Category Archives: My Idol

Inspiration is a fine thing – 2 Cocktails by Jamie Boudreau…

I’ve been watching cocktail videos on YouTube since before I can remember, with great shows like Robert Hess’ cocktail spirit and Charlotte Voisey’s proper pour, it’s hard to keep a track of the great cocktails you uncover.

However I saw a few episodes of Jamie Boudreau’s ‘Raising the bar’ YouTube series and a couple of cocktails really stuck out; the ‘Evergreen Swizzle’ and ‘Wallingford’. They stood out for several reasons but mainly these drinks are refreshing and perfect for recreating at cocktails parties you may or may not have planned…

Jamie Boudreau has long been a hero of mine, with his own bar; the Canon Bar in Seattle which he supposedly stained and decorated with 3 cases of Angostura Bitters back in 2011, and these videos are of two of my favourite recipes from his show.

Jamie Boudreau doing what Jamie Boudreau does…

The first recipe is a cocktail I’ve seen many a time, mainly all through the video link I’m supplying below, but also through trying it out a couple of times. It’s rather odd, it’s a strong drink, but the ice does exactly what he says it will…

The second is a little more on par with the London cocktail week posts I’m currently working on… During the week I went to a whisky seminar with a guest speaker called Gaz Regan (a true cocktail legend) and he has his own bitters spread across most American bars. The second recipe includes a dash or two of Regan’s orange bitters, a wonderful product but hard to get in this country at this time, unfortunately, but something to help tie this post into other on the way.

So what about the recipes I hear you shout well here they are (along with the links to their respective YouTube videos – in the form of links).

Evergreen Swizzle

1 ½ measure Edinburgh Gin

½ measure Pine Liqueur

½ measure Yellow Chartreuse

½ measure fresh Lime Juice

½ measure Sugar Syrup

Great Gin = Great drink.

Method: Shake all ingredients over ice and then pour into a glass filled with crushed ice and swizzle well.

Check out the YouTube Video here.


1 ½ measures Martin Miller Gin

¾ measures Kina L’Avion D’Or

¼ measure Dry Curacao

A great combination of spirit, aperitif and liqueur following Jamie’s ‘Golden Ratio’…


1)      Stir all the ingredients well over cubed ice.

2)      Squeeze a grapefruit peel over the glass and wipe the rim of the glass and finally drop it in.

3)      Pour in the drink and enjoy.

Check out Jamie’s video here.

I do hope you like the recipes, they’re a little stronger than the usual but the flavour combinations are pretty darn awesome! Try them out and let me know what you think about them…

Simone Caporale … A genius? Yes! – My new Idol? Most certainly…

I watch many different cocktail videos; hell the internet is full of them… YouTube won’t let me live a day without ‘recommending’ more to me every day. Usually I despise recommendations, as they are usually rubbish (just look at Facebook – offering me gay singles, after a poorly placed ‘Facebook rape’ from my brother a few months ago – outdated but annoying ads enrage me) …

But things are different when cocktails are involved… I’ve had a fixation on finding some decent hibiscus syrup, be it with flowers or without, I don’t care. I just want to experiment with it in some fizz cocktails I have planned next week. Anyway back to the point, I saw this video:

My new Cocktail Idol: Simone Caporale (currently in employ over at the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel in London) …

I don’t agree with the overuse of glitter and silver balls and all that stuff, but the guy knows how to put on a show… If only I could ever be that good 🙂 ♥

A fantastically flamboyant bartender, serving the best cocktails...
A fantastically flamboyant bartender, serving the best cocktails…

Needless to say when I saw the title ‘Hibiscus Soda’ my eyes opened wide in awe…

I’m no stranger to infusions, experiments with flavours or even fruit waters; but the idea of a hibiscus soda  had, somehow, escaped me.

And if theres one thing I want right now it’s Hibiscus Syrup (and I do want it now). I don’t care much about the things I can do with it, I’ll think about that later. Just gimme, gimme, gimme.

Onwards with what I was saying: I watched this video again, to fully appreciate all the ingredients and it looks like a fantastic drink, with interesting flavour combos, now personally I do think the silver balls and glitter were rather over doing it, but I cannot take away from him the obvious skill and expertise he has.

He is stunningly good, and this is shown no better than in this video I saw earlier today;

In this video, the highlights of a master class are shown. In this class he shows off some stunning drinks, his flamboyant mannerisms just wow the audience (not to mention me as well).

The art of mixology and all things cocktail are, by unwritten definition, about flair and personality as much as the drinks you create. I’ve always thought it should be about you adding your own personality to the drinks you create; and Simone Caporale does exactly that. More bartenders (any who would consider themselves a Mixologist at least) could learn a thing or two from him. All too often I’ve been served a cocktail by someone lacking any enthusiasm and flair, and this really does spoil the experience… 😦

What I’m trying to say is, that most of you so called bartenders could learn a thing or two from this guy that’s all. If you already have some flair, some style then fantastic and I cannot wait for you to serve me your favourite cocktail, if not, then find your own style and add some to the drinks you create, oh and start enjoying the process a little more too (couldn’t hurt too much could it?).

Hopefully this has helped some of my fellow cocktail enthusiasts. I love watching established experts at work, because their enthusiasm and skill adds that little bit of magic to the process; take for example the mannerisms of Simone in these videos, the flamboyance of his wrist movement (when adding ingredients) and the personal shaking style. It may look cheesy to some, but it is part of his personality expressed through the drink making process. I was eating out the other day and when I ordered a shaken cocktail, it was done in the most laboured and disconnected way possible. And let me tell you now; I was bored just watching them! But add some flair, or even some personality input from the bartender and it would have become enjoyable to watch.

I like to think of myself as fairly knowledgeable when it comes to cocktails, not an expert by any means, but I do like to think I know when I see a good bartender.

In closing I just wish to reiterate my overall message here:

I would like to see more enthusiasm in the local bartenders for their work, and also for them to respect the drink they’re making by adding a little personality and attitude into both their mixing technique and overall service quality. 

Do you have any bartenders/experts in their fields that give you enthusiasm to carry on with what you do? Why not share with us who, and what about them you admire…