Five Cocktails

Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942) 

Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942) 

As the new year approaches here are five of our favourite cocktail recipes to get the party underway. Bonne Année! 

Bloody Mary
Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1921.  He was working at the New York Bar in Paris at the time, which later became Harry’s Bar, a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates. This recipe is from the bartender at 45 Park Lane, London 

2oz (60ml) vodka
3.5 oz tomato juice
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
Pour vodka (we recommend Belvedere or Chase) into a 16oz mixing glass; add tomato juice and lemon juice.  Mix with a jigger. 
Add three dashes of Tabasco and six of Worcestershire sauce.  You can also individualise it with a pinch or celery salt and ground black pepper, Atomic horseradish or cayenne pepper. 

Classic Martini
Popular in the 1950s, F.D. Roosevelt is said to have offered one as a welcome drink to every visiting Head of State who visited him.  Recipe from The Savoy Cocktail Book.

½ French Vermouth
½ gin
1 dash orange bitters
shake well and strain into cocktail glass 

French 75
The original recipe, from The Savoy Cocktail Book, published in 1930, calls for gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and some bubbles. A later recipe replaces the gin with Cognac.

2 oz. London dry gin
1 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 oz. lemon juice
5 oz. Brut champagne

Shake gin, sugar, and lemon juice well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker.
Strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice.
Top off with champagne.

Gin Rickey
A gently fizzing, summery concoction of gin, lime and soda. The name "rickey" stretches back far beyond the Jazz Age – the cocktail may owe its moniker to a 19th century army man, Colonel Joe Rickey, who liked his with bourbon – but the gin version was a Prohibition staple. It’s often claimed to have been the favourite drink of Fitzgerald, and is one of only two cocktails to be mentioned by name in the book.

The drink appears in a scene set on a boiling summer’s day, when Daisy orders her husband Tom to “make us a cold drink” – using his absence to murmur to Gatsby of her love for him. When Tom returns, he carries “four gin rickeys that clicked full of ice. Gatsby took up his drink. 'They certainly look cool,' he said with visible tension. We drank in long, greedy swallows”. 

Put three or four ice cubes in a highball glass, and squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Add around 60ml of gin, and top with soda. Rub the lime wedge around the rim, then drop into the glass.

Mint Julep
Mint and sugar cut sweetly through the robustness of bourbon in this delicious cocktail. Traditionally served in pewter cups, it is in fact a pre-Prohibition drink, which probably originated in the southern United States in the 18th century. But it soon started to trickle northwards, and survived Prohibition to become the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. 

The drink is mentioned twice in The Great Gatsby, most noticeably when Daisy, Tom and Gatsby have a row in a hotel. “I’ll make you a mint julep,” Daisy tells her husband. “Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself.” You’ll hopefully drink yours in less tense surroundings. 

Mix a teaspoon of sugar (you can adjust to taste) with a splash of water in a highball glass or pewter cup until dissolved. Add a handful of mint leaves (I'd suggest around 10) and gently bruise with a muddler or wooden spoon. Fill the glass with crushed ice, then pour in 60-90ml of bourbon, depending on the size of your glass. Stir, top up the glass with more crushed ice, and garnish with a few more mint leaves.