Tequila: why 100% Agave is always better…

Tequila comes in two main types: Mixto (blended) and 100% agave. The former is the type you’re likely to find at a college party. It’s cheaper than 100% agave and can leave you with a nasty pile of regret in the morning. The latter, on the other hand, is as pure as tequila gets…

That said, here are three reasons you should always reach for 100% agave tequila…

#1: No hidden surprises:

100% agave tequila is pure agave and nothing else. Mixto, on the other hand, contains up to 49% non-agave ingredients. These usually consist of sugar cane, or other distillable products, but can include additives such as flavourings and colourings.

What makes things worse is that producers are not required to tell you what they use! So you’re never going to know, completely, what is in your bottle. If you’re the sort of person who likes to know what they’re drinking, always choose 100% agave!

#2: No hangovers:

When you drink a mixto tequila you’re literally mixing your drinks from the very first sip. With only 51% agave, mixto tequilas have a range of other ingredients, including various distillates. That means you’re consuming more than one type of alcohol at the same time, which is why mixto tequila has earned such a bad reputation.

However, if you choose 100% agave tequila, your hangovers will be a thing of the past. This is because they are made using only the Blue Weber Agave and nothing else!

Responsible drinking clearly speaks for itself; but if you were to swap your mixto tequila for 100% agave tequila, you’d notice the different immediately – especially when you have work in the morning!

#3: Better taste:

There are more premium tequilas than ever before and for good reason: It simply tastes better than its mixto counterpart.

Each brand has their unique flavour profile, which creates a vast array of great tasting tequila. Whilst the species of agave used in tequila has to be the Blue Weber by law; the location of the distillery in which it is made will drastically affect its flavour.

Whether you prefer yours fruity, spicy, or earthy, there’s a 100% agave tequila out there for everyone!

As outlined here, premium tequilas are superior in taste and quality, but that doesn’t mean mixto brands haven’t played an important part in the 100% agave boom coming out of Mexico. This boom has been made possible, in large part, thanks to the path laid down by mixto brands, with the industry rethinking its method and creating some truly stunning premium products.

There are strict regulations in relation to both Mixto and 100% agave tequilas. If you’d like to know more about these, information can be found here.

Now you know which tequila to choose, why not check out these 100% Tequila Paloma cocktail recipes I made? 

Cocktails O’Clock: 5 cocktails that use Monin’s Spicy Syrup…

Monin, the coffee/cocktail syrup experts, sent me some samples way back when and using those samples I got to try some of the cocktails I’ve always wanted to try but never had the chance.

The last post based around a Monin syrup was my 6 ways to use Monin’s Falernum. It is made up with predominantly tiki style cocktails and features some of my new tiki mugs (hurrah).

This post has a slightly different feel because unlike the falernum syrup used in my last one, Monin’s Spicy Syrup is less floral and has an earthier feel to the spice. With cinnamon flavours prominent, I tried to blend this syrup into a variety of already established cocktails, simply to see if the syrup was as versatile as I hoped. Whilst some experiments inevitably fail, below you will find 5 cocktail recipes that I believe make use of this Spicy syrup in a very versatile, yet remarkably subtle way.

Although this syrup is not spicy in the traditional [hot] sense, it does have a subtle aromatic spice to it. It comes across more as an autumn/winter seasonal spicy flavour. This works perfectly for me because this syrup’s subtle flavour is easier to blend seamlessly into a flavourful cocktail recipe. I also have a low tolerance for hot spice so I’m happy I can try all these recipes personally.

Life On The Beach



2 measures Vodka

1 measure pineapple juice

½ measure spicy syrup

½ measure lime juice

2 pineapple chunks

Garnish: pineapple chunk and lime wedge


  • Muddle pineapple chunks with lime juice and syrup.
  • Add crushed ice, then vodka.
  • Stir well.
  • Add pineapple juice and top with ice.
  • Stir once more and garnish before serving.

Kickback Mule



2 measures rum

¾ measure lime juice

1 measure spicy syrup

Top up ginger ale

Garnish: mint and lime wedge.


  • Build the first 3 ingredients over ice.
  • Stir and top up with ginger ale.
  • Garnish and serve with a straw.

Gin and Bear it…



2 measures Gin

½ measure blackcurrant liqueur

1 measure Lemon juice

¾ measure spicy syrup


  • Combine the gin, lemon juice, and spicy syrup in a shaker with ice and shake well (for around 10 seconds).
  • Strain into a well-chilled, crushed ice-filled, rocks glass.
  • Layer the blackcurrant liqueur on top and garnish with a lemon wedge.
  • Serve with a straw.

Algonquin Firehouse



1 ½ measures rye whisky

¾ measure vermouth

¾ measure pineapple (or orange juice)

½ measure spicy syrup


  • Combine over ice in a shaker and shake well for about 10 seconds (until the tin ices over).
  • Strain into a martini style glass.
  • Garnish with a pineapple wedge or orange slice (match the juice used).

Fervent Shaker Top Tip:

This cocktail works well regardless of the juice used. The only difference in flavour comes through the tropical vibe of the pineapple. Using pineapple will refresh those hot, bothersome days; whereas orange juice is perfect for those cold evenings when you need a warming elixir.

Spicy Melon Balls (serves 2)


1 measure spicy syrup

4 measure Midori

2 measure vodka

Top up fresh pineapple juice

Garnish: Skewered melon balls


  • Combine the Midori, vodka in a cocktail glass, over ice.
  • Top up with the pineapple juice and garnish with the skewered melon balls.

So there you have 5 cocktail recipes that, I think, make good use of Monin’s Spicy Syrup. They are not original recipes; they are tweaks of cocktails that already exist. This was done to try and showcase the versatility of such a product, especially with the unconvincing stance held by many in response to the rise in popularity of spicy cocktails.

Monin has a vast array of flavoured syrups at their disposal and as a cocktail imbiber, I am always interested in trying out new and novel syrups! My favourite simply has to be this Falernum, although their Hibiscus syrup is a truly inspirational. You can purchase Monin syrups from a wide variety of outlets but click here for more information!

As always this post has been a culmination of cocktail recipes and my own opinions. Whilst the syrups were supplied by Monin themselves [as free samples], they hold no sway over my opinions.

If you’ve tried Monin’s Spicy syrup in a cocktail you liked (or disliked), why not share it in the comments below? Or let me know what your favourite flavour syrup is!

How Sherry Has Made a Comeback: 4 Recipes You Should Be Making

Welcome to something very new for this blog: A Guest Post!

This post is from the great folk over at Cocktail Builder. They have a great cocktail making app and they’re pretty good at it too! If you like this post, a link to their site can be found at the end. We have swapped posts, with mine due to appear on their own site very shortly, or already if you’re a late arrival! So, read on to find out a little something about Sherry…

When you think of Sherry, what comes to mind? For many, it’s likely to be a dusty old bottle sitting in their grandmother’s cupboard that hasn’t been opened in years.

Sherry — a fortified wine from the Spanish city of Jerez — often carries these low-brow connotations. Though it was considered one of the world’s greatest and most versatile wines for centuries, an influx of cheap and sickeningly sweet blends caused Sherry to become widely misunderstood.

However, thanks to a wave of interest in artisanal wines, as well as a focus on small bodegas producing tiny batches, Sherry has regained popularity. It’s been popping up on liquor menus all across the world, proving itself to be equally enjoyable when served straight or mixed into a cocktail.

There are four basic types of Sherry: Fino and Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez. Each has its own distinct flavour profile and must be used differently than the others.

Fino Sherry is the driest of the four, a white wine generally made with highly acidic Palomino grapes. It pairs particularly well with clear spirits such as vodka and gin, as well as aromatics like vermouth. Manzanilla is essentially Fino Sherry that’s been aged in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Due to the grapes being exposed to cool ocean breezes, the Sherry that’s produced is more delicate and subtle.

Recommended Cocktail: The Tuxedo, a classic made with gin, Sherry, and orange bitters. It’s dry and slightly nutty, with a quick burst of citrus. See recipe.

Amontillado is the product of a layer of yeast (called ‘the flor’) being removed during the ageing process. This removal causes the Sherry to have more air exposure inside the barrel, resulting in a complex finish, with nutty and umami flavours. It pairs best with oaky spirits such as bourbon and rye.

Recommended Cocktail: The Up-to-Date, a concoction of whisky, Sherry, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters. Though the original recipe doesn’t specify the type of Sherry, Amontillado rounds it out for a spicy, Manhattan-esque feel. See recipe.

Oloroso Sherry skips the ‘the flor’ process entirely and is immediately fortified after the first fermentation. Made with Palomino grapes, this variety is typically dry, but can be slightly sweet if Moscatel grapes are added. It goes well with molasses-forward spirits like dark rum.

Recommended Cocktail: The Smooth Operator, which (as the name suggests) is remarkably easy to drink. Dark rum, Sherry, sugar, and lemon make for a complex yet refreshing sip. See recipe.

Pedro Ximenez Sherry is unlike the others in that, instead of using Palomino grapes, it’s made from the Pedro Ximenez (PX) variety. These grapes are picked at full ripeness and are sun-dried to concentrate the sugars. The grapes (or raisins, if you will) are then pressed, producing a dark, viscous liquid that’s partially fermented and fortified. This Sherry is often blended with Amontillado and Oloroso varieties to create what we know as Cream Sherry. Due to its sweetness, PX Sherry is best used in dessert cocktails.

Recommended Cocktail: An update on the Baltimore Eggnog, traditionally made with Madeira, brandy, and rum. Replace the Madeira for PX Sherry, which adds a currant flavour that pairs perfectly with the molasses of the rum. See recipe.

For more on Sherry, including its rich history and unique recipes, we recommend picking up a copy of Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret (USA).

Photo Credit: Some Rights Reserved by Edsel Little.

For more by the Cocktail Builder team, click here, and set up your digital online bar!

Cocktails O’clock: 6 delicious drinks that use Monin’s Falernum syrup…

Recently, Monin (the syrup company) were kind enough to send me some of their products. I received a few flavours and this post will showcase one of their latest products: Falernum syrup. Now Falernum is not a new product, it’s a Caribbean spiced syrup that is often alcoholic and almost exclusively used in Tiki Style cocktails.

I’ve been trying to lay my hands on Falernum, in one form or another, for years and always failed at the last hurdle. However, thanks to the lovely PR team over at Monin (specifically Emma White – Thank you) I’ve finally got some. And boy oh boy it was worth the wait!

Monin’s falernum Syrup is everything I thought it would be. It’s sweet, fragrant, and yet it contains a gentle heat that completes the flavour profile you’d expect from a Caribbean spiced syrup. I can safely say, that I now know why it’s used so copiously across the wide variety of Tiki cocktails.

Below I try to take 6 tiki style cocktails and, with very little tweaking, create them in such a way that you’ll be making them for yourself by the end of the post…

Golden Gate



2m Plantation 3-star platinum [white] Rum

1m Fresh Lemon Juice

Splash of Monin Falernum syrup

Garnish: 1 orange Peel



  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice (around 10 seconds should be enough).
  • Strain into a chilled Coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Top Tip: Although this drink is made short, you can use a rocks glass and crushed ice to make it a longer, more palatable drink – especially if you’re not one for shorter, stronger drinks.


Corn & Oil



2 measure El Ron Prohibido Solera Rum

1 measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

Dash Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters

Garnish: Lime Wedge, Edible Flower


  • Shake the ingredients hard, over ice.
  • Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  • Garnish and serve with a straw, or two.


The Zombie (Classic Recipe)



1 ½ measures Jamaican Rum

1 ½ measures Puerto Rican Rum

1 measure 151-proof rum

½ measure Dons Mix*

½ measure Monin Falernum syrup

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

¼ measure Monin Grenadine syrup

2 dashes Absinthe

1 dash angostura bitters

Garnish: 2 mint sprigs


Dons Mix: combine 2 measures Grapefruit Juice with 1 measure of cinnamon simple syrup.


  • Shake all of the ingredients over ice for around 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain ingredients into a Tiki Mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top up with crushed ice and garnish with a couple of mint sprigs and serve with 2 straws.

Whilst Jamaican Rum is quite easy to come by (Appleton Estate Special is available in most supermarkets) the Puerto Rican Rum might be a little harder to come by. Sainsbury’s currently stock Flor De Cana, a rum from Nicaragua, which is a decent replacement. Equally, you can experiment like I did and go for something completely different.

I used Plantation Platinum 3 stars, and a Mexican Solera Rum I picked up a little while ago and fell in love with (El Ron Prohibido).


Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Tall)



1 ½ measures El Ron Prohibido Solera Rum

½ measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¼ measure Merlet Trois Citrus (Triple Sec)

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

Top up Ginger ale

Garnish: Lime Wheel & Mint Sprig(s)


  • Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice for around 10 seconds.
  • Strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top with more crushed ice, and then the Ginger ale.
  • Garnish and serve with 2 straws.

This cocktail, originally comprised of just the first 4 ingredients. However, it came up a bit short in my mug (even when doubled). So I simply topped with the ginger ale at hand (Canada Dry) and it seemed to work brilliantly. So I hope you enjoy this lengthened version of the Yacht Club – if not, try it without the ale, serving it short in a coupe/martini glass.


Bronx Cheer


2 measures Makers Mark Kentucky Bourbon

1 measure Fresh Lime Juice

¾ measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Raspberry Simple Syrup

Garnish: Lime Wheel & Raspberry skewer.


  • Shake all the ingredients, over ice, for around 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain into a ceramic Tiki Mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top up with more crushed ice and garnish, before serving with two straws.

This cocktail is the only one I do not have a picture for. My raspberries went mouldy before their BBE and no shops were open on a Sunday night – murphy’s law, right? However, I have had this cocktail recently and can attest to its rather palatable taste (and considering I’m not a fan of whisky – that’s quite the compliment).


Juke Cup



1 ¼ measures Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Rhum Agricole (high proof)

¾ measure fresh lime juice

¼ measure Honey Simple Syrup

1 Cucumber slice

Top up – Ginger ale

Garnish: Cucumber slice & Pineapple Chunk


  • Adding the cucumber slice, lime juice and honey syrup to your glass, muddle well.
  • Then add the Falernum and Rhum Agricole and stir well.
  • Top up with ice and mix in some Ginger Ale.
  • Garnish with a cucumber slice and pineapple chunk.

Honey syrup:

Combining at a 1:1 ratio, add honey to water and simmer, mixing until the honey dissolves.

Top Tip: the original recipe called for Ginger beer, but I find it to be a tad too spicy so I stick to the gentler ginger ale. If you like your ginger soda with a kick, try using ginger beer with this cocktail!

So there you have 6 cocktails that make great use of Monin’s Falernum syrup! Monin did a fantastic job supplying me with the Falernum used in this post (you can see it in a couple of the images) and I’d like to thank them for sending me a product I’ve been desperately after for years!

Monin has a vast array of flavoured syrups at their disposal and as a cocktail imbiber, I am always interested in trying out new and novel syrups! My favourite simply has to be this Falernum, although their Hibiscus syrup is a truly inspirational. You can purchase Monin syrups from a wide variety of outlets but click here for more information!

What about you? What’s your favourite flavour Monin syrup? Do you like the cool, crisp taste of their Cucumber syrup or are you a fan of their refreshing Melon syrup? Why don’t you drop a comment below and let me know! You never know they might send me a bottle to use in future posts!

3 Paloma cocktails to restore your Faith in Tequila…


If I had a £1/$1 for every time someone told me how much they dislike Tequila, I’d have retired and lived happily ever after in my grand-cabin the woodlands of Arizona.

As it is, I don’t get a single penny – which really does make it hard to listen too. Tequila has a bit of a bad rap and, whilst this is slowly being repaired by some of the artisan brands out there, it still needs a little helping hand to get people falling in love with it.

The biggest hurdle is that of the ‘cheap’ brands creating below-par tequila with shots and heavily mixed drinks the aim. To avoid any uneasy feelings by naming those brands, let’s just say anything less than 100% agave is considered by this blog to be ‘below par’.

The best way to get over the hurdles surrounding Tequila is to share the best ways to re-introduce yourself to this earthy and unique spirit. Tequila is, in my opinion, always a difficult spirit to simply sip. Whilst there are brands that specialise in ‘sipping’ quality tequilas, I am not a straight drinker and prefer my spirits lightly mixed into long summer-perfect drinks. Think about the Mule category for a snapshot of my preferences.

So, when it comes to tequila, what is the best way to mix it so you can really enjoy its complex flavour? Yes, there are literally hundreds of cocktails out there that contain tequila, some are classic (for good reason) and others are, at best, dreadful. All too often these ‘poorly created’ cocktails add to the stigma around the spirit.

The best way, by far, is the cocktail known as the Paloma. I’ve written a few posts that have included Paloma recipes before, and it is my favourite cocktail containing Tequila. A lot of people prefer a margarita but I find it to be a little savoury and have had far too many bad margaritas for my own liking.

All you need for a Paloma is 3 things: Tequila, Grapefruit Soda, and Lime.

There are more complex recipes out there, and the 3 recipes I want to share with you will show the differences between easy, medium, and difficult recipes.

The tequilas used are all high quality and whilst you can choose your own brands please try to make sure whatever Tequila you buy is 100% agave. Click here to find out why this is important.

Scroll down for the 3 recipes that I believe, will restore your faith in Tequila…


Easy – Paloma



50ml Ocho Tequila

12.5m Lime Juice

125ml Grapefruit soda


  • Build the ingredients over ice in a tall Collins glass.
  • Top up with the grapefruit soda, swizzle and top with more ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel or some zest peelings.


Medium – Paloma



50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila

25ml grapefruit juice

15ml grapefruit syrup

Top up soda water


  • Combine the juice, syrup, and tequila in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Around 10-15 seconds should do it.
  • Strain into a tall ice-filled glass and top with the club soda.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel/wedge or a selection of zest peelings.


Difficult – Paloma



50ml Patron Blanco Tequila

15 ml sugar syrup

15 ml fresh lime juice

25ml fresh grapefruit juice

Top up sparkling mineral water

1 lime wedge


1 lime wedge / zest peel, for garnish



  • Optional: Moisten the rim of a tall glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into a fine salt powder.
  • In an ice-filled shaker, combine the tequila, sugar syrup, fruit juices and shake well. For around 10-15 seconds – until the shaker tin ices over.
  • Strain into your ice-filled serving glass (the one you garnished with a salt rim earlier).
  • Top up with the mineral water and garnish with a lime wedge or zest peel.

Easy – This is a basic Paloma cocktail. Combining lime juice, tequila, and grapefruit soda; this cocktail is simple yet highly effective at giving you a new found liking for the quality tequila you use.

Medium – This is a slightly more difficult recipe in that it involves a home-made grapefruit sugar syrup (the recipe can be found here). This version of the Paloma is slightly heavier on the grapefruit’s bitterness but is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the sugar and dryness of the soda water. This cocktail brings together a rather more complicated version of a simplified cocktail and delivers a higher depth in flavour for a little extra work. This cocktail is, by far, full of more flavour than its simplified form.


Difficult: This is where the Paloma cocktail really comes into its own. Once broken down into its many parts, this cocktail can become a thing of true magnificence. Combining a home-made sugar syrup with one of the best tequila’s on the market (not merely opinion, but fact) and by using sparkling mineral water [instead of soda water] this cocktail is elevated from simple pleasure to a true summer evening delight.

The difficult recipe is by far my favourite version of this cocktail [so far]. I love its increased flavour profile, the quality of the tequila is outstanding and to top it all off, the use of mineral water adds to the earthy feel of this long, sweet summer cocktail.

I hope this post has helped you resume your potential love affair with, tequila. Tequila truly is a stunning spirit that has so much to offer. It’s versatile and with so many high-quality brands now available, it would be blasphemous not to give it a second chance!

I trust these 3 Paloma recipes have restored your Faith in Tequila and with luck, you’ll be drinking a lot more of it in the future!

What’s your favourite Tequila cocktail? Do you have a preferred straight drinking tequila? Why not leave a comment below and help me spread the word: Tequila isn’t all bad!

The Fervent Shaker: On being published

I’m now a published writer! Congratulations to me!

This month marks a very important moment for myself and this blog. As of June 1st, 2016 I am officially a published cocktail writer. Thanks to Sainsbury’s Magazine.

In this month’s issue, I have a two-page feature on summer drinks. These include 6 drinks, 3 alcoholic & 3 non-alcoholic – all of which are my own recipes!

The recipes include a non-alcoholic Ice tea, a beachside-themed rum cocktail, and several others.

The picture below show all the colourful cocktails and their recipes. But if you want to really enjoy these drinks, you should head on down to your local Sainsbury’s and get your very own copy. The Magazine is only £2 and inside you’ll find an abundance of food and drink recipes.


Left to Right: Beachside Rumba, Green Breeze, Berry-Basil Frosty, Ice & Peachy, Gin Cooler, Summer Lake Punch, Strawberry-Mint Mimosa.


Most importantly, though, you’ll find my recipes on pages 82-83!

I’m extremely proud of this as it shows that you can make it if you keep trying. Never give up and you’ll eventually reap the rewards of doing something you’re so very proud of!

In other news, I’m working on some spicy cocktail posts just in time for BBQ season and also working with a PR rep over at Monin to bring you all some posts that include some of their new products, as well as some of their lesser-known products… Keep your eyes peeled!

Trans-Atlantic Cocktails: The NY-LON at the O2


I have a fear of heights.

I also have a fear of being over open water. So, when I found out that the quickest route to the O2, from my hotel, was via the Emirates Cable car, well, let’s just say that it was a hard few moments deciding on whether to make that trip or go right around the houses on the DLR.

I thought heartily on the matter and settled on the notion that as I’m not in the capital city all that often, I should go for it. After all, for me to miss out on something so far out of my comfort zone, like a cable car trip across the width of the Thames, would be simply ridiculous.

So I did it. I took the Cable car over the Thames, at dusk, and faced two of my greatest fears at once. I dodged a bullet in a manner of speaking as being inside the sealed cable car somewhat negated my fear of falling into the water (it does sound odd but I felt perfectly safe at all times). However, the fear of heights was a little harder to conquer and led to a plethora of nervous and adrenaline fuelled movements including a bit of a heart pounding moment when a gust of wind gently rocked my car.

13 minutes later and I was shaken but in one piece, getting off the car and stepping onto ‘dry’ land once again (it was raining so the term ‘dry’ is used loosely).

After that confidence wobbling trip, the short walk to the O2 Arena was a relative breeze by comparison. Still, seeing the inside of the building once known as the ‘Millenium Dome’ up close for the first time was certainly a sight to behold. A sight that was the perfect end to my lovely week away.

The Venue

The NY-LON, created as part of a joint venture by Virgin and Delta airlines, is a stylish bar similar to that which you’d find on one of their higher end planes. Under the escalators, about 200m to the right of the entrance, is a wall high sign clad in a purple and red gradient, encrusted with a host of bright LED’s highlighting the name NY-LON.


As you walk up the somewhat lacklustre stairway, you are immediatey greeted with their VIP lounge, a truly luxurious bar with rounded sofas and tables. Turning right, you enter into a corridor lined with large white columns, each with the airport code of two US airports on them.


The beaded curtains broke up the light enough to supply the patron a sense of slight secrecy from a passer-by.


In the main bar area, you’re met with a wall to ceiling curtain of metal beads, behind which are some rounded seats and tables. Around the outside walls of the room are a collection of booth like round seating areas which carry on up to the bar. The bar itself sweeps across from one end of the room to the other and has a large bulge in its centre. This bulge allows for plenty f behind bar room, perfect for bartenders to entertain some flair as well as some rather exuberant mixing techniques.


A luxurious bar surrounded by luxurious furnishings, the NY-LON certainly knows how to do class…



This is certainly one of the most luxurious and exciting looking bars in London and the NY-LON is certainly the cocktail venue of choice when at the O2.

The Cocktails

Whilst at the NY-LON I sampled 2 very different cocktails. One was on their house list, and the second was suggested by one of the bartenders. Below are the two drinks, and my thoughts on them.

The Cropduster

A refreshing yet spicy, alternative to the classic Mojito. Inspired by Delta’s agricultural heritage. Bacardi 8-year-old rum, cinnamon, fresh mint, lime, chocolate bitters, ginger ale, and brown sugar. – this is the recipe as it appears on the NY-LON cocktail menu…


Garnished with a mint sprig and cinnamon stick, this cocktail certainly carried a seasonal treat with it…



This cocktail was the one I ear marked before heading to the NY-LON, especially seeing as it contains 3 of my favourite ingredients: Rum, lime and ginger ale. It is also significantly different from the rest of the house cocktails; it’s a long cocktail created purely for refreshment. It combines all of the ingredients one would use in a classic mojito and spruces things up with the addition of cinnamon and ginger ale. Two ingredients I certainly do not hate to see in a cocktail.

Whilst I do not have the specific ingredient measurements for this drink, this sort of cocktail wouldn’t be too difficult to experiment with and then replicate at home. It is for those reasons that I certainly recommend trying it. Should you ever find yourself at the NY-LON of course.

Cocktails you enjoy out and about should always be available for you to replicate at your own home. So a cocktail like this on the NY-LON’s bar menu is a welcome sight.


Beachbum Berry’s Don Special Daiquiri

This cocktail was chosen after a lengthy conversation with Mario, the bartender whom served me the first drink. Between me, Mario, and his fellow bartender we discussed their favorite spirits to experiment with, as well as their menu (and its cocktails) in great detail. This drink was a direct result of a suggestion made by Mario. A super-sweet but fragrant tropical take on a classic Daiquiri: Beachbum Berry’s Don special daiquiri…

A passionfruit based drink with rum and lime, the Don Special Daiquiri was garnished with a star anise, the recipe itself was taken from the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki iPhone app. There was a tweak made by Mario himself, and this replaced the honey syrup with agave syrup. The recipe, and picture, below is the drink consumed without reserve…



¾ measure Jamaican Rum

¾ measure Aged White Rum

½ measure Lime Juice

½ measure Passion Fruit Syrup

½ measure Agave Syrup

Garnish: Star Anise float.

Short but sweet, not a combination I ever get bored of…



  • Combine all ingredients and shake well.
  • Double strain into a coupe cocktail glass, garnishing with a star anise float.


This bar radiates luxurious class, and the cocktails maintain that amazing feat. From classics like the Negroni and Manhattan to contemporary cocktails like their very own Cropduster, the NY-LON at the O2 is a bar that is far enough off the beaten track that, some nights, you can have a friendly chat with your bartender as you ingest the liquid masterpieces they place in front of you.

It was the quietest of the 3 bars I visited, but also one of the most luxurious bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing! I whole-heartedly recommend it for anyone who finds themselves within travelling distance as well as in need of enthusiastic libation.

Impassioned By Cocktails