Ideas for London cocktail week

8 September 2014 by in Spirits distilled, Wine and spirits

It’s London cocktail week and whether you’re in the UK’s capital ready and waiting to sample some exciting drinks or just going to play along at home, we’ve got some tasty recipes that you can make easily for yourself. If you like these cocktails and are looking for some more ideas, download Nicholas Faith’s guide to cognac for FREE, yes, free and impress your friends with all your spirit(ual) knowledge!

Brass Monkey
A delightfully named cognac cocktail that can be traced back to the Napoleonic wars, when a common expression used by seafaring folks of the time was ‘cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey …’. The appreciation of brandy by the men of this time is what led to the creation of this cocktail. Today the concoction is still enjoyed in the smartest of cognac bars around the world.

2 parts VSOP cognac
½ part tawny port
½ part Benedictine
½ part fresh orange juice
3 dashes of orange bitters
ice cubes

Place the ice cubes in a tumbler glass and then stir all the ingredients together. Garnish with half a slice of orange and serve immediately.

Brandy Crusta
The precursor to the Sidecar, this is a great cocktail that’s noted for being served in a sugar-encrusted glass. Its origins can be traced back to the first ever cocktail guide by Jeremiah P. Thomas, The Bon Vivant’s Companion, published in 1862. Best served in a tulip glass or small wine glass, this easy to make cocktail is certainly one that will wow your dinner guests (they don’t need to know how simple it is to produce).

2 parts VSOP cognac (brand of your choice)
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
1 part orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec)
½ part sugar syrup
1 lemon peel (with pith removed)
1 tablespoon crushed Demerara sugar, for the rim of the

Prepare the glass by lining the rim with sugar and chilling. This is done by first wetting the rim of the glass with some lemon juice. Place the Demerara sugar on a saucer or small plate, turn the glass upside down and dip in using a twisting motion. Place the sugar-encrusted glass in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool. Put all the ingredients (except the lemon peel) into a cocktail shaker and mix well. Leave to cool. Pour into the glass and garnish with the peel of the lemon curled into the top part of the glass. Serve immediately.

Rolls Royce
As you’d imagine with such a prestigious name, the Rolls Royce certainly is royalty when it comes to cognac cocktails. But even with such a grand name, this is a simple cocktail to produce, and one that sits well on even the smartest of dinner tables.

3cl cognac (quality and brand of your choice – for a more
decadent cocktail go with a higher quality)
3cl Cointreau
6cl orange juice
1 egg white
ice cubes

Put the ice cubes in a tumbler or tall glass and then add the rest of the ingredients. Use a cocktail stirrer to mix well. Serve immediately.

Between the Sheets
Yeah, baby! This is one to spice up any party, and is definitely a classic cocktail. It’s also quite alcoholic, so be aware of this when sipping, as it doesn’t taste as lethal as it really is …

3cl cognac (quality and brand of your choice)
3cl white rum
3cl Cointreau
3cl lemon juice
1 slice of lemon
crushed ice

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and mix well. Allow to cool, then pour into a tumbler, long glass or balloon glass and serve immediately.

Good luck experimenting, please enjoy responsibly! You can also read about the history of cognac, the world’s greatest brandy in Nicholas Faith’s extensively researched book, Cognac.

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