rum Punch, Americano, Mimosa, Pina Colada.

Other Ben Gibbins recommendations from the runners-up:

Cosmopolitan

cosmopolitan

The pinkest drink to come out of NYC – made famous by Sex and The City.

Ingredients:
  • 35ml Citron Vodka
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 15ml Lime Juice
  • 25ml Cranberry Juice
Method:
  • Fill a cocktail (martini) glass with ice and water, stand this to one side
  • Add vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice to a cocktail shake with ice and shake hard
  • Discard the ice and water from the cocktail glass – it should be nicely chilled
  • Fine strain (through a Hawthorne Strainer and a Fine Sieve) into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a thin wheel of lime

Margarita

margarita

Sweet, sour and refreshing this is the perfect dinner party tequila drink.

Ingredients:
  • 35ml Reposado Tequila
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 12.5ml Lime Juice
Method:
  • Fill a cocktail (martini) glass with ice and water and set to one side
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard
  • Discard the water and ice from the cocktail glass – it should now be well chilled
  • Optionally rum a slice of lime around half of the rim and dip this rim into a small dish of sugar or salt, dependent on your preference
  • Fine strain (through a Hawthorne Strainer and a Fine Sieve) into the cocktail glass

Bee’s Knees

bees-knees

A sweet, balanced short drink that is sure to impress.

Ingredients:
  • 25ml Beafeater Gin
  • 12.5ml Honey Sirop
  • 12.5ml Lemon Juice
Method:
  • Fill a cocktail (martini) glass with ice and water and stand this to one side
  • Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard
  • Discard the ice and water from the cocktail glass, it should now be well chilled
  • Fine strain (through a Hawthorne Strainer and a Fine Sieve) into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a thing wheel of lemon
Variation:

Use Hendricks Gin instead of Beafeater and add some pieces of cucumber to the cocktail shaker for a fresh summer taste of cucumber.

  • Use a spoon to crush the ice cube and stir it into the Wild turkey to dissolve
  • Add two cubes of ice and half of the remaining Wild Turkey, stir gently until a third of the ice is dissolved
  • Add two more cubes of ice and 4 dashes of Bitters, stir again until a third of the ice is dissolved
  • Fill a fresh rocks glass with ice
  • Strain the original dilution into the fresh glass and garnish with a slice of orange peel

Mojito

mojito

The classic Cuban cocktail,  enjoyable any time of year, not just during the summer.

Ingredients:
  • 50ml White Rum
  • 20ml Lime Juice
  • 15ml Sugar Syrup (Gomme) you can make this by diluting sugar and water at a 1-to-1 ratio
  • Soda Water
Method:
  • Gently muddle (squash) 12 mint leave in the base of a tall glass
  • Add rum, lime and sugar and half fill the glass with ice (crushed if possible)
  • Stir to mix, slowly adding more ice
  • Top with soda water and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint that has been ‘clapped’ between your hands to release the aromas and flavours
Variation:

For a Mojito Royale top the drink with Champagne or Prosecco instead of soda water

Spirits & Mixers

As today`s cocktails become less convoluted, so they move ever closer to the straightforward spirit and mixer combinations which are thriving in today`s busy world where expediency and a quick drink are what the consumer wants. Gin is more popular spirit by a mile as we continue to enjoy the gin renaissance, and Fever-Tree most sought after mixer. 

Best Gin spirit & mixer

warner-edwards-rhubarb

Warner Edwards Harrington Rhubarb gin wins our top prize, mixed with Fever-Tree Medierranean tonic and a blueberry on a cocktail stick, alternatively with FT ginger ale, orange bitters and a slice of orange. Either way its fruity/floral/aromatic qualities make it a crowd pleaser! Each of the variations are delicious – the first a Summer drink, the second one for Autumn and Winter evenings. It also makes an interesting Gin Martini, somewhat softer & sweeter than Tanqueray Ten, with a dash of orange bitters a completely different kind of drink from the classic but nonetheless gorgeous. Warner Edwards Sloe Gin also scored highly with FT bitter lemon, as well as topped with Cava.

Runners-up:

Gin Mare with FT Mediterranean Tonic, garnished with fresh basil leaves PLUS The Botanist with FT Indian tonic and a Thyme sprig (both savoury); Pink Pepper Gin with FT Indian tonic garnished with lemon zest PLUS Sipsmith London Dry with FT Indian tonic and a lime wedge (these two tie, both juniper forward and relatively robust); The Pinkster with FT Indian tonic and raspberries (fruity/floral); Hayman`s London Dry with Indian tonic and twist of lemon (citrus), Hendrick`s with cucumber (vegetable).

Best Vodka spirit & mixer

black-cow

Black Cow vodka  with FT Indian tonic ( and optionally a dash of Angostura bitters), served on ice with a lemon wedge – the world`s first cow`s milk vodka. Enjoy with the cheeses!! This exceptionally smooth creamy vodka is made in West Dorset from milk which is also turned into cheddar (the whey used for vodka-production, the curds for their award winning cheddars). This is the  pride and joy of dairy farmer Jason Barber (creamy spirit).

Best Rum spirit and mixer

mount-gay-eclipse

Mount Gay Golden Rum with FT Ginger Beer and lime wedge in the Summer, alternatively with  Fentiman`s Ginger Beer if you like more kick, and an orange wedge, in the Autumn & Winter months (spicy)

Best Brandy spirit and mixer

asbach-1

Asbach brandy with FT Ginger Ale (floral/fruity)

Best Whisky spirit and mixer

benromach

Benromach 10 Year Old with FT Soda or FT Ginger Ale (floral/fruity/bittersweet); tie with “Ginger Bullet”, Bulleit Bourbon and FT Ginger Ale garnished with lime twist.