All posts filed under: Seasonal Drinks

Chinese New Year cocktail: Jasmine Tail

As you may have seen, I’m working my way through a series of classic cocktails every week, but it’s also super fun to make cocktails for all the occasions that pop up on the calendar. It gets me to think about ingredients and mixtures that I might not otherwise get to try. My workplace has been decorated recently for Chinese New Year, and although I’m not doing anything else to mark the holiday, I thought I’d make a cocktail (or three) by way of celebration. I started reading about all the different kinds of cocktails inspired by China and south-east Asia generally, and came to the conclusion that whatever I make has to involve tea. There are various highly complex concoctions out there involving ginger syrups, baiju, peppercorns, yuzu juice, etc, but a tea-based cocktail is a bit more accessible, and I know more about tea than I do about any of the above. If I wasn’t writing about cocktails, I’d probably write about tea instead (and maybe I will?). I used to have a …

Seasonal cocktail: blood orange and bourbon

It’s blood orange season, finally! You can tell because they’re all over Instagram. Naturally I wanted to make something with these photogenic fruits, and came across this beautiful drink in an old post at Love and Lemons. I definitely can’t photograph it as well as the original, partly due to lack of skillz and partly due to SAD-inducing lack of decent daylight, but hopefully you get the idea of how pretty it is. (Should I rearrange my life to make cocktails in the early morning and catch the light? Probably wouldn’t go down well at work.) I love that citrus is in season in winter. It’s always just what I need in miserable January. This is not just a good-looking drink, it’s a fresh yet wintery concoction, easy on the liquor, with a bit of sparkling water to lighten it up.  Super tasty, super refreshing, could drink about 10. But won’t. I changed the proportions a bit, and made it with equal parts bourbon and blood orange juice, and added just a splash of water. You could alter …

Cocktail of the week no.5: the Martinez

So I popped down to Gerry’s Wines and Spirits recently to get some new ingredients and expand my repertoire. It seems less common for people to make complex cocktails at home in the UK than it is in the US, perhaps because alcohol is generally more expensive here, so there aren’t a ton of stores that are really well-stocked. Gerry’s is the best in London as far as I can tell. The staff are really helpful, and I incidentally learned the correct way to pronounce ‘Tokaji’ when another customer was gently corrected (it’s Tok-eye). Among other things, I picked up some Old Tom gin, a style of gin popular in the 19th century, made obscure by the rise of London dry gin, and resurrected in the last decade or so. I bought it specifically to make a Martinez, an old relative, and supposedly the predecessor, of the Martini. I tried a Martinez for the first time recently at Bar Américain. It’s very different from a Martini, and not the easiest thing to drink, but it really stuck with me. It’s complex and bittersweet, featuring …

Bonus cocktail: the Princeton

I saw this drink browsing the ‘cocktails’ tag on my WordPress reader – thank you Rapid Cyclist! I spent 5 happy years in Princeton doing my PhD, and met my husband there, so this seemed like one I had to make. I’m not including it in my Cocktails of the Week, because it’s quite random, and I prefer to make my way through the big ones in that series, but it’s a great bonus! I looked up the cocktail, and found some more info at Serious Eats, of course. Apparently a barman named George Kappeler mixed a series of Ivy League themed drinks at the Holland House bar in New York in the late 19th century, as a way of currying favour with his student customers. Naturally, some of these cocktails are better than others. It’s doubly convenient because I just bought some Old Tom gin, and was wondering what else I could use it in, and we happen to have some nice port in the house too. I love the two tone effect of this cocktail, which is achieved …