Tales Behind The Cocktails

Alexander cocktail image

Alexander cocktail

The original Alexander cocktail consisted of equal parts gin, crème de cacao liqueur and cream. Over time, other spirits were substituted for the gin

Aviation Cocktail image

Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation is a classic gin-based cocktail that is shaken and served straight-up. It is basically a Gin Sour but with lemon juice sourness balanced by

The Bamboo Cocktail - history, recipes & pseudonyms image

The Bamboo Cocktail - history, recipes & pseudonyms

Arguably the best-known of all classic sherry cocktails, the Bamboo is also noteworthy due to its lack of base spirit – being simply a mix of sherry

Blazer cocktails image

Blazer cocktails

This spectacular serve involves setting a spirit (usually whiskey or brandy) alight and then pouring the flaming liquid between two silver-plated tankards

Blood and Sand cocktail image

Blood and Sand cocktail

Probably the best-known Scotch whisky-based cocktail, the Blood & Sand is traditionally made with equal parts blended Scotch whisky, cherry brandy, sweet

Bloody Mary cocktails - how to make & history image

Bloody Mary cocktails - how to make & history

Bloody Mary recipes are as personal as those for Martinis. Purists will only use pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and lemon to spice up tomato

Bobby Burns image

Bobby Burns

Although perhaps not originally named after Robert Burns (1759-1796), the poet, balladeer and Scotland's favourite son, the Bobby Burns is drunk to honour

Bramble cocktail - its inception told by its creator image

Bramble cocktail - its inception told by its creator

Found on many bar menus around the world, this contemporary classic cocktail was created in the mid-80s by Dick Bradsell at Fred's Club in Soho, London,

A brief history of cocktails image

A brief history of cocktails

From early China to laser cocktails via the saloons of the Wild West, mixed drinks have a surprisingly long history. Here's our take on it all.

Bronx cocktail image

Bronx cocktail

One of the classic cocktails named after New York's five boroughs, probably more directly after the then newly opened Bronx Zoo. There are numerous variations

Brooklyn Cocktail image

Brooklyn Cocktail

Named after the New York borough, the Brooklyn Cocktail was inspired by the already established and popular Manhattan and Bronx cocktails of its neighbouring

Buck's Fizz & Mimosa Cocktails – history & recipes image

Buck's Fizz & Mimosa Cocktails – history & recipes

The Buck's Fizz and Mimosa are very similar cocktails, the Buck's Fizz is made with two-parts champagne to one-part orange juice, while the Mimosa is made

Caipirinhas – history, styles, flavours & how to make image

Caipirinhas – history, styles, flavours & how to make

Pronounced 'Kai-Pur-Een-Ya', this traditional Brazilian cocktail is made by muddling limes with sugar and then adding cachaça and ice. It's a simple rustic

Classic Champagne Cocktail recipes & history image

Classic Champagne Cocktail recipes & history

One of the oldest cocktails, dating back to at least the mid-1800s, the Champagne Cocktail consists of a sugar cube douched in aromatic bitters dropped

Cobblers image

Cobblers

Cobblers are shaken drinks served with straws in a goblet or Collins glass filled with crushed ice and decorated with fruit and a sprig or two of mint

Cocktail categories/families image

Cocktail categories/families

The world of cocktails comprises numerous different cocktail families, each family having its own surname, distinctive traits, genetics and history. Some

Collins Cocktails - recipes & history image

Collins Cocktails - recipes & history

A Collins is basically a sour cocktail made using a base spirit (most usually gin), lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water, served long over ice in the

Corpse Reviver cocktails - recipes & history image

Corpse Reviver cocktails - recipes & history

As the name alludes to, The Corpse Reviver is one of a category of 'pick-me-up' cocktails that were prescribed by bar keeps of old to revive those souls

Cosmopolitan Cocktail image

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

The Cosmopolitan is one of those cocktails that has had various incarnations through the ages - some of them, quite probably, independent of one another.

Crusta cocktails image

Crusta cocktails

Crustas are drinks containing spirit, lemon juice, sugar and aromatic bitters. They are always served in stemmed glasses with a sugar crust rim and an

Cuba Libre - to muddle or not to muddle & history image

Cuba Libre - to muddle or not to muddle & history

The Cuba Libre is simply rum and Coca-Cola with a squeeze of lime. But there is so much more to this refreshing long drink. Should it contain Angostura

Daiquiri history & story of its creation image

Daiquiri history & story of its creation

The Daiquiri is closely related to the Canchanchara, a 19th-century Cuban blend of rum, lime, honey and water, but the Daiquiri's creation is credited

Espresso Martini (aka Vodka Espresso) image

Espresso Martini (aka Vodka Espresso)

Likened to a Vodka & Red Bull for the discerning, the caffeine-loaded Espresso Martini consists of generous shots of vodka and espresso with coffee liqueur.

French 75 cocktail - recipes & history image

French 75 cocktail - recipes & history

The French 75 cocktail celebrates the firepower of the WWI French 75-millimetre field gun. In recent decades, this has become a potent gin-based champagne

French Martini image

French Martini

Raspberry and pineapple laced with vodka. Easy drinking and very fruity.

Gimlet cocktail image

Gimlet cocktail

Classically the Gimlet is a simple 50-50 mix of gin and lime cordial but the rise in vodka's popularity during the 1990s and early noughties saw vodka

The Godfather cocktail and its siblings image

The Godfather cocktail and its siblings

Traditionally equal parts Scotch blended whisky and amaretto, the Godfather is one of the enduring classics to emerge from the 1970s. It's basically an

Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail image

Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail

One of the most famous cocktails from the 1970s, the Harvey Wallbanger is basically a Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice served tall over ice) with a

Highballs image

Highballs

The term highball appears to have emerged during the 1890s with the first known written mention appearing in a play, My Friend From India by Ha Du Souchet

Irish Coffee image

Irish Coffee

Sometimes called a Gaelic Coffee and properly known by its Irish name 'Caife Gaelach', the Irish Coffee is traditionally served in a handled or stemmed

Julep cocktails image

Julep cocktails

Juleps are tall drinks served over crushed ice and based on a spirit, liqueur, wine or fortified wine. They are most often served with fresh mint in julep

Kir and Kir Royale cocktail image

Kir and Kir Royale cocktail

Sometimes called the 'Kir Cocktail' but more properly termed 'Kir aperitif' or simply Kir, this drink consists of just two ingredients, crème de cassis

Last Word cocktail image

Last Word cocktail

Made with gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice, traditionally in equal parts, shaken with ice and served straight-up, the Last Word

Mai Tai cocktail – recipes and origins image

Mai Tai cocktail – recipes and origins

A Mai Tai is basically a Daiquiri based on aged rum with orange curaçao liqueur and orgeat syrup contributing to its flavour and sweetness. The Mai Tai

Manhattan cocktail image

Manhattan cocktail

Like so many cocktails, the origins of the Manhattan are lost in time. And, as neither the name nor the ingredients are so unusual as to prevent inadvertent

Margarita origins & story image

Margarita origins & story

Part of the 'sour' cocktail family, the Margarita traditionally consists of three ingredients; tequila, triple sec orange liqueur and lime juice, often

Martinez Cocktail image

Martinez Cocktail

Widely touted as the drink that morphed into the Martini and then the Dry Martini, the Martinez was originally based either on Dutch jenever/genever or

Martini Cocktail image

Martini Cocktail

A Vesper Martini comprises three shots London dry gin, one shot vodka and half a shot dry French wine aperitif. It's James Bond's drink of choice and,

Martini Cocktail And Its Evolution image

Martini Cocktail And Its Evolution

In its simplest and truest form, a Martini is a mix of gin and vermouth, perhaps with a dash or two of bitters, and garnished with an olive or a twist.

Mojito Cocktail History image

Mojito Cocktail History

While the exact origins of the Mojito cocktail and its name are lost in time, some trace it back to 1586 and a medicinal drink named after Sir Francis

Moscow Mule image

Moscow Mule

The vodka drink with a kick is simply vodka and ginger beer with a squeeze of lime served over ice, traditionally served in a copper mug. The Moscow Mule

Negroni Cocktail image

Negroni Cocktail

James Bond drank a Negroni when he wasn't in the mood for a Martini, and when Orson Welles tried his first one in 1947 he commented, The bitters are excellent

Old Fashioned cocktail image

Old Fashioned cocktail

Traditionally made with bourbon or rye whiskey, lightly sweetened with sugar and aromatised with bitters this most classic of vintage cocktails is served

Origins of the word cocktail image

Origins of the word cocktail

The Oxford English Dictionary affirms the original use of 'cocktail' was to describe a horse with a tail like a cock's - that is to say, a docked tail,

Pink Gin cocktail image

Pink Gin cocktail

The Pink Gin cocktail is so named due to Angostura Aromatic Bitters giving the main ingredient, gin, a pink tinge. Originally gin at room temperature was

Pisco Punch image

Pisco Punch

Described by Rudyard Kipling as being Compounded of the shavings of cherub's wings, the Pisco Punch was created in or en route to San Francisco. The cocktail

Pisco Sour image

Pisco Sour

The national drink of both Peru and Chile and both countries lay claim to the origins of the Pisco Sour and indeed the spirit it is made from – something

Piña Colada story image

Piña Colada story

The name 'Piña Colada' directly translates from Spanish as 'strained pineapple', a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice that

Punch & Punches image

Punch & Punches

Punch is widely considered to be the earliest cocktail – the drink all other cocktails emanate from. A great punch is a fine balance between spirit,

Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail image

Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail

The Ramos Gin Fizz was created in 1888 by Henry Charles Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon on the corner of Gravier and Carondelet Streets in New Orleans

Sazerac Cocktail image

Sazerac Cocktail

Traditionally based on cognac or rye whiskey, as David A. Embury says of the Sazerac in his seminal 1948 Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, essentially it is merely

Sidecar Cocktail image

Sidecar Cocktail

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail made with cognac, triple sec orange liqueur and lemon juice. Traditionally made to be on the slightly sour side of balanced,

Singapore Sling image

Singapore Sling

Convention has it that the Singapore Sling was created sometime between 1899 and 1915 by Chinese-born Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel,

Slow Screw family of cocktails image

Slow Screw family of cocktails

Back in the 1970s and 80s sexual innuendo named cocktails were at their height of popularity. Today, in the teenies, at a time when the cocktail world

Sour cocktails image

Sour cocktails

While the Brandy Sour may once have dominated the Sour family of cocktails, it is the Whiskey Sour that thrived during the Prohibition-era and proved the

Spritz image

Spritz

The Spritz is a drink from northern Italy, particularly Venice and the Veneto region where it is pronounced 'Spriss' (from the German verb Spritzen, meaning

Summer Fruit Cups & Pimm's image

Summer Fruit Cups & Pimm's

Fruit cups, quintessentially English summertime thirst-quenching drinks, were invented by the Victorians and were originally a mixture of fruit, liqueurs

Swizzles & How to swizzle a cocktail image

Swizzles & How to swizzle a cocktail

Swizzles are sour style drinks with a similar composition to a punch that, distinctively, must be churned with a swizzle stick. They are usually served

Ti’ Punch image

Ti’ Punch

Named Ti, Creole for the French word 'petit', this is literally a small rum punch and unlike most rum punches, it is not lengthened with water or juice

Turf Club Cocktails - recipes & history image

Turf Club Cocktails - recipes & history

A sibling, or at least cousin, of the Martinez and the Martini, the Turf Club is, or could be, the first cocktail to combine gin and vermouth. It makes

When's a Martini not a Martini image

When's a Martini not a Martini

Neo-Martinis, Altern'atinis and Millennium Martinis are all terms that emerged in the 1990s as the cocktail renaissance started to take hold and any cocktail

Whisky Mac Cocktail image

Whisky Mac Cocktail

When I became a teenage pub goer in the early 1980s the Whisky Mac was my drink of choice – at least it was after I’d had my fill of ale – Courage

White Lady cocktail image

White Lady cocktail

Shaken and served straight-up in a coupette glass, the White Lady cocktail is made with gin, triple sec and lemon juice. Many (including yours truly) also

White Russian Cocktail image

White Russian Cocktail

A Black Russian smoothed with cream.