Shaken and stirred
These days no trendy bar or restaurant can be without a list of cocktails. Mixologists create their favourite festive party drinks
Mixologist Paul Lambert of Kinara Kitchen
These days no trendy bar or restaurant can be without a list of cocktails. Mojitos and Cosmopolitans are still the most popular, but mixologists delight in offering their own personal creations, or in reviving older drinks. Today, four leading mixologists share their favourite cocktail.
Owen Hughes of Knockranny House began working in his father’s bar at the age of six. As an adult, he managed bars in New York, Paris and London. Eight years ago he moved back home to Westport and Knockranny Hotel. “Interest in cocktails has gone through the roof” he says. “More and more restaurants are putting on a cocktail menu and any serious bar needs to have a specialist mixologist. Working in a bar is now a real career.”
45ml Grey Goose vodka
10ml Irish Mist
10ml Grand Marnier
5ml Amaretto Di Saronno
2 dashes Regan’s no.6 orange bitters (optional)
Amontillado sherry, to serve
Stir vodka, Irish Mist, Grand Marnier and Amaretto in a mixing glass with ice for a minimum of 30 seconds to dilute. Strain into a glass rinsed with Amontillado sherry (Owen uses Arguesa). Garnish by dipping glass rim in Amarettto and then in icing sugar.
Ivan King works at The Shelbourne Hotel, where they take cocktails seriously with a list that includes both the classics and new creations. King, manager of the Shelbourne’s two bars and lounge, scooped the prize for best aperitif at the World Vodka Cup in Finland earlier this year. His winning cocktail is featured below. “Irish people are becoming really knowledgeable about their cocktails – before it was only our Americans visitors.”
Chill a cocktail glass and add a cucumber spiral. Combine in a mixing glass:
5ml St Germaine Elderflower
35.5ml Finlandia Cranberry Vodka
Shake with cubed ice and a little crushed ice. Strain. Top with Champagne (King uses Moet et Chandon), and then rim the glass with cucumber and serve.
THE DIRTY WIZARD
Gareth Lambe of Vintage Cocktail Club started working as a lounge boy aged 12 and was one of the last to do a traditional apprenticeship. Vintage Cocktail Club, modelled on a 1930’s speakeasy, is hidden down in Crown Alley in Temple Bar. There is a serious list of vintage cocktails here. Everything is made from scratch – the bitters, the syrups, the vermouths and the liquors. They don’t really offer the modern classics, but instead research old cocktail books for recipes going back 150 years or more.
Add to a shaker and muddle together:
4 wedges fresh lime
2 tsp caster sugar
4 fresh raspberries
30ml Absolut regular vodka
10ml chilli infused Absolut vodka (Take 2 red chillies, slice in half length ways and drop into the bottle of Absolut, leave over night)
20ml blackberry liqueur
60ml cranberry juice
20ml egg whites
Shake all ingredients without ice, then shake again with good hard ice, strain into a pre-chilled martini or coupe glass with a gingerbread rim (smash up some ginger nut biscuits into dust, rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and gently dab the rim with the dust). Garnish with fresh raspberries on a cocktail stick, and a fresh mint leaf.
His most recent task has been to find cocktails to match Pakistani cuisine. Not as difficult as it may sound he argues, “We use cloves, mango, ginger and cardamom, all synonymous with Pakistani food.”
Lambert’s cocktail is an oldie, said to have originated in Barbados, which he came across in a book recently.
It is selling well in their new bar Upstairs@KinaraKitchen in Ranelagh. “Corn ‘n’ Oil”, he says “is not the best name for a drink but it makes up for it in flavour.”
40mls Goslings Black Seal rum
20mls Velvet Falernum (lime & clove liqueur)
20ml fresh lime juice
20ml sugar syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients into an old fashioned glass (whiskey glass). Add cubed ice and stir for about 10-15 seconds.
Peel a strip of lime zest with a veg peeler and squeeze the oil from the skin over the top of the drink.
Mocktails from the No 27 bar in the Shelbourne Hotel:
GINGER BEER MOJITO
1 dessert spoon of caster sugar
20ml fresh lime juice
6-8 mint leaves
Mix all together and add crushed ice and top with ginger beer. This results in a nicely spiced non-alcoholic mojito.
Ginger beer is also a great substitute for 7UP, which most bars use, and certainly adds more bite to your cocktail.
VIRGIN GLAMOUR GAL
Rim a martini glass with grenadine flavoured sugar.
In a mixing glass add:
10 ml fresh lime juice
10 ml fresh lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
35.5 ml cranberry juice
Shake all the ingredients with ice and pour into a sugar-coated martini glass. This is a delicious sweet and sour drink.