Tag Archives: Cocktails O’ Clock

Cocktails O’ Clock: Wild Hibiscus Royale

A Kir Royale, with a flowery twist…

Carrying on from the product of the month post about Wild Hibiscus Flowers, this cocktail is all about class.

First served in 2006 at the Dorchester hotel, London; this cocktail remains one of the most popular champagne cocktails on their menu. This cocktail mixes some bold flavours to subtly build on the quality of the champagne used.

Whilst some of the ingredients can be hard to find, they should be available in most health food shops or failing that they are all available online…

Hibiscus Royale Recipe:

7ml Natural Rose Water

20ml Wild Hibiscus Syrup

4-6 Mint leaves

Top up Champagne

Champagne and flowers are for everyone…


1)      Muddle the mint in the glass and discard.

2)      Stand a hibiscus flower upright in the glass.

3)      Add the rose water.

4)      Top up with champagne.

5)      Finally, pour the hibiscus syrup in and let it descend through the champagne.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: Feel free to remove the rose water and add a little flavour enhancer of your own, flavoured liqueurs always work, and not to mention flavoured sugar syrups…

This cocktail is just one of many available for you to read through on the Wild Hibiscus official site. From champagne cocktails to Daiquiris they have a wide selection worth checking out, especially if you are looking for something a little different for your party…

Perfect for that special touch on a romantic soiree…

Cocktails O’ Clock: The Naked Pretzel

Everyone loves a naked pretzel… No? Just me then!

Pretzels can be sweet or savoury… Versatility at its best…
Picture courtesy of: http://www.ourbestbites.com

This cocktail is another relatively unknown concoction taken from Brian Lucas’ book: 365 cocktails.

Combining liqueurs most would shy away from is what really sets this cocktail apart from the horde. It’s a rather appealing colour which, considering pineapple juice is involved, in my mind is no small miracle.

The flavours are well balanced, with the Midori really holding its own against both the Cassis and Pineapple. The vodka is literally there for moral support, supplying a bit of an alcoholic kick to a cocktail otherwise weak in alcohol content.

There is no hiding the fact that this cocktail is a small cocktail, by volume, but by using crushed ice in a tumbler it can be stretched out a little freshening it up and there is even a precedence for the use of a flavoured soda just to lengthen the drink a little should it be too alcoholy for you…

Naked Pretzel Recipe:

2 measures Pineapple Juice

1 measure Midori

¾ measures Vodka

½ measure Crème De Cassis

Pineapple and Midori: A tropical match made in heaven…
Picture courtesy of: http://www.nochelatina.com


1)      Pour into an ice filled glass and stir.

2)      Garnish with a pineapple leaf and slice.

As you can tell there’s really not much to this drink, simply built over ice and enjoyed with a straw, but what it lacks in complexity it makes up with in flavour… The depth is surprising and with each mouthful you can taste a little bit of each flavour which is, again, a small miracle considering the flavours used are rather powerful.

Invented by a friend of Brian Lucas (writer of 365 cocktails), although he never found out where the name actually came from…

The Naked Pretzel’s a refreshing and tropical cocktail perfect for the beach. Like a strong but fresh fruit punch. To make this drink longer, try adding some ginger ale to lengthen and crisp the drink up a bit (Making it into a kind of Pretzel Mule)…

Fervent Shaker Funny fact: Pretzels are baked bread foods, originating in Europe, that have the potential to be sweet or savoury, and this is the same with a cocktails. You can have a varied scale of all the flavours available to you and cocktails can blend both genres together (such as the Basil & Strawberry Cointreau Fizz).

Cocktails O’ Clock: The Whisky Sour

Bourbon on the rocks, with the addition of sugar, lemon and a straw…

The whisky sour is another rather famous cocktail that is both simple yet effective. Utilising 50ml (2 measures) of Bourbon, this cocktail is a bit stronger than I’m used to, but it is a great tasting sugary cocktail.

This cocktail is the basis for several similar cocktails including both the ‘Boston Sour’ and Ward 8. The idea is that the combination of the sugar with the lemon juice supplies a sour taste to the whisky and that (obviously) makes it a whisky sour.

Here’s a classic but tweaked recipe, it’s how I prefer mine…

Whisky Sour Recipe

50ml Bourbon

15ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

2tsp caster sugar

1tsp vanilla syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Whisky cocktails done right: The Whisky Sour.
picture courtesy of BBCFood


Shake all of the ingredients over ice and strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.

Top Tip: For a Boston sour, remove the vanilla and add 1 whole egg white to the shaker.

This is a great cocktail, and whilst I don’t usually drink whisky (I can’t say I like the flavours very much) this is one of the very few whisky based cocktails I actually like drinking.

Another version of this cocktail, known as the Ward 8, is based on the whisky sour, but couldn’t be more different flavour wise…

Ward 8 Cocktail

50ml Bourbon/Rye Whisky

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

20ml Fresh Orange Juice

1tsp Grenadine

A red sour is a treat indeed, this one may taste slightly sweeter but it’s still whisky at heart…
Picture courtesy of http://www.saveur.com


Mix all of the ingredients over ice and then strain the mixture into an ice filled tumbler. Garnish with a lemon and orange slice.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: for a splash of instant flavour, wipe a mint sprig around the rim of the glass. If mint is not your thing you can squeeze an orange twist over the glass releasing the oils for an intense flavour hit.

Interesting Fact: Ever tried a cocktail sorbet? They are rather popular and done right they are just as good as the cocktails themselves… Check out this post for a cosmopolitan sorbet I prepared recently…

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for more to come.