Inspiration for making the perfect cocktail doesn't always strike at the most appropriate time. Maybe you feel like a Negroni but there's no vermouth in the cupboard. It's classic G&T weather but the gin bottle is nearly empty. Friends are over and you want to impress, but all you can find in the kitchen is a tumbler and a soggy banana. Embarrassing.
So bookmark this: we've compiled a list of some of our favourite cocktail recipes from the past year, all in one spot. From the stone-cold classics to odd one-offs, all thought up by some of Australia's best World Class bartenders.
Don't be caught out next time inspiration – or curiosity – calls.
Boilermaker House's Whisky Sour
Makes one. Approximately 2 standard drinks
50ml Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch Whisky
20ml freshly pressed lemon juice
10ml passion fruit puree (unsweetened, should be on the tart side)
20ml 2:1 sugar syrup (dissolve 200g caster sugar in 100ml water)
20ml fresh egg white
60ml IPA beer of your choice
A dash of Angostura bitters
Put all the ingredients into your shaker, taking care to put the egg whites in last to prevent the lemon juice cooking them. Add ice and shake (dry shake). Add beer and shake again (wet shake). Strain before garnishing with a dash of Angostura bitters.
This Must Be The Place's The Gimlet
Makes one. Approximately 1.9 standard drinks.
50ml Tanqueray No. TEN gin
25ml fresh lime juice
2 tsp caster sugar
Add all the ingredients to a shaker or a jar with a lid, shake with ice and strain over fresh ice or into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Iceberg's Breakfast Martini
Makes one. Approximately 1.6 standard drinks.
40ml Tanqueray gin
20ml lemon juice
A bar spoon of breakfast marmalade
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel.
Sean Baxter’s Golden Old Fashioned
Makes one. Approximately 1.5 standard drinks.
45ml Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Scotch Whisky
1 tsp dark agave (honey or maple syrup is a good alternative)
2 dashes of Regans' orange bitters
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Pinch of salt
Add the agave, bitters, salt and 30ml of whisky to a mixing glass and stir until combined. Add ice and stir until frost develops on the outside of the glass. Add the remaining whisky and stir. Strain the mixture into a heavy rocks glass and add a large chunk of ice. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel or a twist of orange peel.
Chris Hysted's Casben’s Poet’s Dream (“kind of like a dry Martini”):
Makes one. Approximately 1.6 standard drinks.
40ml Tanqueray gin
20ml dry vermouth
10ml Dom Benedictine herbal liqueur
2 dashes of orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing glass over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Sean Baxter's Boulevardier
Makes one. Approximately 1.8 standard drinks.
45ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch: Red Rye Finish
15ml Italian sweet vermouth
Stir all ingredients over ice and then strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with an orange zest.
Dead Ringer's Tanqueray Summer Punch
Approximately 4.3 standard drinks per bottle.
One bottle makes four drinks.
Punch mix ingredients
100ml Tanqueray Gin
50ml Rosso vermouth
20ml Maraschino liqueur
5 dashes rhubarb bitters
Blend all the ingredients for the punch mix together.
200ml punch mix
20ml freshly pressed ginger syrup
20ml cucumber syrup
20ml lime juice
250ml soda water
Add all the ingredients and pour your cocktail into a bottle of your choice. Chill and serve over ice with slices of orange and cucumber.
500ml bottles can be purchased from Plasdene. The minimum order is $120.
For the French-oak-infused Tanqueray Gin:
Makes one bottle.
Approximately 22 standard drinks.
Bottle of 700ml Tanqueray Gin
Oak stave (available at most brew shops)
Char the outside of an oak stave with a gas burner or kitchen blowtorch. (“The more you char the faster the oak has an effect on the spirit. Deeper char tends to give different flavours like smoke, leather and tobacco.”) Place the stave in the Tanqueray bottle and leave for 14 days or until the gin has a slightly golden hue.
For McGuire’s smoky Negroni finisher]
Approximately 1.8 standard drinks.
40ml French-oak-infused Tanqueray Gin
20ml Italian bitter
20ml sweet vermouth (McGuire recommends Maidenii)
Cut a thin slice of lemon, peel and remove any remaining pith. Set aside. Pour remaining ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass. Place a large ice cube in the centre and garnish with the lemon peel.
Chris Hysted's #Trending
Serves two. Approximately 1.09 standard drinks
30ml Tanqueray No. TEN
20ml agave nectar
100ml good quality coconut water
Blend well with ice. Pour into a coupe or wine glass, and garnish with a strawberry.
Jessica Arnott’s Quince Paste Sour
Makes one. Approximately 1.7 standard drinks.
50ml Tanqueray No. TEN gin
25ml quince syrup
20ml fresh lemon juice
5ml honey (a scant tsp)
1 egg white
1 strip of orange zest
1 whole nutmeg
Add all the ingredients except the zest and nutmeg to a cocktail shaker (or a big mason jar with a screw-top lid) and shake vigorously to emulsify the egg white. Fill the shaker with cubes of ice and shake again until cold and fluffy. Strain into a chilled coupe (if you're using a mason jar, try fitting a tea strainer across the mouth of the jar to strain the ice out). Twist the strip of orange zest over the top of the cocktail so the oils spray out, and add it to the glass. Finish with a little freshly grated nutmeg.
*To make the quince syrup, add quince paste with an equal amount of hot water to a pan over low heat. Stir constantly, melting the quince paste into a smooth syrup. If there are chunks in the paste, strain out before using.
**It's a good idea to put honey in the microwave before it’s used in drinks. It’s more easily dissolvable that way.
Supernormal’s Whisky Business
Makes one. Approximately 1.3 standard drinks.
40ml Singleton Spey Cascade Single Malt Scotch whisky
15ml lemon juice
30ml cranberry juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake and strain into a highball glass. Top with ginger ale and ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cocktail cherry (we love La Salamandre Cerises).
Kitty Gardner's Leaps and Bounds
Serves one. Approximately 1.2 standard drinks
30ml Tanqueray Gin
15ml dry vermouth
10ml lemon, orange and vanilla syrup
5ml lemon juice
3 dashes lime bitters
Add all ingredients except for soda to a mixing glass and stir over ice. Strain off into a wine glass, add fresh ice and top with soda. Garnish with Blue Gum Eucalyptus pegged to the side of the glass.
Matt Linklater’s White Whale
Makes one. Approximately 1.4 standard drinks.
35ml Ketel One vodka
20ml simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
5ml fresh lemon juice
Heaped tbsp crème fraiche
3ml Fernet Branca (or other herbal liqueur)
1 mocha coffee wafer stick (optional)
Coffee bitters* (optional)
Add Ketel One vodka, Fernet Branca, simple syrup, crème fraiche and lemon juice to a cocktail tin and dry shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake quickly to chill the mixture, but not dilute it. Fine strain into a frozen whisky glass, and spray the surface of the drink three times with coffee bitters. Serve with a mocha-coffee wafer stick.
*To make coffee bitters, steep 30g ground coffee in 120ml Ketel One vodka for 10 hours. Strain through a coffee filter, then add the mix to a small spray bottle.
Daniel Gregory's Bob’s Wall Breaker
Makes one. Approximately 2 standard drinks.
50ml Ketel One Citroen vodka
60ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon of yuzu or shop-bought lemon curd
10ml yuzu juice (can be bought from Japanese grocers)
10ml rock candy
10ml float of vanilla buttered rum or sweet herbal liqueur
Add all the ingredients but the float to a tin, shake and double strain over cubed ice in a highball. Float the buttered rum on top of the drink. Garnish with flowers, mint and zest around the glass in the cage, then spray with vanilla aromatics.
For the yuzu curd:
4 eggs (one for the yoke only)
150ml yuzu juice
160g softened butter
Whisk together, the yolk and the sugar in a bowl until combined, then whisk in the yuzu juice and the grated zest of the lemons. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mix thickens. Cool to room temperature and fold in 160g the softened butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
For the rock candy:
Lightly simmer equal parts light palm sugar and water until the water has evaporated and the mix has thickened.
For the buttered rum float
½ a tonka bean (available from Essential Ingredient)
500ml Ron Zacapa rum
500ml Sweet liqueur
Place the butter in a small saucepan. Place it over a low heat and slowly melt it. Remove the pan from the heat and finely grate the half tonka bean into it. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Return the pan to the heat and bring the melted butter to a light simmer. Pour the butter into a bowl and add the Ron Zacapa rum and the sweet liqueur. Leave to cool, stirring every 5 minutes for the first half an hour. Freeze the mix, then scrape off the butter later, and strain the rum through a muslin cloth or clean Chux.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.