Five winter cocktails to warm up with

photo: Patrick Tafani

Five winter cocktails to warm you up

Admit it, winter has been too long already. The grey skies and the colder temperatures are still here and will remain with us for at least another seven weeks. Worry not, here we suggest five winter cocktails to warm you up. All of them require few ingredients and minimal effort.

Gin

   Martinez Cocktail: often referred to as: 'the father of the dry martini' this classic is rumoured to have been created in the late 19th century. Its richer and aromatics flavours are guaranteed to warm the senses while being sipped by the fire place. You will need: -50 mls of Gin (we recommend Hayman's London Dry) -20 mls Sweet Vermouth -5mls Maraschino  liqueur -A few drops of Angostura bitters -An Orange peel -A cocktail glass Method of preparation: In a glass (preferably a thick glass) stir ice cubes using a long spoon. Drain the water and then pour the gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters. Stir until the ingredients have been mixed together. Drain into the chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the orange peel. Firkin Negroni: The Negroni cocktail is another classic drink enjoyed by millions around the world. Legend has it that Pascal de Negroni, a General, asked a bartender in Florence to create a cocktail with more 'power' than the popular 'Americano' cocktail. Soda water was replaced with gin and instead of a lemon slice, an orange slice was used to garnish it. The gin used for the original cocktail might have been a barrel aged gin. You will need: -25 mls of Firkin Gin -25 mls of Campari -25 mls of Sweet Vermouth -Orange peel Method of preparation: In a thick glass stir some ice until the glass is cold. Strain any excess water and add the gin, Campari and vermouth. Stir until the ingredients have mixed well and serve in a whisky tumbler with ice cubes. Garnish with the orange peel. Enjoy.

Whisky

Scotch Old Fashioned: There are written records of the Old Fashioned cocktail from 1806. 'The Balance, and Columbian Repository', a weekly publication in the US, mentions a 'potent mixture' of alcohol, sugar, bitters and water as a 'bittered sling'. That 'sling' is what we know refer to as an 'Old Fashioned'. Although various spirits can be used, our favourite is mixed using Scotch whisky. See our suggested winter variation: -50 mls Blended Scotch whisky (we recommend The Artist's Blend by Compass Box Whisky Co.) -Few dashes of Angostura Bitters -1 sugar cube -still water Method of preparation: place the sugar cube, bitters and dashes of water. Muddle the ingredients until the sugar cube dissolves. Add ice cubes and whisky, stir gently and garnish with an orange peel. Make it winter-friendly, replace the plain sugar cube with maple syrup and add a dusting of cinnamon. Blood and Sand: This cocktail has been around since at least 1930. It was created to commemorate the release of the 1922 silent movie of the same name. The ingredients in the cocktail represent the blood and the sand according to the cocktail book recipe where the drink is mentioned for the first time ever. You will need: -40mls blended Scotch whisky (we recommend Great King St. Glasgow Blend) -20mls orange juice -15mls Cherry Heering Liqueur -15mls Red Vermouth Method: chill a cocktail glass, in a shaker, add ice and the four ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with an orange peel. Trick: if you want to get a balanced cocktail, you may want to add less orange juice.

Beer

Stout Diplomat: Beer in a cocktail? Absolutely! This cocktail was created in San Fran and is now a legendary after-dinner drink. The trick is to use a rum that isn't overpowering, it needs to add a kick to the cocktail. Leave the PX to add some sweetness and the stout to add body and texture to it. You will need: -170mls of Stout (we recommend Inolvidable Stout) -50mls dark rum (Diplomatico should do the trick) -25mls Pedro Ximenez   There you have it, winter will feel that bit shorter. Got any favourites?
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