The best 6 spirit & mixes – non-cocktails

What are the best drinks that aren’t quite cocktails? These are my favourite 6, from some expected ones, through to my choice from leftfield. Furthermore my list features most of the leading spirit categories, and some are light and summery, others more suitable as winter warmers.


Black Mexicana – new Tequila cocktail

The Black Mexicana is a golden tequila based cocktail. Crammed full of Mexican ingredients it is a modern twist on a White Russian – sort of. The chilli infused tequila I put together myself, but there is a lot of flavour to this cocktail. Chilli infused reposado tequila, Patron XO Cafe, Monin liquorice syrup and cream are what you need.

Make your own cocktails at home

Making cocktails at home is a lot of fun and can add a really interesting talking point to your dinner party at home, girls night in – whatever. Admittedly you may need a few bottles but if you spread out these purchases or get your group to bring bottles, it should all be fairly straightforward. Get into making your own cocktails at home. It’s a lot of fun. I know, I tried it.

French 75 – a classic prohibition cocktail

The French 75 is a classic cocktail from the Prohibition era. A fantastic cocktail which is better even than the sum of it’s parts. Combining 2 fashionable ingredients : Prosecco and gin, with a little sugar syrup and lemon juice, this is a winner.

Sandbar – easier than a Pina Colada

The Sandbar is a great cocktail developed in-house based on the flavour profile of the classic Pina Colada. But it so much easier to make. With ice in your shaker, all you need is some good golden rum, Malibu and pineapple juice. A nice sipper for summer.

New cocktail recipe – Cote d’Azur

The Cote d’Azur is one big cocktail. Short and spirity, it has a little syrup to take the edge off the spirits. It is big on flavour and being pear dominated – is an unusual combination. Worth a try, but perhaps one for the end of the evening.

Jacaranda afternoon – Lavender cocktail

The Jacaranda Afternoon is a lavender based cocktail also containing both gin and vodka. So, it is powerful and heady, but a subtle flavoured botanical cocktail.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails – an inspiring book

An iconic book for any budding mixologist, and even those of us who’ve been doing it a while. Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails is an essential read. It focuses on cocktails of old, with many anecdotes and explanatory notes. He tells us about egg white and the need to refrigerate your vermouth. Plus much more.

Baileys Irish Cream cocktails

Baileys Irish Cream makes a great base for cocktails if creamy, indulgent cocktails are your idea of fun. Here are some of my ideas for how you can easily mix Baileys with other great ingredients to make a fantastic range of cocktails. Have fun 😉

The trouble with whisky in cocktails

Whisky cocktails may not be plentiful as whisky especially scotch doesn’t play nicely with other ingredients, but if you’re determined you can find some cracking cocktails using a variety of whiskies including scotch.

For f**** sake try some new cocktails

Be experimental with cocktails. That’s the whole point. Great to have discovered some cocktails you really like. But in amongst the desire to revisit your faves, keep pushing the boundaries. Try some new ideas, trust the barman or mixologist to offer you some new things you haven’t tried before, including perhaps your new favourite cocktail.

Cocktail making at home – getting started

Getting started making cocktails at home. Apart from the obvious spirits, liqueurs & mixers you need a selection of glasses plus a shaker. That’s about it. Plus some recipes maybe.