We don’t know about you but, as the weather has warmed and the sun has began to shine, all we really want on a Friday evening is to head to one of our favourite bars with a few friends. There really is nothing like summer cocktail hour.
Of course, with the coronavirus pandemic putting paid to any dreams of rooftop bars and sophisticated sips, we’re left trying to fashion the best Old Fashioned we can from whatever we have to hand at home. And it’s all becoming a little, well, dispiriting. So we decided it was time to call on the experts.
In the first of a series of cocktail recipes from your favourite bars and restaurants, Soho House has shared one of its all-time favourites. A zingy little number with cucumber, lime and fresh mint, the Eastern Standard is a riff on the Eastside and Southside: gin-based cocktails both allegedly drunk by opposing New York mobsters during prohibition. Now as iconic as Soho House’s red and white stripy pool loungers, the Eastern Standard is enjoyed in Soho House bars from Shoreditch to Mumbai.
With hints of summer on the horizon once more, this cooling drink is the perfect refresher after a game of tennis, long country walk or indeed working from home. The traditional recipe calls for sugar syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice but, this being lockdown after all, Soho House bar manager Anne-Sophie Cross has offered up a recipe adapted to meet store cupboard requirements. She also recommends serving it in a champagne coupe, but it’s just as delicious as a long drink topped up with plenty of ice, tonic or soda water. Put on some summery tunes and change out of your sweats; it’s five o’clock somewhere.
2oz/ 50ml vodka or gin
1oz/ 25ml fresh or bottled lime juice
3 cucumber slices, muddled
3 mint leaves, hand-clapped
Optional – Tonic water or soda
Slice of cucumber rubbed on the rim of the glass and then placed in the cocktail.
Champagne coupe or highball
- Muddle the cucumber slices and sugar in a shaker or large glass, crushing the cucumber with the end of a rolling pin, wooden spoon or cocktail muddler to release the flavours and dissolve the sugar.
- Clap the mint between your hands to release the oils, then add to the shaker with the spirit and lime juice and continue to muddle well.
- Shake well with ice and fine strain (a colander will work if you don’t have a cocktail shaker) into your coupe glass to ensure the cocktail is smooth.
- If serving in a tumbler top up with ice and soda or tonic water.
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