What to Drink

7 Immortal Cocktails mixed with winning spirits

Some of the most legendary cocktails of all time, powered by winners from London Spirits Competition winners!

It is high time we discuss the elephant in the room, our love for cocktails. We could also agree that we have been beating around the bush about the cocktails we feature. No more themes, this is it. We’re covering the all time favourite cocktails of all time, the most well-known mixes, the reason behind a lot of blurry weekends, the natural go-tos when you find yourself at the bar YET AGAIN, the absolute G.O.A.T. cocktail list. 

If we are going to do this, let’s do it properly. The perfect cocktails need the perfect ingredients: only the best spirits. So for this list we have also suggested some of the best spirits, winners from London Spirits Competition 2022

1. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Originally the “Whiskey Cocktail”, the Old Fashioned has been on top of the cocktail game for a long time now. With its origins dating back to the 19th century the cocktail fashions itself as an old-school and classy one, traditionally made with Bourbon on Rye Whiskey. 

Ingredients:

~ 1 teaspoon sugar

~ 3 dashes Angostura bitters

~ 1 teaspoon water

~ 2 ounces bourbon (try “Straight Bourbon Whiskey” by Heaven's Door: London Spirits Competition, Silver Medal with 87 points)

~ Garnish: orange twist

Method:

~ Add the sugar and bitters into a mixing glass, then add the water, and stir until the sugar is nearly dissolved.

~ Fill the mixing glass with ice, add the bourbon, and stir until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube.

~ Express the oil of an orange twist over the glass, then drop into the glass to garnish.

2. Manhattan

Manhattan

A New York City classic, the Manhattan also has its origins some time in the 19th century before people cared about drunk texting people after too many cocktails. OMG, do you think there were drunk letters? Fun fact, old recipes for the Manhattan also included a dash of Absinthe!  

Ingredients:

~ 2 ounces rye whiskey (try “The Prideful Goat Straight Rye Whiskey” by Gulf Coast Distillers: London Spirits Competition, Gold Medal with 93 points)

~ 1 ounce sweet vermouth

~ 2 dashes Angostura bitters

~ Garnish: brandied cherry (or lemon twist, if preferred)

Method:

~ Add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora or coupe glass.

~ Garnish with a brandied cherry (or a lemon twist, if preferred).

3. Martini

Martini

This cocktail got a lot of attention from James Bond, with instructions specific: “Shaken, not stirred.” The Martini, a quick and simple to make cocktail has loads of fun filled in a mix of vermouth and the best vodka! While most prefer it stirred, if you’re ever feeling like an MI6 agent, we’ve got both methods ready for you. 

Ingredients:

~ 2 1/2 ounces gin (try “Quokka”, London’s Happily Crafted Gin) 

~ 1/2 ounce dry vermouth

~ 1 dash orange bitters

~ Garnish: lemon twist

Method:

~ Add the gin, dry vermouth and orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until very cold.

~ Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

~ Garnish with a lemon twist.

4. Daiquiri

Daiquiri

In the small Cuban town that goes by the name of Daiquirí, this cocktail has a wonderful story behind it. A mixture of flavours just as interesting and beautiful as the story, the Daiquiri is a personal favourite for us! 

Ingredients:

~ 2 ounces light rum (try “Takamaka Koko” by Takamaka: London Spirits Competition, Gold Winner with 92 points) 

~ 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

~ 3/4 ounce demerara sugar syrup

~ Garnish: lime twist

Method:

~ Add the rum, lime juice and demerara sugar syrup to a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a chilled coupe.

~ Garnish with a lime twist.

5. Negroni

Negroni

Not a lot of cocktails deserve an entire week dedicated to them. While the week exists as a global charity initiative, the Negroni serves as the perfect cocktail, one that deserves a celebration! And it is ever evolving, with modern and innovative variations, this mix will forever be relevant in the heart of London’s gin culture. 

Ingredients:

~ 1 ounce gin (try “Big Dry Gin” by Ambleside Distillers

~ 1 ounce Campari

~ 1 ounce sweet vermouth

~ Garnish: orange peel

Method:

~ Add the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

~ Garnish with an orange peel.

6. Margarita

Margarita

Most people believe the Margarita was named after a loved one, probably a Margaret or Margarita herself! However, one thing is clear, we love Margaritas a lot. Perhaps way too much. With a good bottle of tequila there’s two things that come to mind: this cocktail and shots!    

Ingredients:

~ 2 ounces blanco tequila (try “Tequila Blanco” by Don Fulano: London Spirits Competition, Bronze Medal with 75 points)

~ 1/2 ounce orange liqueur

~ 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

~ 1/2 ounce agave syrup

~ Garnish: lime wheel

~ Garnish: kosher salt (optional)

Method:

~ Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and agave syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

~ Garnish with a lime wheel and kosher salt rim (optional).

7. Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

Suffering from scurvy, a lack of vitamin C and spending long voyages at sea, it is definitely sailors we need to thank for the Whiskey Sour! With whiskey (and also rum) being a sailor’s favourite choice of beverage to quench their thirst, and an addition of lemons, oranges and limes to combat scurvy, the Whiskey Sour was the perfect cocktail back in the 1800s sailor circles.  

Ingredients:

~ 2 ounces bourbon (try “Devil's Share Bourbon Whiskey” by Cutwater Spirits: London Spirits Competition, Silver Medal with 86 points)

~ 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

~ 1/2 ounce simple syrup

~ 1/2 ounce egg white (optional)

~ Garnish: Angostura bitters

Method:

~ Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white, if using, to a shaker and dry-shake for 30 seconds without ice.

~ Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.

~ Strain into a rocks glass or a coupe.

~ Garnish with 3 or 4 drops of Angostura bitters.

Written by Jason Shepherd, Beverage Trade Network.

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