Shaken and Stirred 

Clockwise from top left: Romeo and Julep, Bourbon Highball, Ink Street and Dark ‘n’ Stormy.

At the weekend, my mate Bronagh and I had a girls’ night in and decided to do our best Tom Cruise impression with a bit of cocktail making. I have two books jam packed with cocktail recipes, Star Cocktails: Classic Drinks from Classic Movies and the fabulously titled Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist which provided our inspiration for our boozy concoctions. 

First up was the William Shakespeare inspired ‘Romeo and Julep’. The ingredients for this include:

  • 6 sprigs of mint
  • 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 ounce peach schnapps 
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon 
  • 1 can lemon-lime soda

This cocktail was super easy to make. Firstly you had to muddle the mint, sugar and schnapps in a highball glass until the sugar is dissolved. Then add ice, the Bourbon and fill to the top with the lemon-lime soda! That’s it. This was fresh and light and the perfect start to the evening. 

Next up was the ‘Bourbon Highball’, which only required three ingredients :

  • 1 shot Bourbon 
  • Ginger ale
  • Twist of lemon 

To make the Bourbon Highball you pour the Bourbon into a highball glass filled with ice then top up with ginger ale and garnish with a twist of lemon. This was so simple to make but tasted gorgeous – it is perfect for a low-key, end of the day pick me up or an elegant tipple, ideal for a party.

Third, and my personal favourite from the night, was the ‘Dark ‘n’ Stormy’. Giving Bourbon a break, this cocktail included:

  • 2 shots of rum
  • 1 shot freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • 1/2 shot sugar syrup 
  • Ginger beer 

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy required a shaker and a bit more elbow grease than the previous cocktails. To make it you shake the rum, lime juice and sugar syrup in a shaker with ice then strain into an ice-filled glass. This was a wonderfully pale colour with a vibrant and tantalising taste. 

Our final cocktail was ‘Ink Street’, which consisted of:

  • 1 shot whiskey 
  • 1 shot freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice 

This recipe again requires you to shake all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker before straining it into a chilled martini glass. We, however, didn’t have a martini glass so we stuck with the same type of glass we used for the other cocktails. Of the four cocktails we made, this was my least favourite: it was just a bit too tart for me. 

Whilst we might not have the Tom Cruise style cocktail acrobatics down to a fine art, I have to say I was impressed with our cocktail attempts. As well as delicious drinks, we had a brilliant giggle as we were shaking, stirring and pouring our cocktails. I am pretty confident that cocktail night will become a regular occurrence, especially as there are so many recipes we have yet to try. In no time we really will be able to give Mr Cruise a run for his money!

Posted: 03/09/2016

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