Hey, everyone! Sorry about my forced hiatus recently! I had internet troubles whilst moving into a new house! I’m back up and running now though and just in time for New Years! So scroll on down and enjoy yourselves! Thank you all for your continued readership!
Enter the New Year in style with some fancy sparkling wine! Whilst you could go for an expensive bottle of Champagne, sometimes saving a little bit of money is a good shout…
Prosecco, generally speaking, is much cheaper than even a semi-good bottle of champagne. And if you head to a specialist wine shop, you’re more than likely to find a top end brand too!
The best example I’ve come across in the past few years is Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano… It’s usually inexpensive and can often be nabbed when it’s on offer!
Below I give you 3 simple cocktails you can make for your new years eve party. At least to make it a bit more fun for your new-to-prosecco friends! The price detail really hits home if you have a party for more than just a few people!
Prosecco & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
30ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Top Up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Using a standard champagne flute, gently add the Elderflower Liqueur into the bottom of the glass.
The simply top up with the prosecco.
Usually used at Christmas this simply made cocktail is perfect to capture the sweetness of the prosecco and pump it up into a sweeter-than-usual mouthful. The St. Germain Liqueur adds a floral note and really does make the prosecco go down easier for those with a sweeter tooth…
I tried this very recently at an italian restaurant with my girlfriend. It was delicious and should be available for everyone to try! My well-known bias for Licor 43 aside, this is my favourite cocktail in this post!
Prosecco & Licor 43
30ml Licor 43
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Pour chilled Licor 43 into a standard champagne flute.
Top up with the Prosecco and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
This cocktail is one I’ve wanted to try out for a long while and, thanks to my girlfriend, I was able to finally get hold of a full bottle of Licor 43. It’s a very sweet liqueur and can produce many a fine cocktail. But there’s something about this Prosecco & liqueur blend that captures my feelings for prosecco perfectly!
Prosecco, whilst sweeter than champagne, is still a little dry for my palate. But add enough of a sweet liqueur and you have the perfect balance of sweet and dry. Not to mention the addition of various subtle flavours (from the liqueur).
Licor 43 brings its blend of 43 different ingredients into the mix, but it mainly shows off the Citrus and Vanilla in this particular drink… Although there are some herbal undertones there for those with a keen nose…
Prosecco & Creme De Peche
25ml Creme De Peche
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Gently pour the Peach Liqueur into a standard champagne flute.
Top up with the Prosecco Conegliano…
This cocktail is very much like a mimosa, only it cuts out the fruit juice and uses an alcoholic peach liqueur instead. It has certainly got more bite, but like the other 2 drinks on this list, you get a balance to the dryness of the wine with the sugary liqueur…
This is one of the fruitier of the 3 drinks, with the peach flavour being very, very prominent throughout. Give it a try, and if it’s too sweet, try cutting it back with a dash of fresh lime!
Tequila is, undoubtedly, the spirit of Mexico. Tequila’s sophisticated and continuously increasing quality is the result of blending native agricultural techniques and modern technology, all held together with tradition.
Being Mexican, this traditional backbone inevitably includes one of the most spiritual celebrations in the human world: Dia De Los Muertos.
Dia De Los Muertos, or the day of the dead (DOTD), is a celebration that grips the entirety of Mexico on the 1st & 2nd of November. To pay homage to this spiritual celebration I’ve gathered three of the best 100% agave tequilas available to me here in the UK.
Taking one cocktail from each brands’ website, I will recreate them, aiming to not only showcase brand used but to really help you get a traditional Mexican celebration going this Dia De Los Muertos.
But, before we delve into the recipes, let’s take a little look a what Dia De Los Muertos is, and why it is so widely celebrated across the country Tequila calls home…
Whilst predominantly celebrated in the central and southern regions of Mexico, DOTD has spread to most of the northern regions as well, no small part due to the Mexican Government declaring it a national holiday.
DOTD takes place on the 1st & 2nd November every year and even though this coincides with the catholic holidays of All Souls and All Saints day, the Mexican population has managed to blend both religion and tradition together, culminating in this very spiritual event.
DOTD rests on the belief that, for the 1st of November, the spirits of deceased children will be allowed passage to Earth, from heaven. During this 24hr period, the children return to their loved ones and enjoy the festivities laid out for them by their friends and families.
On the 2nd of November, adult spirits also return down to their loved ones, enjoying the singing, dancing, and other festivities laid out especially for them.
Almost all houses will contain a homemade altar decorated with marigold flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and pictures of the deceased loved one(s) along with their favourite food and drink. This is all done by the deceased’s families and friends and can come at a great personal expense. But, as this holiday is all about celebrating the lives of their loved ones, the economic cost is not a driving factor – it just serves as an example of how important to the Mexican people this tradition is.
On the 2nd, festivities are taken to the cemeteries and there the individuals will sing, dance, and care for their loved ones’ gravestones. Stories are told of their loved ones and families, friends, and others, all gather to celebrate the lives of their deceased.
Dia De Los Muertos is an upbeat celebration that captures the spirit of joy and ultimately shows a true acceptance of death in everyday life. This tradition celebrates the life of the deceased rather than simply mourning the dead.
Dia De Los Muertos is such a celebration that tequila brands jump at the chance to share it with the world. Of course, it acts as a great selling point for their brands but, ultimately, they also share this celebration with the world.
Simply put, Tequila brands make Mexico’s most famous alcoholic beverage and they make it in the traditional way. Part of this tradition is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. That is why most tequila brands (especially the 100% agave ones) will really kick things up a notch around the end of October…
Now for what you’ve all been waiting for, the 3 gloriously delicious Dia De Los Muertos cocktails…
Patron – Fresas En Fuego
(45ml) 3 measures Patron Silver
(15ml) 1 measure Ginger Liqueur
(15ml) 1 measure Fresh Lime Juice
(15ml) 1 measure Sugar Syrup
4 x Hulled Strawberries
2 x Jalapeno coins (slices)
Garnish: Strawberry & Jalapeno Skewer.
In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, jalapeno coins, and sugar syrup.
Add the tequila, ginger liqueur, and lime juice.
Shake well over ice.
Double strain into a chilled coupe cocktail glass.
Garnish with the strawberry & jalapeno skewer.
Patron Tequila is as beautifully crafted as they come. It is a premium brand in that it does cost a small fortune to sample some of their high-end products but, as with all alcohol brands, you pay for what you get. All their products are handmade, from Pina to Cork, and this is evident in the high quality taste their products are renown for.
Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you love spice in your cocktail, try infusing your Patron Silver tequila with some sliced Jalapenos.
Add the tequila, Cointreau, Campari, and juices to an ice-filled shaker.
Shake well (10-15 seconds should do it)
Strain into a chilled rocks glass.
Garnish with the kiwi, strawberries, and mint sprig.
Herradura produce 100% agave tequila and they pride themselves on slowly aged uncompromising tequila. They barrel age their Tequila longer than the standard required and the quality of their products show through. I had the pleasure of sampling their range at Imbibe Live 2016 and believe me, they are sublime in their quality.
Ocho – El Diablo
50ml Ocho Blanco
25ml Fresh Lime Juice
10ml Fresh Ginger Syrup
10ml Creme De Cassis
Top Up Ginger Ale
Garnish: 2 x Lime wedges
Combine all ingredients over ice and shake well (again, 10-15 seconds should suffice).
Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge. Or two.
The El Diablo Is a cocktail I’ve been excited about for a long time. It’s simple, yet tremendously satisfying to drink. Its balance of heat and sweet is sublime and it brings out the playfulness of the tequila!
Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you want a higher hit of heat to this drink, muddle some fresh root ginger in the bottom of the glass with the lime juice. It will add a little raw heat to the overall taste!
So there you have 3 stunning cocktails, using 3 rather eloquent 100% agave tequilas, and what’s more, they’ll all help you kick off your Dia De Los Muertos celebrations with a bang!
Do you have any parties planned for this spooky weekend? Try turning them into a celebration and revel in the spiritual togetherness Dia De Los Muertos stands for!
Disclaimer: the Herradura Tequila was provided as a sample by the grace of Mangrove, a drinks distributor here in the UK. The sample was free, but that in no way biases y statements. Any comments made in this post (or any other) is strictly of my own opinion and will always be so.
Are you a celebrator of the spiritual Dia De Los Muertos? If so, what is your cocktail of choice, if you choose to drink one?
If you enjoy your tequila in other ways this time of year, why not share them in the comments?
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.
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…
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.
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).
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.
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!
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 year is 2013. It was a summer of love and torrential downpours – what do you expect? I live in England!
On one rainy afternoon (or two) I sat down and went through some great cocktails that all had one ingredient in common: Cointreau.
This delicious liqueur, seen below, is a stunning, zesty little number that has been used to create some of the most celebrated cocktails ever imagined.
Cointreau, in a grasp at a perfect USP that is craved by most spirit companies these days, created their own style of cocktail: The Cointreau Fizz. The idea was to show the world the versatility to this rather fragrant French liqueur.
I worked. So brilliantly that 3 years on people are still enjoying Cointreau Fizz’s out and about. However, this post, first published by me 3 years ago, aimed to celebrate all that
However, this post, first published by me 3 years ago, aimed to celebrate all that was is classic about this traitionally out of the box liqueur…
So summer is on its way, albeit in the traditional British ‘stealth mode’ way. As I write this it’s a slightly overcast day. The trees are rustling and yet my hand is cold… It’s because I have a fantastic “Cointreau fizz” cocktail (see below) in it! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, summer is here and that can mean only one thing: Cointreau cocktails rule supreme!
The following are, in my opinion, the best Cointreau cocktails you can order:
10ml Lemon Juice
Strong and volatile in the wrong hands, this cocktail should be feared as well as enjoyed. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
45ml Mount Gay Rum
10ml Agave Nectar
A slight tweak on the classic recipe. The Mount gay rum lends its golden hue to this delicious drink. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass for the best results.
8. Cointreau Cobbler
80ml Chardonnay White Wine
2 orange slices
1 lemon slices
Shake all the ingredients and strain into a wine glass. Top up with a bit of Prosecco if you fancy a touch of class.
30ml Lemon Juice
30ml Remy Martin VSOP cognac
Pure class in a glass; Shake and strain the ingredients into a martini glass and enjoy thoroughly.
10ml Lime Juice
20ml Cranberry Juice
Cointreau special: Cointreaupolitan
30ml Cranberry Juice
20ml Lemon Juice
Whichever recipe you choose one thing is certain: Enjoyment. Shake and strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass. Add ice if you wish.
20ml Lime Juice
40ml Silver Tequila
A classic cocktail for a classic liqueur; Shake and strain the ingredients into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
4. Cointreau Caipirinha
Half a lime (quartered)
A slightly sweeter take on a Brazilian classic; shake and strain all the ingredients into a small ice-filled rocks glass and drop in a couple of lime wedges for garnish.
3. White Lady
20ml Lemon Juice
This classy little cocktail is extremely simple: shake and strain into a cocktail glass. For added class garnish with an edible flower (Try some different coloured rose petals).
50ml Pineapple Juice
30ml Yellow Grapefruit Juice
A deliciously sweet Caribbean cocktail; perfect for those summer evenings. Shake all the ingredients and strain into a long glass filled with crushed ice.
1. Cointreau Fizz
The reason this is my number one is for the pure versatility of the drink. If you head over to the Cointreau website, you’ll find a list of cocktails both famous and lesser known. If you look carefully you’ll find 9 different recipes for ‘Fizz’ cocktails. The only difference (generally at least) is the garnish. As many of you know the garnish is extremely important to the taste of some cocktails, and none more so than with the Cointreau Fizz.
With recipes such as; Strawberry & Mint, Mint Tea, Cucumber & Basil and Passion & Pepper, the Cointreau fizz is, literally, a cocktail for all tastes.
Here are my 3 favourite recipes:
Cointreau Fizz – Simple but stunning…
½ fresh Lime Juice
100ml Soda Water
Cointreau Fizz, Passion & Pepper – Spicy, with a splash of passion…
15ml fresh lime juice
2 fresh passion fruits
1 thin slice of thai chilli pepper
50ml soda water
Method: add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker (only use the juice of the passion fruits). Shake until the metal is frosted and then strain over ice into a glass. Top up with soda water.
Cointreau Fizz, Strawberry & Mint
15ml Lime Juice
4-5 fresh strawberries
3 fresh mint leaves
50ml soda water
Method: Muddle the strawberries and mint leaves in a Boston shaker. Add the Cointreau and lime juice and shake until the metal becomes frosted. Strain into a glass, over ice and garnish with a strawberry slice and a fresh mint sprig.
Hopefully, these cocktails help you enjoy your evenings, summer or no. If you have a penchant for Cointreau then why not take a peek at my other Cointreau related posts? Click here to see more!
Disclaimer: All of the views and opinions on this post are my own and have not, in any way, been influenced by Cointreau or any other party.
A selection of the recipes in this post (as well as much more) can be found under the ‘cocktails’ section of the Cointreau website.
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.
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!
Located in the heart of Mayfair, a short walk from Green Park underground station, there is a place of wonder and intrigue; a portal to a world long forgotten: Mr Fogg’s residence.
I’ve always wanted to visit Mr Foggs’ Residence. For years, I’ve dreamed about seeing the inner sanctum of that famous drawing room. I also don’t get to visit London very often. As I finally get to spend some decent time in the English capital, it would be rude not to make my way through the glitz and glamour of Mayfair to this mysterious and intriguing bar…
Mr Fogg, the fictional adventurer of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel ‘Around the World in 80 days’, is an eccentric adventurer and the theme behind Mr Fogg’s Residence – a bar located in Mayfair, London.
Having looked forward to this London city break for the best part of 3 months, I have no qualms in telling you, unequivocally, that it was by far the highlight of my week!
Having used this outing to meet with an old university friend and his girlfriend, this night was made even great via the nostalgic catch up. Great bar, great company, fantastic cocktails. There was even a little bit of magic thrown in for good measure!
To reach the establishment I had to pass through the Ritz’s walkway, past several other high-end hotels and restaurants before finally turning down a rather ominous looking alleyway; only then was I within sight of the large, towering, one-way door.
As you pass the fresh hold, the door shutting behind you makes you turn back, but like some 1930’s film you spin on your heel and are met with the glorious, time-defying drawing room pulled straight from the novel itself. With leather-clad, lavish wood seating, fanciful stools, and tables, scattered about the place, you feel utterly cut off from the outside world – in the best possible way.
The bar itself is a tall solid beast, behind which stands one of the tallest collection of spirits I’ve ever seen. The seating me and my friends were taken too was amongst the plethora of stools and tables in an area directly in front of the bar. All of this in the midst of the Victorian led décor.
From stuffed reptiles and tiger skins to mounted guns and ancient leather-backed books, the décor is brilliant and that brilliance is, remarkably, not halted when you finally decide on a cocktail to order…
The cocktail list is inspired by the novel ‘Around the world in 80 days’ and is called ‘Around the world in 80 cocktails’. There are 80 cocktails on the list and they’re split into their base alcohol (all the whisky based cocktails are together, and then the Gin, vodka, rum etc.) and whilst this makes it easier to single out those that contain ingredients you may not favour (for example I kept away from any whisky cocktails) the waitress that served our table brought us a rather cute foldout map that had overlaid the different cocktails to where they’re supposed to be inspired by. Different areas of the map reflected certain aspects of the cocktails they inspired.
But what about the cocktails themselves I hear you say! Well, look below at 3 of the cocktails we had that night… There will be no measurements as they were not included on the menu, neither would I want to supply them as these cocktails are all unique to Mr Fogg’s residence and, to truly appreciate them, you’d have to go there yourself…
Cocktail #1: No.8 Maidens Blush
Ingredients: Tanqueray number 10 gin, raspberry jam, fresh lemon juice, sugar, drop of absinthe.
This cocktail was fragrant, as well as being exactly as advertised: sweet, fruity & Sharp. You lose the sting of the alcohol (the thing I hate the most about some stronger spirits) and yet you get the full aroma of the base spirit as well as all the flavours introduced by the other ingredients.
The vivid deep red of the drink, combined with the low-lit ambience of this Victorian speak-easy, really suited its title and made for a well-balanced cocktail.
Sarah, my friends’ girlfriend, liked this one – it was ordered more than once, and she seemed to really enjoy it.
Cocktail #2: No.34 Dewdrops of the Samurai
Ingredients: Ketel One Vodka, Isake classic Sake, shiso & mint Leaves, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, and house made sugar syrup.
This was my first choice, having spent a long time looking at the menu, and, after not being able to decide, I went with the one drink that really stood out. Shamefully I have to admit it jumped out at me for two main reasons: its name, and the fact that it used Sake.
I’ve never had sake in a cocktail before, nor have I tried it on its own. So to me, this drink, seemed like the perfect starting point for a place as wonderful as Mr Fogg’s Residence.
As the drink was placed before me I was not disappointed, it sat in a small bowl like glass that looked as though it would suit a bramble perfectly. Upon it’s crushed ice sat a dried piece of peel (I assume pomegranate peel, although it could have been grapefruit) and, like a boat used to cross the Nishiki River, the pomegranate seeds used the peel to protect them from a sea of exotic flavours.
It was an extremely well-balanced drink, a fact making itself known among all our drink choices, and really allowed the flavours and fragrances of the ingredients used to fill your nostrils as well as your taste buds.
Cocktail #3: No.31 Boo Boo on Bromo
Ingredients: Kaffir lime infused Grey Goose vodka, Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur, pear puree, House ginger syrup, apple juice, and lime juice.
This cocktail took even longer to choose because I was only having one more. I searched the map they gave us and perused the cocktail list several times before settling on this spicy yet fragrant looking concoction. I’ve used Ginger Liqueur before and Domaine De Canton is sublime. So I knew kind of what to expect from that ingredient. I also liked the idea of the orchard theme coming from the use of pear and apple. So I happily exclaimed, “the no.31 please!”
The cocktail, I received was a longer one than the previous Japanese themed drink, and yet still looked just as exotic. With leaves and dried fruit sprouting from the crushed ice filled glass, it really helped project a sense of the exotic towards me. The fragrance you’re hit with straight away is this lime filled apple orchard. Something that is not unpleasant to me at all. I certainly chose well that night.
Whilst a balanced fragrane doesn’t always lead to a balanced taste, one thing Mr Fogg’s residence does is balance all of their cocktails, no matter how exotic or weird they sound, and that, I believe, a sign of true class in the cocktail world.
To have 80 different cocktails, and all of the ingredients that then infers, and still have 80 well-balanced, fragrant and truly unique cocktails, is truly a feat well achieved by those in charge.
This establishment is a truly fascinating place. A bar that allows you to, once that door shuts, fully lose yourselves within its confines. Mesmerising you with the authenticity of a Victorian (via Jules Verne) themed drawing room, Mr Fogg’s residence goes above and beyond that of any normal bar I’ve ever been too. From the beautiful waitresses, and highly skilled bartenders to the wandering magician who wows with his splendid talent, Mr Fogg’s residence is not only my new favourite bar, it’s my new favourite destination. Every time I go to London in the future, I will set aside time to visit this glorious palace of delight and every one of you reading this, who has the opportunity to travel to the English capital, should do the same. I cannot implore to you how much you should visit the residence of the fantastic Mr Fogg.
Final word: A huge thank you to Mr Francesco Medici, the Bar Manager. Thanks to him and his staff for a wonderful evening. Thank you to Siegfried, the fantastic magician – who, to this day, still amazes me and my friends. And finally: A massive thank you to my friends Stuart and Sarah. You both made the night just that little bit more fun!
My first bar of the week was part of the London cocktail Club’s repertoire. This particular establishment was located on Goodge Street, not very far from the Goodge Street underground station.
After a short walk down the road, and a little double-back, I came across a secretive staircase leading down into the dark. Above the staircase was the sign ‘London Cocktail Club’.
As I walked down, the wall to my left turned to glass and I could see into a dimly-lit homely looking bar. As I opened the door I was cheerfully met by one of the staff and after explaining who I was they set me up with a table by the bar, where I was met by ‘Balash’. One of the friendliest and welcoming bartenders I’ve ever met!
Between him and the other 3 staff (including the extremely humble bar manager), I was hosted with the most personal service I’ve ever received.
Now I know what you’re thinking… I told them I was a cocktail blogger so they were probably being overly nice? Well I thought that too at first, but then other people started arriving and it swiftly became obvious that the service I received was not isolated, but typical of this bar.
The bar itself was not full of over gratuitous luxury, nor was it what you would call a dive bar. This particular bar was extremely welcoming, the playful nature and mannerisms of the staff were almost mirrored by the building itself. This was a remarkably fresh feeling and for my first bar experience in the English capital, I was pleasantly surprised at how welcomed I felt.
It’s a testament to both the bar, and the individual members of that bar when someone new to the city is made to feel as welcome as I was that night. If I had not been so welcomed, I fear my entire trip to London trip would have felt completely different.
The playful nature of the staff really made you feel at ease and their constant calling of ‘200’ and them playing with their swinging lights really lent to the experience of a unique and refreshing cocktail bar.
I had the chance to try three different cocktails, all of which prepared by the same bartender: ‘Balash’. He was an exceptionally knowledgeable bartender who not only knew what he was talking about, but understood my tastes and offered great advice on the cocktails to choose – a rare talent on its own, but an essential gift among bartenders indeed.
His friendly, professional, and attentive service was well received by me and everyone else he served that night. This service was not dropped when serving several cocktails at once, and whilst his workload was increased, his drink quality and mixing ability did not decrease (the opposite being a bad habit I’ve noticed before at other bars). So with his ability not questionable I was confident in his advice and suggestions and let him guide me through the menu. Below are the drinks I imbibed and their menu-recipes. For obvious reasons, the measurements are not included. If you wish to try any of these as I did, head on down to Goodge street and enjoy a great night…
Cocktail #1: Boogie Nights
Grey Goose Citron (Lemon), crème de Peche, Disaronno, and pineapple Juice.
Shaken and served long in an ice-filled sling glass.
This cocktail was chosen to help ease me into the night and was light, fruity, and easy going. Perfect for a beginning of the night cocktail. This cocktail was unique and I’ve never had it before (it was great) but it is a type of cocktail every bar should have on their menu, one or two in fact.
Cocktail #2: Bramley Apple Smash
Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, fresh mint, and Bramley apple sauce.
Built, shaken and served in the same mason glass. Served with a garnish of 1 custard crème biscuit. The latter a nice touch.
This cocktail was my favourite of the three and was fragrant, fruity, and tangy. The mint and apple paired up nicely and the, whilst the Gin’s burn was disguised well buy the sugary mixture, its dry fragrance and flavours really shone through – no mean feat with all of those flavours knocking about.
Built, muddled, and served in a nice bowl-like rocks glass.
This cocktail was unsurprisingly the strongest tasting, and their twist of shaking in the Chambord compared with the classic recipe’s float really worked. You got much more of a raspberry hit with this twisted classic and I, for one, prefer it that way! Die-hard cocktail fans might disagree, but then again this isn’t their blog is it?
The London Cocktail Club at Goodge street was not one of their newer branches, and that’s exactly why I chose it. I chose a secluded little bar like this, one hidden away from the main street via a shady staircase, to see how their atmosphere measured up to that of the cocktail bars I’m used too.
Needless to say, this LCC venue blew my expectations apart. It made every bar I’ve been to before that night look like dive bars in every sense of the word. I absolutely loved the bars ambience, as well as the staff that were integral to that. As I stated above, my entire week in London would have felt substantially different had I not been to this bar and felt so welcomed. Something I will always owe to this outstanding bar.
With great cocktails, expertly made, and wonderful bartenders, who know exactly how to treat all their customers, the LCC @ Goodge street is a fantastic venue that anyone in London should give a go.
I’d like to end this post with a big thank you to the LCC and also to Balash who, unfortunately, was not available at the time I took the following picture. You were integral to my great week in London. So thank you.
I wrote a plethora of posts about Cointreau in my very first year of blogging, and even revisited the spirit when I attended a garden party back in 2013, further to that I also wrote a collection of summer cocktails themed on the orange beauty of a spirit.
Those posts have held their own with the latter mentioned consistently hitting high daily views. Because of this I thought I’d revisit one of my favourite liqueurs once more. This time I’ll share several collections of cocktails that are based on, or use as a focus, Cointreau.
With this post, I’ll aim to look at several original Cointreau cocktails, the new collection of Cointreau official cocktails, new summer cocktails, Cointreau classic cocktails, as well as a few little single recipe posts.
So with the above in mind, let’s look at 3 original, or different, Cointreau cocktails…
1. Winter Sun Cocktail
60ml Clementine Juice
15ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Garnish: Sprig of Rosemary, Lemon Zest & Sugar
Moisten the rim of a large rocks glass with the lemon.
Grate the zest of a lemon into some sugar and mix. Upturn the glass and dip into the lemon sugar to garnish the glass.
Fill the glass with ice, add the ingredients and stir well.
Garnish, finally, with the rosemary sprig.
2. Awaiting Grace
50ml Absolut Vanilla
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
Top up Cloudy Apple Juice
5 basil leaves
Muddle the basil with the sugar in the bottom of a Collins glass.
Add a lime wedge and pour in the spirits.
Add ice and stir well.
Top up with the apple juice.
Stir once more and serve with a straw.
3. Bourbon Sidecar
1m Lemon Juice
Shake ingredients, for around 10-15 seconds, over ice.