The end of the year is approaching and with it comes a chance to reflect. One of my favourite cocktails of the past year is the Red Manhattan, which is full of flavours of rich black cherry, light vanilla, a touch of caramel and woody oak. Have a safe and happy New Year!
1½ oz Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon
½ oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Cherry to garnish
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold, then strain into a martini or cocktail coupe. Garnish if desired.
Stirring the drink rather than shaking is important to the balance of the cocktail. Stirring causes less dilution from the ice melting and subduing the flavours.
‘Tis the season for gathering with family and friends. Start any occasion with this great cocktail and your blue drink will be the talk of the party. Flavours of fresh lime and sweet orange combine with smooth vodka and a touch of fizz. Merry Christmas!
1 oz Pinnacle Vodka
½ oz Bols Blue curaçao liqueur
4 lime wedges
1 tsp sugar
Drop the lime wedges into a rocks glass and then add the sugar. Muddle to press the juice and citrus oils out of the limes. Add a scoop of ice and pour in the vodka and curaçao liqueur. Top with soda and stir well to mix thoroughly. Garnish with a lime on the rim.
Bols Blue curaçao is an orange-flavoured liqueur that also lends the drink a gorgeous blue colour.
Set mom sailing to a pampered paradise this Mother’s Day. After treating her to some flowers and a nice meal, mix her this martini — featuring melon and peach flavours balanced with fresh lime — so she can kick back and relax. To all the wonderful moms, happy Mother’s Day!
1 oz Bols Melon liqueur
1 oz Bols Peach liqueur
2 oz Banff Ice Vodka
¾ oz fresh lime juice
Garnish with a twist of lime peel
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and place the lime peel twist on the rim.
If you would like to keep your martini cold longer, chill the martini glass ahead a time.
Whether you’re a writer or avid reader, here’s a cocktail that’s sure to inspire great words. The classic Ink Street is a mix of citrus-sweet orange, citrus-sour lemon and blended scotch whisky with a light oak finish.
I’ve come across many variations of this cocktail that use a different whisky, but I particularly enjoy the flavours in the blended scotch and how they interact with the orange and lemon notes.
1½ oz The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky
¾ oz orange juice
¾ oz lemon juice
Half an orange wheel, to garnish
Chill a cocktail glass with ice and set aside. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Discard the ice from the cocktail glass and strain in shaken ingredients. Place the half orange wheel garnish on the rim.
This is the time of year when pineapples are at their most flavourful and found in most grocery stores. This is the perfect cocktail to take advantage of pineapple’s sweet juice, which blends with other wonderful tropical flavours of rum, orange and coconut.
The Painkiller cocktail came from the Soggy Dollar Bar on the British Virgin Islands. Its creator never gave up the exact recipe so people have had to develop their own variations. Here’s mine!
2 oz Brugal Anejo Rum
2 oz pineapple juice
2/3 oz orange juice
2/3 oz coconut cream
Pineapple wedge and leaf to garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Give it a few extra shakes than usual to ensure the coconut cream is well mixed in with the other ingredients. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Place a wedge of pineapple on the rim and include a washed pineapple leaf if desired.
Use fresh juice for the best flavour. When shopping for a pineapple, choose one that’s almost completely yellow from the bottom up. These are the ripest and will have the best flavour.
There’s been some monkey business going on behind the bar. My trusty mascot persuaded me to recreate his favourite dessert as a cocktail to delight the senses. The result is a smooth blend of creamy flavours that your sweet tooth will just go bananas for.
1½ oz Pinnacle Whipped vodka
½ oz Bols Banana Liqueur
1 oz 1-per-cent milk
Banana slice to garnish
Ice a martini glass and set aside. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Discard the ice from the martini glass. Strain shaken mixture into the now chilled glass.
Using Pinnacle Whipped vodka gives a whipped-cream taste so you don’t need heavy cream to achieve a great banana split flavour. You can use lactose-free milk if required.
Mixing drinks with fresh ingredients is a must for creating the best cocktails and the Brown Derby is a great example of this. It just wouldn’t be the same without the tang of fresh grapefruit juice to balance the soft oak flavours of the bourbon and sweet honey.
2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
¼ oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey and hot water)
Grapefruit peel to garnish
Ice a cocktail glass and set aside to chill. Pour all ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake vigorously. Discard the ice from the chilling cocktail glass. Strain shaken ingredients into the now chilled glass. Twist grapefruit peel and slip into the drink.
Using the honey syrup rather than pure honey makes it easier to mix into the drink.