Be your own mixologist
Whiskey: The Old Fashioned isn’t just for Don Draper
This whiskey-based drink might just be one of oldest cocktails ever. Several mentions of it in the first cocktail books date back to the year 1862, testifying that this mixed drink was already a hit before Prohibition. It has meanwhile earned its place as an absolute classic.
But it was the hype surrounding US series “Mad Men” that elevated this cocktail to a drink of choice once again. And its newfound popularity is all down to a handful of men who run an ad agency in the 1960s and constantly seem to have a whiskey in hand, whether at breakfast, before, after or during lunch, at their desks, on business trips, on planes and of course after work.
And the staple of the “Mad Men” drinkathons is the Old Fashioned, Don Draper’s favourite cocktail that is proving popular again in 2019. Perhaps not for breakfast, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in one (or more) at a later hour:
5 cl bourbon whisky
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 cube of sugar
Fill the whisky glass with ice cubes, top the sugar cubes with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, squeeze out the juice of half the orange slice and crush the sugar, then pour the whisky over it and top up with soda water. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel and a cocktail cherry.
Vodka: A window to the Russian soul
One of the most quaffable and recognisable cocktails in film history is the White Russian. The cult figure that made this drink a real hit is, without a doubt, “the Dude”, a lovable, suave, slightly nihilistic character from the film by the Coen brothers, “The Big Lebowski”.
A White Russian also makes a great after-work drink. It’s seen as the perfect after-dinner cocktail because the icy cold, clear vodka clears the stomach and surprises the taste buds with the striking cocoa and coffee note, culminating in the velvety soft texture of cream or milk. Refreshingly self-indulgent – just like the Dude himself.
40 ml vodka
30 ml coffee liqueur
25 ml cream
3 ice cubes
Whip the cream briefly. Add the vodka and coffee liqueur to a mixing glass and stir for 20 seconds. Add the cream to the mix of vodka and coffee liqueur, forming two layers. This is a drink that’s stirred, not shaken.
Lovely bubbly: Sparkling wine, crémant, champagne
If sparkling wine is too cheap for you and champagne too expensive, you should opt for a great crémant from the Alsace region. It will help get the blood pumping round your body and your evening off to a tipsy start – regardless of what you have planned.
A particularly simple, refreshing and popular apéritif from France is the Kir or Kir Royal. The simple variation consists of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and white wine, while the royal version is topped up with sparkling wine, crémant or champagne. Speaking of royal, it’s rumoured that Lady Diana enjoyed partaking in the odd Kir Royal – how very fitting!
Ingredients & method:
Crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), 9 parts sparkling wine, crémant or champagne – depending on budget or preference.
So on that note, let’s raise our glasses… Cheers!
Text: Deborah Roth