Category Archives: Cocktails

Cocktails I like, or create. Brief blog’s about the cocktails i invent (the good ones) and any that take off at an event.
I will do requests. Just comment :)

Anejo Highball – The Caribbean … but with a twist!

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A dry but slightly sweet drink, the Anejo Highball is a classic in the making…

The Anejo Highball is not so much a celebrated classic as it is a modified masterpiece. The original recipe comes from “insert creators name here” and has become a house cocktail in their bar. The thing is, this cocktail is better shared than kept for that bar (sorry “name”)… The recipe is a combination of a wonderfully aged ‘Anejo’ Rum, fresh lime juice and ginger beer (with a few dashes of angostura bitters)… And it is as flavoursome as it is simple to make.

For purely experimental reasons I tried this drink, firstly with freshly squeezed lime juice (DIY – it’s really not that hard to do yourself) and secondly with Roses Lime Cordial… Needless to say, Lime cordial is 100% a bad choice. The job of the lime in this drink is to cut through the rum and help layer out the flavours. By using lime cordial you take away the limes capability and end up with an overly sweet unbalanced mixture.

The layers this drink supplies are held together by the lime (without question) but the potency comes purely from the Anejo rum. I used a brand called ‘Brugal’, from the Dominican Republic and of high quality, this rum was a recent addition to my collection and has been a relatively new addition to my local Sainsbury’s (supermarket not convenience) spirit selection (among many others that will feature in this and future blogs).

The thing to remember about cocktails is that they delicately balanced. Too much of any one of the ingredients and the drink be transforms into something nobody wants to consume.

With this in mind, a few things to remember about the Anejo highball are as follows:

–          Lime Juice – Use freshly squeezed (see above for details)

–          Ginger beer – use because it is lighter and smoother than ginger ale and works better with the rum.

–          Angostura Bitters: the drink calls for 2 dashes but if like me you like a little more bitter in your drink up the does to around 3 / 4 dashes.

–          Triple Sec – using Cointreau is a possibility if you don’t have triple sec available, but the where possible use a standard triple sec or ‘dry’ curacao (No coloured versions please – leave your blue curacao in the cupboard for Woo Woo’s and grease lightning’s).

–          Anejo Rum – Always, without fail, use Anejo Rum – It’s in the name after all!

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Orange curacao is made by many companies, the most commonly available are shown here…

Overall this drink caters for those of you who prefer a cocktail on the more bitter edge of the taste experience (also you kind of need to like ginger beer – replacing it with other sodas generally does not work).

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I used Ron Brugal Anejo Rum (shown here) but any Caribbean Anejo Rum will suffice. Find one that suits your tastes…

 

Anejo Highball

1.5 measures Anejo Rum

½ measure fresh lime juice

½ measure dry curacao/triple sec liqueur

2-4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Top up with Ginger Beer

Lime/orange wheel slices to garnish.

The Cuba Libre – A classic cocktail for the new era.

 “The Cuba Libre requires Bacardi rum and Coca Colatm with ice and a wedge of fresh lime. Why? Because that’s how an original Cuba Libre has always been made – at least since 1900, when American soldiers on Neptuno Street, Havana, first persuaded a barman to mix his precious Bacardi rum with their tasty new beverage called Coca Cola” – Bacardi’s description of the Cuba Libre on their website. (http://www.bacardi.com/uk/Cocktails/BACARDI-Cuba-Libre)

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Old Havana Skyline, taken by Wikimedia Commons/Flickr user Gabriel Rodríguez.

The Cuba Libre has all the mysterious history you need from a classic cocktail and then some. Now I’m not saying it’s because of this that it’s actually considered a ‘classic cocktail’ but you have to admit the uncanny similarities to some of the other classics (Mojito, Martini, Margarita etc…).

The one thing that the Cuba Libre has in its favour though is its base spirit: Rum. Rum, as any well-to-do person will tell you, has a mysterious history all to its own. It just so happens that the Caribbean (that’s the collection of islands that includes Cuba would you know) is arguably the best place for premium quality rums anywhere in the world. Whether it’s the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Trinidad or even the ‘Rum King’ Island known as Barbados, the rum used in Cuba Libre’s has traditionally been of the best quality full stop (little wonder it’s become a classic then eh?).

The Recipe:

So traditionally it was made using Coca Cola, a Premium quality Cuban Anejo Rum and a wedge of Lime to freshen the drink up a little. However recently (mainly due to the lack of any Cuban rum in my repertoire) I have been trying out different brands and styles of rum both to find my favourite, and also because it is a simple recipe to stick to and easy to tweak without destroying the original idea…

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As you can see it keeps to the simple and balanced nature of the classic cocktail, but also packs a great taste (just try it if you don’t believe me)…

Of course there are many variations, more variations than the time I have to write them down for you, and some include different types/brands of rum. From the classic white(light) rums  to the semi-aged golden and Aged ‘Dark’ rums of the Caribbean and even the spiced rums (Captain Morgan’s, Kraken etc.) which have become more and more popular over recent years here in the UK…

The last time I got paid (just after Christmas) I went out and stocked up on some quality rums that my local Sainsbury’s had on offer at the time (and I also got a bottle of Makers Mark, but that’s a story for another time)… The Rums purchased/received as presents were;

–          Brugal Ron Anejo Rum £20-25 (I got it on offer for £16.99)

A Golden (semi-aged/aged) rum from the Dominican Republic; considered to be of a very high quality.

–          Kraken Black Spiced Rum £18-23 (depending on store)

Imported from the USA, Kraken comes in a glorious pirate themed bottle and denotes a giant squid (hence the ‘Kraken’) on the label. It’s a high quality black spiced rum and it tastes magical, which is probably why it has gathered quite the cult following. This was a very well received present from my sister for Christmas.

–          Bacardi Oakheart  £18-19 (£12 – offer price when I got it)

My soul reason for buying this bottle of rum was the price. It was a mere £12 at the time (worked out around £10.80 after my discount) and I just could not pass that up (considering its usual RRP is around £18-19!!!)…

Also I was a little wary because whilst Bacardi is a quality product, I feared they had created something that might not work (needless to say I was very, very wrong!).

Anyway, back to the recipes;

                So I tried a Cuba Libre using a 2-1 (Rum-Lime) ratio and topped up with a cola (Pepsi as it’s my favourite but feel free to change that to your favourite). Needless to say you do get 3 very different tasting drinks.

The Brugal Anejo Cuba Libre is as close as a Classic Cuba Libre these recipes got, purely in the way of geographical accuracy (Dominican Rep. is as close to the Havana Club style Anejo I have) and I imagine it’s similar in tastes to a classic Cuba Libre too. Whilst not the best when mixed with Pepsi, if you use Coca Cola like the classic recipe requests, it becomes sublime. And as a classic Cuba Libre (if you don’t have any Cuban rum) then this is the recipe I suggest you use!

The Bacardi Oakheart Cuba Libre was a standout favourite among my friends and family, with its smooth taste blending with the lime and Pepsi better (in their opinion anyway) than the Brugal Ron Anejo. The Bacardi was obviously made for cocktail mixing; such is the way with their other rum products.

The Kraken Black Spiced Cuba Libre, after a few tries, was my personal standout recipe. Purely for the thick, almost syrupy taste it brings to the drink. The Lime juice, when freshly squeezed, cuts through the nasty aftertaste of the alcohol (that horrible kick you get that can spoil a drink) allowing you to pile in 2 measures without thought, and the Pepsi brought out the Spiced notes perfectly and made sure they were there in the background, but not too overpowering.

In my opinion the Kraken Rum brought something extra to the Pepsi recipes that the others simply did not have: a thick almost syrupy, spice texture that when cut with the fresh lime juice created this sensation of pure bliss; that something a little bit special.

Now don’t mistake my gushing for naivety. I know that the classic Cuban rum recipe will always be the classic Cuba Libre, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but what I am saying is that If you want something a little special and a bit of a taste-treat in the disguise of a Cuba Libre; then Kraken Black Spiced Rum is your poison of choice. Trust me you will not regret it.

Footnotes:

–          Always use freshly squeezed lime juice. Lime cordial is never a replacement at the best of times, and especially not here. It is too sweet and doesn’t help balance out the rum. Don’t expect the taste to be that good if you do use it. Having said that, if you have no choice try to use a little less rum so you don’t overpower the drink.

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Always use fresh lime juice where possible. It is far superior to any lime cordial in every way.

–          These rums were used purely because they were accessible at the time I tried them. So whilst I am raving about the Kraken Rum here, it is very likely you will disagree. Please don’t hate me for ignoring your favourite rum; that is not the intention. It was simply MY favourite of the 3!

Recipes:

Brugal Ron Anejo Cuba Libre (Coke)

2 measures Brugal Ron Anejo Rum

1 measure freshly squeezed lime juice*

Top up Coca Cola

Brugal Ron Anejo Cuba Libre (Pepsi)

2 measures Brugal Ron Anejo Rum

1 measure freshly squeezed lime juice

Top up Pepsi

Bacardi Oakheart Cuba Libre

2 measures Bacardi Oakheart

1 measure freshly squeezed lime juice*

Top up Pepsi

Kraken Black Spiced Cuba Libre

2 measures Kraken Black Spiced Rum

1 measure freshly squeezed lime Juice*

Top up Pepsi

*this is equivalent to around 1 small lime being around 25ml

Now as a slight addition to this post, one I did not intend I might add, will be in relation to the fact that whilst in the process of writing this post; I was again paid.

This payday I invested in a rather well-known brand of Cuban Rum, mainly to test out the theory of ‘Cuban rum for a Cuba Libre is better’ and also because I love it. That’s right ladies and gents; Havana Club 3yo white rum.

Now normally I would keep this sort of information to myself, but seeing as it was mainly to try a proper Cuba Libre Recipe out, I thought it best to add. The recipe I used was a 2:1 ratio (the same as the above recipes) only I added the lime juice to the glass first (following Havana Club guidelines).

And can I just say, from the above recipes, Brugal & Coca Cola was my favourite (not including the Kraken & Pepsi recipe), but this Havana Libre I made up, was on another level… It is very strange, but the flavour of the Havana Club comes through the cola perfectly, so you taste the rums flavour, but without the painful bite of the alcohol (thank the lime juice for that).

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Havana Nights: Cuba is the birthplace of the Cuba Libre and Cuban Rum should always be your first stop…

So I suppose to summarise I just have to leave you with this bit of advice: Cocktail recipes can be fluid. You make them to your own tastes. And sometimes you may want a spiced rum, sometimes you want a white. But if you ever have a Cuba Libre, try it first with the Havana Club 3yo, create a Cuba Libre the way it was intended and then, if you want to, experiment with other rums. You’ll find that this classic recipe is just that: a classic. You may find you prefer a spiced version, or even the taste of black rum. But no matter what you try you cannot beat the Cuban Anejo rum recipe. It’s just one of those things… Like gravity or the short life of a turkey; it’s inevitable.

Licor 43 (Cuarenta Y Tres): The Jewel of Southern Spain…

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Licor 43: Cuarenta Y Tres… Why all the fuss?

My first encounter with this seductive liqueur was about 6 years ago, purely by chance too! I ordered Cointreau, and instead, out came this rather yellowy-gold nectary glass containing what I now know to be called: Licor 43. Alongside which was a small glass bottle of Pepsi, ready for me to serve… Now I was a bit confused, but considering I had just paid for it, I certainly made the most of it. Now as you can imagine I had no clue as to what it was I was drinking, all I knew was that it tasted bloody amazing.

Here in this focus I want to get across to every one of my readers 2 things;

1)     That this little known liqueur is looked over by many individuals, and rarely comes out to play.

And:

2)     That this liqueur can help create some of the (arguably) best cocktails in the world. Simple, yet eloquent cocktails that make you wonder why you never tried it before.

So please, read, and enjoy (and as usual feel free to share your opinions/feelings/thoughts and anything else you want to share about this topic at the bottom of the post)…

The first website I went to gather information was the official Licor 43 website: www.licor43.com and there I was greeted with the customary age input you get with all the alcohol sites, but this is where the similarities with other alcohol (spirit especially) websites; After it loads, you’re met with this fantastically vibrant and contemporary home page draped in black and gold. It really is a great welcome by the liqueur company and you’re sure to remember it well into the future. But even this eye catching design, they feel, isn’t enough: that’s right you’re met with this wonderfully melodic piece of music that, for lack of a better, word is perfect for the website & the liqueur.

Once you take a few seconds to steady yourself, you can begin to explore the relatively simple but effective pages of the site. I started with the cocktails, for obvious reasons (they taste great by the way) but for all intents and purposes I shall discuss the history first.

The History of Licor 43

As with every liqueur company their histories are almost always somewhat exaggerated, like a game of Chinese whispers that got out of hand; it starts with ‘my auntie gave me the recipe’ and ends with ‘my auntie gave me the recipe, but did so whilst saving my family from a hoard of giants and dragons’… Needless to say you should always take these with a pinch of salt…

Licor 43’s history is not as ‘flowered up’ on their official website, and started off with humble beginnings. Created by a group of entrepreneurs; two brothers (Diego & Angel) and a couple by the name of (Mrs) Josefina Zamora Conesa & her husband Emilo Restoy Godoy Licor 43 started off small and became well known locally.

Working hard together, and pioneering advertisement techniques in southern Spain at the time (including TV, radio and even vehicle ads), they turned a small liqueur company into the single most successful Spanish liqueur ever created. It became the highest sold/consumed liqueur in Spain before hitting the European and world markets (sold in a total of 55 worldwide markets, present day).

The Taste Of The Real Southern Spanish Gold:

‘O Tono Con Todo’ meaning “The Tone With All” – Licor 43 is Spain’s biggest International Success.

Licor 43, or “Cuarenta Y Tres” as it is known locally (and to almost anyone who can pronounce the words), is a golden-yellow liquid made with 43 individual ingredients. The flavours you get when drinking it, consist primarily of vanilla and citrus but there are also subtle notes of spice and an almost aged-rum like quality, but overall the liqueur is very sweet. This however does not detract from its mixability or overall taste/flavours.

As the website suggests, it’s made to the highest quality and cannot be imitated, and has a smooth finish that not only allows it to become a possible drink for all palates but it makes it easy to mix into almost any other liquid, should it be other spirits (for cocktails), coffee, cola’s or even milk!

Whilst it is an easy liqueur to mix, you should never just presume that it works the same as a vanilla liqueur. However, as long as you take into account the subtle spice flavours as well as the citrus, you will be able to create more complex flavours in your cocktails.

Other Funny Little Things:

So I speak to people about this liqueur all the time… And every time I’m met with a blank stare and simply asked: “What’s this Licor 43 then?” along with “never heard of it” … Now this always gets to me because I have a well held love for this liqueur and have done since I first tried it about out 6 years ago. I feel the biggest problem with this, and the reason hardly any one knows about it in the UK is that it’s not sold in many bars or supermarkets, which is a big problem for myself. This is the problem with almost any product you want, or want to share with people; you are limited to what the supermarkets or other vendors are willing to sell.

The shame here is, in my opinion (as a bit of a cocktail snob), that i would replace Galliano (a vanilla liqueur) with Licor 43 in almost 99% of the relevant cocktails – purely because, in my opinion, it tastes better as well as helping to develop more complex layers of flavour in a drink. From simple concoctions such as the Harvey Wallbanger to the more complicated maidens kiss, Licor 43 adds that extra layer and again, in my opinion, adds something special to any drink it’s in.

Licor 43 is the most famous Spanish liqueur, revered by bartenders across the world...
Licor 43 is the most famous Spanish liqueur, revered by bartenders across the world…

So what about the liqueurs aesthetics I hear you shout!? – Don’t worry if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you my thoughts anyway!

So as you can see from the picture above it is a golden-yellow liquid and its stored in what is, in my opinion, a simple yet stylish bottle. It does have one of those annoying pouring regulator plastic things in the neck of the bottle but sometimes (although definitely not all the time!), especially with thicker/denser liqueurs like this, it can be of help. Taste wise, its mainly vanilla and citrus you get, but if you try it again and again, you’ll eventually come across the spices in the drink as well. This is a well-balanced liqueur that, as shown by its sales history in Spain alone, is probably one of the best in the world. It’s unique in both its flavours and their balance, not to mention great in a simple Pepsi mix, or even complicated cocktails.

You can buy miniatures from this website: (usually around £2-£2.50) … http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=5748

Now this is the link for the miniature(s) of the drink, but there is a link on that page for the full 70cl bottles (around £18/£19) and they can be purchased there. If you want to give it a try, grab a couple of miniatures and get mixing, pick one of the following cocktails and let loose. Eventually you’ll find something you like and I promise you won’t regret it!

Licor 43 Cocktails: Mix Up Something Special…

Key Lime Pie Martini

–       1 measure Licor 43

–       1 measure Key Lime Juice

–       2 measures Cream

–       2 measures Vanilla Vodka

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously for about 1-2 minutes. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Enjoy.

The vanilla from the vodka and the citrus from the lime juice help extract both the vanilla and citrus flacours from the licor 43, This frees up the spices/other flavours the licor 43 contains to be tasted in the drink.

Hedonism 43

–       1.5 measures Licor 43

–       4 measures Pineapple juice

Licor 43 is perfect for this sort of summary drink. The smoothness of Licor 43 is really apparent in mixes with juice like this… Try using the same amount of Orange Juice instead of pineapple for a completely different, but still fantastic, tasting cocktail!

Vanilla Dreamiscle

–       1.25 measures Licor 43

–       2.5 measures Orange Juice

–       1 tbsp brandy

–       1 tbsp milk

Shake all the ingredients well, and serve over ice in a chilled glass.

Perfectly smooth, this drink oozes class. The vanilla and citrus flavours in the Licor 43 blend well with the brandy and orange juice, and adding the milk just adds a little creaminess to this drink to make it perfectly smooth.

Licor 43 is so smooth, it can be mixed with almost anything, from Soda's to milk and every thing in between (even Coffee!)
Licor 43 is so smooth, it can be mixed with almost anything, from Soda’s to milk and every thing in between (even Coffee!)

43 Pina Colada

–       4 measures Pineapple Juice

–       3 measures Licor 43

–       1 measure coconut cream

–       ½ measure Malibu/coconut liqueur. (Optional)

Shake all ingredients well over ice. Pour (no straining) into a chilled glass and drink through straws.

43 Caipirinha

–       2 measures Licor 43

–       2 measures Light (white) Rum

–       ½ teaspoon White granular sugar

–       ¼ Lemon, sliced

In a cocktail shaker muddle the lemon with the sugar until most of the sugar dissolves

Then add the Licor 43, Rum and crushed ice and shake.

Pour, without straining, into a chilled glass and add a splash of soda water.

Now this drink is a bit naughty, as it takes out the one ingredient that makes it a Caipirinha; The Cachaca (a spirit distilled from sugar can in South America)… However in an attempt to make it at least resemble the original drink it does include white rum (a North American equivalent to a sugar cane based spirit).

This drink is included because it tastes great (trust me I’ve had a few of them in my time), but also to make a point.

Cocktails like this are all about experimenting with what you have on hand. In South America they made this drink’s Father (Classic Caipirinha) into a classic. Now all over the world you can order a Caipirinha and enjoy its refreshingly crisp taste. However, this specific ‘offspring cocktail’, as shown above adds something a little special that the original doesn’t have: a more complex flavour…

As you can see from the recipe, its preparation is remarkably similar to that of a Mojito (minus the mint) and in this case, it’s shaken only due to the high density of Licor 43.

My advice to you when making this brilliant cocktail is to not be afraid to meddle with the amount of sugar used. For some, the licor 43’s sweetness will be enough but for others not so. Try different amounts of sugar, or even different sugars (in my opinion a Mojito tastes better with demerara sugar not white and the same goes here) but in the end you need to find your own flavours and the best way is to try things out…

Pro Tip: for a smoother drink, try using caster/superfine sugar instead of the granulated kind.

The Gold Standard

–       2 measures Gold Tequila

–       1 measure Licor 43

–       ½ measure Curacao Orange Liqueur (Triple sec also works well here)

–       ½ measure Sweet & Sour Mix

–       ½ measure (Freshly Squeezed) Orange Juice.

Using Curacao Liqueur is obviously the best move for this drink, but in the case of you not finding any orange curacao (the Blue curacao is most readily available but will ruin the aesthetics of the drink) use Triple Sec liqueur instead (it’s made by the same method only its slightly stronger and clear).

43 & Tonic

–       4 Measures Licor 43

–       2 measures fresh Lemon juice

–       Top up Tonic Water

Build the ingredients over ice, add the tonic water and stir well to mix. For some added bitterness add 2 dashes of angostura before the tonic, for some added sweetness add a ½ teaspoon of sugar syrup at the same point. Enjoy.

From shots to Tall iced teas, Licor 43 is extremely versatile, why not try it out?
From shoots – long iced teas, Licor 43 is extremely versatile, why not try it out?

So to close, i just want to say one thing: Some of you have probably heard of Licor 43 before, and most of you won’t have… Either way i hope reading this has opened your mind to both it’s quality as a standalone liqueur, and at the very least given you some cocktails you’d like to go away and try.

Just please go out and give it a try, you won’t regret it, I promise you that much!

Parisian Mule

Parisian Mule
A visual representation of what your mule should look like, along with two of the main ingredients… Lime & Ginger Ale/Beer…

Ingredients:

–          50ml Vodka

–          25ml Cassis

–          25ml Lime Juice

–          Top up ginger ale

Method:

Build in a glass and serve over ice, stir just before serving.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

Review:

This cocktail recipe is purely so as to make the most of the Cassis bought for the party. It doesn’t quite result in an instant classic (although it works surprisingly well!) but the ginger ale does cause the cassis to blend well with the lime. In all truthfulness this cocktail recipe should work on every level. Vodka and cassis have a history of working well together, as does the lime with all the ingredients. The sweetness added to the drink by the cassis is combated by the lime juice and measured well by the dryness of the ginger ale. Overall this drink provides a great refreshing mix, but also it makes you think, and that’s not really a bad thing now is it?

Same goes for this cocktail, experiment, let me know what you think and if you think you have improved it any! Thanks again guys n gals!

Twisted Lemon Mojito

Although this drink was created especially for the Mexican Themed party, i felt it was good to test the water and get a few more comments from other people as well. Either way, here is the recipe i used for this night…

Twisted Lemon Mojito

I prefer to use a good golden rum, and bacardi is as good as any (although Havana Club is by far the best)
I prefer to use a good golden rum, and bacardi is as good as any (although Havana Club is by far the best)

Ingredients:

–          60ml White rum

–          25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (use a lemon vodka if you have it at hand)

–          25ml sugar syrup

–          6-8 Mint leaves

–          ½ lime (& Juice)

–          Lemonade to top

Method:

Muddle the lime, lemon juice and sugar syrup with the mint leaves in a glass)

Add the rum and a little ice, stir gently.

Fill rest of glass with ice.

Top up with lemonade and serve.

Review:

This cocktail recipe is a well thought out recipe I first used at the “shindig south of the border” event (see my main blog page). I know that this cocktail works and whilst this is a slightly different recipe from that night (using lemon juice rather than absolut lemon vodka) it still had enough of a lemon kick to make it a great cocktail. Second only to the bucks fizz Wallbanger, this was one of the best loved recipes of the night and was made on a smaller scale for several people. Overall this cocktail has made it through a couple of events now and I feel I should keep it as a ‘calling card’ at any event I cater for.

The lemon, although subtle at first, helps keep the drink fresh and fruity but with enough kick in it at the end of the mouthful to really stamp its mark. You always get the lime and mint from any mojito, but this adds a subtle layering of lemon under the lime flavours, and then you get the slightly bitter sweet tastes at the end. Whilst not always completely ‘nice’ I feel its this little note of bitterness that makes the drink so great. It makes it different and also keeps it in demand – as was the case most of time at both events.

It’s definitely becoming my favourite homemade recipe and I will definitely be taking it out at any upcoming events I have planned. The recipe above is free for you guys to use, in the hope that you will let me know what you think of it! Whether you love it or hate it (or if you’re just indifferent) any comments on it are welcomed! Thank you.

Anguilla Fruit Spritzer

This is the cocktail that failed miserably… Please change its recipe, tweak it, and just well make it better! The pineapple was poor quality and the resulting colour from mixing in the Angostura Bitters was not pleasant. The taste was not bad but not good enough for a cocktail if im honest.

Anguilla Fruit Spritzer

Ingredients: (serves 2)

–          2 measures Gin

–          1 measure Lime Juice

–          1 measure sugar syrup

–          3 measures pineapple juice

–          ½ measure lime sherbert

–          1 dash angostura bitters

–          Lime wedge to garnish

–          Top up with Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

Build all the ingredients in a pitcher.

Add a small amount of ice and stir heavily. Fill to the top with ice.

Top up with Prosecco just before serving.

Review:

This was the disaster of evening in all honesty. It really suffered from a lack of quality ingredients, especially in relation to the pineapple juice.

Whilst it was workable without the sherbert, the used of sugar syrup and lime to counter the loss very much combined with its less than savoury look (with the angostura it took up a very nasty cloudy dull orange). But the taste was not all bad, the pineapple juice was by far the biggest fault, not helped any by the fact it was not freshly squeezed. A general feeling is that this would have been much better with apple juice and the sherbet removed from the drink entirely (if it must be used, use it as a garnish – maybe it could rim the glass?).

The Bucks Fizz Wallbanger

Bucks Fizz Wallbanger
A visual representation of the ‘Bucks Fizz Wallbanger’ and two of its main ingredients: Galliano & Prosecco…

Bucks Fizz Wallbanger  drink                                                    

Ingredients:

–          50ml Vodka

–          25ml Galliano

–          100ml Orange juice

–          Top up with ‘Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano’

Method:

Over ice, combine the vodka & Galliano.

Add the orange juice.

Top up with prosecco just before serving.

Review

This was the definitely the most well received cocktail pitcher of the night. The recipe I made up on the night kept to the above measurement ratios (OJ 4: Vodka 2: Galliano 1). The Prosecco was used to top up the drink once served and made up around 20-25% of the finished drink volume. This was mostly to stretch out the Prosecco as there were more people in attendance than i knew about! Stil it went down well and I have several comments saying how nice the drink was and how interesting it was to see it made – it went down much better than the Mojitos, I think maybe due to its simplicity.

In total it was created more than once, which is a clear indication that it was the favourite as the others only managed interest enough for one pitcher. The Juice itself whilst not of the best quality did its job and meant the vanilla mixed well enough so as not to overpower the prosecco, but just add the slightest hint of flavour. Overall it’s the one I’m most proud of, and quite obviously the one that went down the best.

Kir Royale Mojito

This cocktail recipe and review is based on the one used for the latest event i catered for. It shows the amounts of the ingredients suitable for a 1 person serving (unless otherwise stated). The full blog of the event can be found on my main page when it’s posted 🙂

Kir Royale Mojito 

a visual representation of the Kir Royale Mojito including two of the main ingredients: cassis & prosecco
a visual representation of the Kir Royale Mojito including two of the main ingredients: cassis & prosecco

 

Ingredients:

–          60ml White Rum

–          25ml cassis

–          25ml sugar syrup

–          ½ lime (quartered)

–          6-8 mint leaves

–          Top up with Italian prosecco

Method:

Muddle the mint, lime quarters and sugar syrup in a glass.

Add the rum, stir.

Add the Cassis & Orange slices.

Add the ice, stir again.

Top up with prosecco just before serving.

Review:

This drink encapsulates everything I wanted to try at the event at which it debuted, Its simple, classy, tastes great and anyone can make it. The idea behind this drink evolved from a simple Mojito with lemonade (instead of soda water) to a combination of two great cocktails. The Kir Royale is a champagne based cocktail with Cassis added for sweetness and flavour (as well as the alluring colour). Combining the royale & mojito was as simple a step as I could think off. It’s a very sweet mojito mix sure, but the dryness that comes from the Italian sparkling wine (Prosecco) balances this. I wanted to create some simple cocktails for an event, but cocktails that exhumed class. In name and appearance at least, but most of all they needed to taste good. Granted the blackcurrant does not fold easily in with the mint and lime, but if you know how to balance the amounts of the latter two ingredients, it’s a simple case of trial and error (until you find your personal preference).

Of the 3 Sparkling Wine cocktail pitchers created for the event, this was probably the classiest, but at the same time, not the most liked (unfortunately). It was apparent on the night that the combination of the blackcurrant and mint, in most cases was not to the individuals taste.

For the other half of the group, they just couldn’t understand what the mint was doing in the drink – even after I explained that its integral to a classic Mojito mix – I think overall the parties attendants were a little too disinterested in the recipes and more interested in just drinking them. Shame as this really restricted the outcome for myself (to try and get some feedback and thoughts on the cocktails and how they’re made).