Shake, Strain & Stir Amazing Cocktails

Cocktails are back in vogue in the bars, restaurants and suburban homes of the British Isles. Gin and tonic, rum and coke, whisky and water all may do the job, but in their dull predictability they're being pushed aside in favour of the effervescent colour of the cocktail, with its alluring mix of sophistication, exoticism, and sheer tastiness.

Buck’s Fizz & Mimosa

Buck’s Fizz came about as the result of a missing ingredient. That’s according to the secretary of the Buck’s Club in London. Captain Buckmaster, the club’s founder, enjoyed golfing trips to France. On one of these, in 1921, he was given a cocktail combining champagne, peach juice and another ingredient. …

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Kir Royale

The German soldiers who ransacked a French village’s supply of wine didn’t know what they were starting. The villagers weren’t going to give up their precious wine that easily! A rescue party led by Canon Felix Kir, the local priest, brought about the derailment of the train carrying the soldiers …

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Champagne Charlie

Question As well as a cocktail, is Champagne Charlie: a) The title of a song; b) The nickname given to a famous and charming traveller? Answer Both. The song was a big hit for music-hall star, George Leybourne, in the middle of the 19th century. Through it he became rich …

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Sloe Comfortable Screw

‘I’d like a sloe comfortable screw, please.’ You think that cocktails with suggestive names are an invention of the 90s? Think again. During the Summer of Love they were having Sex on the Beach. The sixties saw a bit of a revolution in cocktails – or the naming of them …

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Making a Negroni Cocktail

It’s said that there are two drinks by which a bartender’s skill can be judged. They are a Martini and a Negroni. The Negroni was created at the start of the 20th century for a Florentine aristocrat, Count Camillo Negroni. Bored with his usual cocktail, an Americano, the Count asked …

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White Lady

When the bartender in Ernest Hemingway’s book, Islands in the Stream, was asked for a White Lady ‘… he served her a bottle of that American mineral water with a lady in a white kinda mosquito netting dress sitting by a spring.’ To avoid that mistake, read on! The White …

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Tom Collins

You don’t have to be an expert cocktail shaker to make a good Tom Collins. Most people will agree: it’s very hard to make a bad one. A Tom Collins is a drink for pleasure and leisure, to be enjoyed with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. The exact quantities of …

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The History of Cocktails

America might get the blame for a lot of things these days but next time you’re tempted to join in remember there’s something for which we should thank our colonial cousins: the modern cocktail! One of the earliest written references describing a cocktail appears in an American magazine from 1806, …

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Flatliner, A Layered Cocktail

Flatliners definitely aren’t for beginners! This layered cocktail can be lethal and is definitely an acquired taste with its characteristic after-burn. But as advocates will say, without the burn there is no Flatliner. To make it you need: 1 part Tequila 1 part Sambuca Tabasco sauce First pour the tequila …

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Brain Haemorrhage

Would you drink one?! The appeal of most shooters lies in their appearance. With their carefully constructed clearly-defined coloured layers, they look good as well as packing a punch. The appeal of a Bloody Brain, on the other hand, is more to do with the cringe factor: it looks as …

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Great Cocktails