Done badly, drinking can be a ghastly experience; I shudder to think of the days I went on a Guinness bender or drank Fosters from a can. However, when you approach it properly it can produce some of the most sublime pleasures legally available. Here are some essential gentleman's drinks you should know how to make perfectly every time:
Old Fashioned: Don Draper's favourite. This is the perfect after-dinner drink, or just a good one to have in the evening, generally.
- In a whisky tumbler place 1 brown sugar cube
- Add 3-4 good dashes of Angostura Bitters, enough to saturate the sugar
- Add a modest splash of Soda water
- Crush the sugar and muddle well, rotating the glass to coat the sides
- Add 2 or 3 large ice cubes
- Finally add 60ml/2oz of Whisky (Type is a matter of taste, I prefer the Rye-ish Canadian Club)
Serve with a stirrer and a cocktail cherry (never muddle with the cherry in there, far too gooey and sweet). Enjoy!
Classic Martini: The gentleman's drink. Perfect for any occasion, but best before food.
- Place plenty of ice into a cocktail shaker (about a quarter full)
- Add 1oz of Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth. Stir and discard (strain) out the Vermouth
- Add 4oz of Bombay Sapphire Gin (any decent Gin will suffice)
- Shake for about 10 seconds
- Strain into a Martini glass, adding a stuffed olive on a cocktail stick.
The Martini can be endlessly tinkered with to taste. This is it's beauty and the secret of it's endurance. Add more vermouth for a wet Martini, less for a Dry (this example is very dry). Add a pickled onion instead of an olive for a Gibson. Add olive juice for a Dirty Martini or a splash of Angostura Bitters for a Savoy Martini.....The list goes on....
Vesper: Well, we couldn't mention Martini's without involving James Bond, could we? Here is his iconic 'Vodka Martini' recipe (This is incorrect terminology, vodka has no place in a Martini, hence the name Vesper)
- Ice in saker as with the Martini
- 1/2oz/15ml of Kina Lillet (Now called Lillet Blanc, Noilly Pratt is an acceptable substitute)
- Add 1oz/30ml of Grey Goose Vodka (Stolichnaya is an acceptable substitute)
- Add 2oz/60ml of London Dry Gin
- You know this step! Shaken not stirred!
- Strain into Martini glass or Shallow Champagne glass with a twist of lemon peel
If you are not a seasoned drinker, be cautious with this one as a couple will knock you flat on your back. It is a potent drink!
Long Island Iced Tea: The perfect summer drink, refreshing and powerfully intoxicating.
- Add lots of ice to a cocktail shaker (about half full)
- 1oz/30ml Stolichnaya (or any quality vodka)
- 1oz/30ml Tequila
- 1oz/30ml Rum
- 1oz/30ml Gin
- 1oz/30ml Triple Sec
- 1/2oz Sweet Sour Mix (50/50 Lime juice and Simple Syrup as an alternative)
- Shake briefly and pour, without straining, into a tall glass
- Add a splash of Coca Cola and a lemon slice
Enjoy! But again, be careful, if made properly it really does taste like Iced Tea and not at all alcoholic.
Japanese Slipper: One for the ladies. It has a gorgeous neon green colour and a pleasing, alternating sweet/sharp taste.
- Quarter fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice
- 1oz Midori
- 1oz Cointreau (Triple Sec is acceptable)
- 1oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Shake and strain into a Martini glass, adding cocktail cherry.
You can substitute the Cointreau for Vodka if you want a stronger alcohol 'punch' and less sweetness.