Cocktail Club

  • Christmas Cocktail Recipes

    Brandy Alexander

    • 50ml Remy Martin VSOP
    • 25ml Mozart Chocolate Cream Original
    • 25ml Double cream
    • Dusting of chocolate powder


    Serves: 1 serving

    Add all ingredients except chocolate powder into a cocktail tin & fill with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass & garnish with a dusting of chocolate powder.


    Cinnamon Spiced Old Fashioned

    • 50ml Bruichladdich Scottish Barley Whisky, The Classic Laddie
    • 15ml Monin Cinnamon Sirop 70cl
    • 2 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters


    Serves: 1 serving

    Pour the whiskey & the cinnamon syrup into an Old-Fashioned glass. Now add two dashes of bitters & ice. Stir until combined. Zest orange peel, over the drink & drop it in with a cinnamon stick for garnish.


    Winter Negroni

    • 25ml Pink Pepper Gin
    • 25ml Campari
    • 25ml Regal Rogue Bold Red Vermouth
    • Orange slice with cloves and a slice of ginger


    Serves: 1 serving

    Pour all ingredients in to a double rocks over ice and stir slowly, add garnish and serve.


    Gin. Twenty years ago, a drink that anyone under 40 would probably have sneered at, the tipple of the older generation, the least hip of all spirits. Vodka was the flavour of the day with rum also on the radar. Fast forward and gin is about as cool as it gets in the spirits world, with over 43 million bottles sold last year in the Uk, helping spirits overtake beer sales in the Uk, and a plethora of new distilleries popping up all over the Uk, double the number from 2010.

    I bucked the trend in my youth; I worked as brand manager for Smirnoff for a year in my early career, but never really got vodka. My spirit of choice was always gin, although in those days, choice was far more limited. But the scent, the botanicals, the flavours fascinated me, in a similar way to wine.

    The best news for me this month is that Great Western Wine, already well-known for their extensive range, have increased their number of gins to 101; gin lover’s heaven. But this in itself starts to make choosing a gin even more complicated than selecting a wine. With a plethora of styles from all over the world, from the big brands to tiny craft distilleries, where do you start? 101 gins is a bit of a challenge, even for me, so I decided to take things slowly and make a start on about a dozen of them.  Here are my top tips...

    As well as the myriad herb and spice botanicals that are used in gins all over the world, gins are now infused with fruit, leading to a totally different taste experience. If you like your gin fruity, in cocktails or even neat, then Brockmans Premium Gin with its intense aromas and sweet flavours of blackberries, blueberries and pink grapefruit would be the perfect Summer choice. Prefer the tropical style? Then try the super-hip Hoxton Gin, a sweeter style, dominated by coconut, pineapple and pink grapefruit.

    Personally, I’m a classic G&T girl, but, just like wine, I love the stories, and the difference in styles of every gin I taste.

    If you like your gin pure and simple, you won’t go far wrong with the memorably-named Death’s Door Gin, produced on the 22 square mile Washington Island, Wisconsin, named due to the reinvigoration of the island’s farming culture from 2005, after the island’s economical decline in the late nineties. With a local story at its heart, it’s a very pure style, savoury and clean with coriander and fennel at its core, and hints of citrus.

    Chase Elegant Gin, in its strikingly etched bottle, has been gracing the shelves of cocktail bars around the country for a while now, and is another soft, citrusy style, with hints of peach, grapefruit and angelica. Distilled from apples from Herefordshire orchards, and mingled with fragrant elderflower, it’s deliciously fruity, and silky smooth. Perfect for a martini.

    Staying with gins on the fragrant and fruity spectrum, Silent Pool gin, produced in the Surrey countryside, seduces with the bottle alone, and has a delightful fruity femininity, in tune with the eye-catching packaging. If you like your gin, fruity and fragrant, with a delicate edge, this is a very pretty one, full of citrus, kaffir lime, lavender and a gentle hint of honey. This one came into its own with Fevertree’s floral Mediterranean tonic, lemon and a sprig of thyme.

    Another gin with a lavender and citrus edge is the whistle-sharp Sipsmith London dry gin, super-clean and zesty, with a lip-smackingly fresh, bold citrus and wild herb aroma, with candied lemon and orange to the fore. A lovely classic.

    Gins cover botanicals and flavours from all over the spectrum. Whilst tangy and citrus-fresh styles are great Summer gins, as we approach Autumn, if more warming, spice-infused gins are more the order of the day, here are a couple, which could fit the bill.

    Bertha’s Revenge is a warm, soft, almost creamy style of gin distilled from whey in Ballyvolane, near Cork. With cardamom, cumin, orange peel and coriander at its heart, as well as local botanicals, it has hints of licorice, and clove, with a waft of vanilla and tonka bean. Try this with classic tonic, or in a warming, ginger-based cocktail.

    On a similarly spicy spectrum is Bathtub Gin, a robust navy strength at 57% alcohol, in its stubby, paper and twine-wrapped bottle. Despite the strength, it’s a remarkably fresh, crisp gin, with a strong juniper element and a herbal, almost salty tang, combining with the richer elements of coriander, clove, cinnamon and orange peel.

    Gin and food matching?  Well it’s not a mainstream idea yet, but when you look at the botanicals, a lot of it makes sense, particularly with spiced foods, such as Indian and Thai, with the warmth of coriander and cardamom to the fore in many. Try it. You won’t be disappointed. Or just explore; I’m constantly learning.

    By Angela Mount

  • Sipsmith Summer Spritzers

    Get in the spirit of summer this season, with these superb Sipsmith cocktails for you to try at home...


    London Cup Mule

    You need:
    50ml London Cup
    25ml Lime Juice
    10ml Sugar Syrup
    Dash Angostura Bitters
    Ginger beer
    Lime wedge to garnish

    1. Add all ingredients to mug with ice and stir
    2. Top with Ginger Beer
    3. Garnish with lime wedge



    You need:
    50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
    25ml Lemon Juice
    10ml Pomegranate Syrup/ Grenadine
    Seasonal Berries to garnish

    1. Shake first three ingredients with ice
    2. Strain into an ice filled glass
    3. Top with soda
    4. Garnish with seasonal berries and serve with a straw


    The Navy Rose

    You need:
    40ml VJOP Gin
    20ml Rose Tea
    20ml Lemon Juice
    15ml Sugar Syrup
    3 Raspberries
    1 Egg White
    Dried rose buds to garnish

    1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and dry shake
    2. Fill shaker with ice and shake again
    3. Fine strain into a chilled glass
    4. Garnish with some dried rose buds

    Morning Glory

    You need:
    35ml Sipsmith Sipping Vodka
    50ml Tomato Juice
    25ml Carrot Juice, Celery Juice, Beetroot Juice, Lemon Juice
    1 pinch Thai Chili
    10ml Soy Sauce
    1/2 a barspoon Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
    1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
    20ml Plum Wine
    50ml Jax Coco Calamansi
    Thai Basil

    1. Throw all ingredients into a shaker
    2. Double strain into a Hurricane glass
    3. Garnish with thai basil, a celery stick and dried beetroot rings

    All recipes from

  • Spirit of the week

    For those that would like to keep cool during these warm summer days, we have the perfect gin cocktail recipes to inspire you…

    Forest Gateau Martini

    35ml Brockmans Gin
    35ml Dark Chocolate liquor
    25ml crème de Fraise des Bois
    3 fresh raspberries

    Add all ingredients into a shaker and hard shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with freshly grated dark chocolate shavings.


    Brockmans Berry Tea

    50ml Brockmans Gin
    25ml Elderflower Cordial
    35ml Red Berry Puree
    20ml Lemon Juice
    Chilled Red Berry Tea

    Shake all ingredients apart from the tea with ice. Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with tea and stir. Garnish with crushed ice, a long thin slice of cucumber, a blackberry and a small sprig of mint.

    Brockmans and Tonic

    50ml Brockmans Gin
    25ml premium tonic
    A peel of pink grapefruit
    A couple of blueberries

    Fill your chill glass of big ice cubes. Add a double measure of your favorite gin. Pour the tonic gently on a swizzle spoon to keep the fizz. Twist the pink grapefruit peel before watching it sink into your drink. Garnish with a couple of fresh blueberries.


  • Spirit of the week

  • Ginspiration

    TRISTAN DARBY offers advice for balmy summer's evenings, on where to seek the perfect ginspiration


    Anyone who’s visited a bar or spirits retailer over the last few years will be aware of the gin bloom. Last year saw record UK sales of more than 40m bottles, with 2016 being dubbed ‘the year of gin’. This meteoric rise is far from over (with more than 40 new distilleries opened in the UK last year alone), and with an increasingly dynamic and diverse range of quality-led gins on offer – who’s to complain?

    Gin has a fascinating history from its likely beginning as a medicine, through the whisky-like Dutch Genever, Mother’s ruin and Victorian gin palaces to the present day. I’ll be hosting a Gin and Tonic Tasting on Wednesday 31st May at Great Western Wine where you can learn lots more about the history and world of gin in a fun, hands-on way. Click here to book tickets >  But for now, here are a few labels I recommend adding to your collection:

    Jensen’s Bermondsy London Dry Gin | £26 After tasting vintage gin from a long-lost London distillery, Christian Jensen set out to create an uber-traditional London Dry using only botanicals available in the 1800’s (no cucumber or seaweed here). Made at a small distillery located in railway arches near London Bridge, this is a gloriously traditional juniper-led gin with a strong pine note from the Italian juniper berries, and a touch of violets, spice and herbs. Rich and complex yet subtle and smooth. Delicious in a dry Martini, or a classic G&T with premium Indian tonic water and lemon or lime.

    Martin Miller’s Gin | £25 was a trailblazer for the gin renaissance, launched in 1999 at a time when gin was a business few in their right mind would go into. It was made with martin’s uncompromising vision to create the perfect gin. The lighter botanicals are distilled separately to the earthier ones, then blended together for balance, along with distilled cucumber. The resulting strong spirit is then sent on a 3000-mile round-trip to Iceland, where it is ‘cut’ to bottling strength of 40% abv with the purest water source available; mountain-filtered glacial melt water. Why shipped to Iceland? Back in the 90’s import laws meant water had to be ‘demineralised’ to transport across the EU (negating the whole point of using it). Does the effort make a difference? Yes. Awesomely fresh, pure, crisp and balanced. This is my go-to end of a long day gin served neat over ice. Also great in a Martini or G&T. Try it with Dr Polidori’s Cucumber Tonic or with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic as a relaxing spring/summer sipper.

    Brilliantly berry-infused Brockman’s Gin | £32, uses ten botanicals including blueberries and blackberries. Flavoursome and fruity, but beautifully balanced, I love to sip this neat.

    Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin | £35.50 is cleverly made using the pressed pink juice of a rhubarb crop originally grown in Queen Victoria’s garden. Fully flavoured, tangy and a little sweet, but again a beautifully balanced gin that’s a huge treat on its own served over ice or in a G&T.

  • Perfect Gins, The Perfect Pour

    Celebrate Mother's day with these gorgeous cocktails, perfect for the sunny days ahead...


    Why not try a refreshing Pink and Tonic. All you need is Pink Pepper Gin served with a deserving tonic over ice. Garnish with a spring of lavender, a grapefruit wedge and voila!

    A very round and aromatic gin - Pink Pepper is perfectly served neat or over ice, gradually revealing an intense freshness.

    Pink Pepper Gin - £45.00



    A true party pleaser. All you need is 25ml Bloom london Dry Gin shaken together with 10ml pear juice over crushed ice. Topped with chilled prosseco.

    A light, delicate and floral gin with a totally unique, slightly sweet taste created by a bespoke blend of 3 botanicals: honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo.

    Bloom Gin - £28.00




    Add Monkey 47 Gin, 30ml lemon juice and 10ml sugar syrup to the shaker, fill with ice cubes and shake vigorously for around 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled fizz glass or over ice into a highball glass and top up with 20ml of fresh soda water. We're sure this easy to make, refreshing cocktail will soon be one of your favorites!

    A curious gin from the Black Forest in Germany. Made with 47 (yes, really) botanicals and bottled at 47%.

    Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin - £38.00



    Forget baking! This delicious dessert cocktail showcases sweet and tart spring delights with a delicious crumble finish.

    Rim the martini glass with oat crumble. Muddle 8 blackberries in the shaker, fill with ice and add 45ml Cotswolds Dry Gin, 15ml cinnamon liqueur, 10ml lime juice, 50ml apple juice and 8ml almond syrup. Shake well and strain into a martini glass and embelish with apple & blackberry!

    A classic well-balanced juniper-led gin with crisp citrus and spice.

    Cotswolds Dry Gin - £34.00


  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

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