Just like being able to tie a bow tie, sail a yacht and and win a fight, a good cocktail repertoire is something every gentleman ought to have up his sleeve. A well-made cocktail can impress the ladies, relax the atmosphere of a tense business deal, and get everyone in the party spirit at a moments notice. Of course, different situations call for different concoctions, and it’s no good just serving indiscriminate gin and tonics to everyone.
Sadly cocktail making is not something they teach in school these days, so Gentleman’s Journal have done the research for you and compiled a list of tipples for every situation.
One to impress clients: The Negroni
Show you mean business with this suave and sophisticated cocktail, which according to legend was invented in Florence for Count Camillo Negroni almost a century ago. A pre-dinner favourite that is deceptively simple to make, the Negroni has a complex balance of sweet, bitter and herbal flavours.
Equal parts dry gin, vermouth and Campari, shaken and served on the rocks with a slice of orange.
One for last-minute parties: Rum punch
When a sunny BBQ merges into spontaneous evening revelry and the rosé runs out, it’s always good to have something you can rustle up to keep the good vibes going. A Caribbean-esque Rum Punch is a classic choice if theres a group of you, as you don’t have to faff around making individual drinks in the cocktail shaker. Follow the rhyme: one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak.
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups grenadine syrup
3 cups light rum
4 cups orange and pineapple juice
Mix all the ingredients together in a punch bowl and garnish with sliced fruit and grated nutmeg.
One for the ladies: Porn Star Martini
As long as she isn’t offended by the name, you’re on to an absolute winner with this passion fruit twist on the classic martini. It’s exotic, it’s refreshing, and once you’ve got the ingredients, it’s extremely easy to make, meaning you’re not in danger of messing up.
25ml Belvedere Vodka
25ml Passoa (Passion Fruit Liqueur)
25ml Passion Fruit Puree
1 Teaspoon vanilla essence
Shot of Prosecco
Shake all the ingredients except the prosecco, and strain into a martini glass. Serve the champagne on the side, and float half a passion fruit on top as a garnish.
One for unexpected guests: Chase Marmalade Mule
When your mates turn up without warning or an old friend calls up out of the blue, it’s good to have something special in the drinks cabinet so you can offer them more than a luke warm larger. Chase Marmalade Vodka is a wonderful all-season spirit to keep in stock if you want to impress at a moments notice, and tastes fantastic mixed with ginger beer and a dash of lime juice for a fresh take on the Moscow Mule. Failing that, add champagne or simply sparkling water. If you like the citrus flavour, try substituting in this delicious Blood Orange Liqueur.
One for boys night: Manhattan
Rye-based cocktails are seeing a revival, but this American-Italian classic has never really gone out of fashion. Originating in the 1800s, the Manhattan is an unbeatable choice for a classy night of drinking with the gents. It’s bracing, it’s punchy, and it’s said that J.P. Morgan used to have one at the end of each trading day, so you’re in good company.
2 parts whiskey
1 part sweet vermouth
1 to 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel and Maraschino Cherries to garnish
Combine whiskey, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker, add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a sliver of orange peel.
All time favourite: Old Fashioned
And of course, every gentleman needs his old speciality, an all-round winner to mix up time and time again. The Old Fashioned is currently in vogue thanks to Mad Men’s Don Draper, but it’s been around since the birth of the cocktail, and in fact the name ‘Old Fashioned’ was coined 1860. The perfect signature drink for a discerning gentleman.
1 Sugar Cube
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
50 Rye Whiskey
Place the sugar cube in a glass and wet with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler and rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube, pour in the rye and serve.