Wine & Food

    Six cocktails to make at home

    24 November 2020

    It might seem frivolous to break out the shaker in the current circumstances but we shouldn’t underestimate the morale boost that comes with a well-timed cocktail. This is why people all over the world are hosting virtual happy hours with friends and family to prove that lockdown doesn’t have to mean isolation.

    Just as well ,because there’s a school of thought that says the wellbeing benefits associated with moderate drinking owe a lot to the social aspect of raising a few glasses with your friends. Here what to drink at home as you acclimatise to those zoom drinks dos:

    The ‘quarantini’

    A Tom Collins cocktail

    At the time of writing it’s still possible to order supplies online, but it’s likely that at some point you’ll have to get smart with the contents of your booze cabinet. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything you need to make the drinks you read about online. Bartenders have launched entire careers off of subbing tequila for the base spirit in a classic and you can do the same.

    Most cocktails that have stood the test of time follow formulas rather than recipes so you can plug in whatever you have laying around and play with different combinations. A basic sour is 4 parts spirit, 2 parts acid, and 1 part sweetener shaken with ice – perhaps with a modifier of some kind, a dash of bitters or some fresh herbs. Each one of those elements can be subbed or played with. Here’s few more basic templates to work from and tweak as you see fit.

    Strong and stirred

    2pts Spirit

    1pt Vermouth, fortified wine, or similar

    Dash of bitters or other flavour modifier

    Stir over ice, strain into a chilled glass, and garnish if you fancy

    Negroni riffs

    1pt Spirit

    1pt Bitter

    1pt Vermouth, fortified wine, or similar

    Combine in a rocks glass with ice and stir to chill

    The Collins

    4pt spirit

    2pt sour

    1pt sweet

    Combine in a glass with ice and additional flavour stuff if you have it (fruit or fresh herbs work well) and top with something sparkling, dropping some of the sweetener for balance If necessary.

    Being your own bartender and making use of what you have to hand just requires you to break down our favourite drinks and think about what function each ingredient serves. Don’t worry if you have a few hilarious failures, you’ll have plenty of time to work out your new signature drink.

    The Christmas Margarita

    Complete with Cointreau, Tequila, fresh lime juice and aromatic bitters, the Christmas Margarita makes for the perfect cocktail to enjoy this Christmas season, balanced with a hint of cinnamon and citrus freshness.

    Pour all ingredients directly into a shaker. Shake vigorously before serving in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and enjoy!

    A key ingredient in over 350 classic cocktail recipes and bringing together generations of loved ones, Cointreau’s bold and hearty orange liqueur make this a unique drink.


    30 ml Cointreau
    50 ml Blanco Tequila
    20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
    6 drops Aromatic Bitters


    Make a cinnamon-sugar rim on your glass then combine ingredients in a shaker with ice.Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Rosemary sprig

    The Gin Bramble

    A guaranteed festive favourite, the Gin Bramble tastes great with The Botanist Gin, lemon and honey water, drizzled with Aelder Elixir and beautifully garnished with bramble and rosemary. The perfect cocktail to settle in with, this tipple is filled with festive fruits and hints of sweet honey.

    The Botanist is an artisanal handcrafted and distilled gin from the Scottish island of Islay. It uses 22 hand-foraged, local herbs and flowers delicately and slowly distilled with nine classic gin botanicals.


    50ml Gin
    20ml Lemon
    15ml honey water


    Add all ingredients, shake and strain. Drizzle with Aelder Elixir and garnish with bramble and rosemary.