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Maple Leaf

_brown brandy

Whiskey & maple syrup. So good.
See also the Filibuster Cocktail, same ingredients, slightly different measures, plus angostura bitters & an egg white (don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it).

Measures & Instructions:

1 1/2 oz canadian rye (eg canadian club) – blended scotch or bourbon too i guess
1/2oz maple syrup
1/2oz lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
If that’s a little too sweet for you add an extra squeeze of lemon.

Filibuster Cocktail

_brown foamy drink

It’s the whiskey & maple syrup again. But slightly more sour. And with egg white if you dare! It really does add a new dimension. Velvety. See also the sweeter (and egg-free) Maple Leaf.

(adapted from Food & Wine’s Cocktails 2008, from a recipe developed by Erik Adkins for the restaurant Flora in Oakland, CA)

Measures & Instructions:

  • 1 1/2 ounces canadian rye (or blended scotch/bourbon if you insist)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce maple syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • lemon twist (for garnish)

Place all ingredients (except for the garnish) in a cocktail shaker (no ice at this point) and shake thoroughly until the consistency changes & the egg is well mixed/you have a good froth.
Add the ice (2/3 of a shaker) and shake briefly to chill.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass & garnish with the lemon twist.



A longer lighter alternative to the Negroni.

Measures & Instructions:

  • 1oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1oz  Campari
  • soda

Shake vermouth & campari together with ice, strain into an ice filled tall bar glass. Top with soda to taste & garnish with an orange slice and lemon peel.



“The [campari] bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” – Orson Welles 1947

Not a huge fan of campari but this is a classic if you do. For a longer, lighter drink based on the same ingredients try an Americano.

Measures & Instructions:

  • 1oz gin
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • 1oz campari

Shake ingredients together with ice, and strain into an iced old-fashioned glass (short straight-sided).
Twist a piece of orange peel over the drink then throw it in for good measure.

Simple syrup and Standard sugar syrup

Simple syrup is an essential in so many cocktails it’s worth making up a couple of litres of the stuff and keeping it handy.

Standard sugar syrup is thicker and used in making home-made liqueurs. It uses more sugar to water and involves heating the lot on the stove, whereas imple syrup is exactly that. Simply mixing sugar with boiling water & giving it a stir!

Measures & Instructions:

  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part water

Pour the sugar into a heat proof jar.
Boil the same amount of water as sugar and add this to the jar (add the water slowly until it has seeped into the sugar, all the air has bubbled up to the surface, and is just covering the sugar)
Stir well until all the sugar has dissolved.
Seal well. If you’ll keeping it for a while add a tsp of vodka – it’ll keep longer!

Measures & Instructions:

  • 2 part sugar
  • 1 part water

Heat the water in a pan over a medium heat.
Slowly add the sugar about 1 cup at a time stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve each cup as the sugar is added. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 12-15 minutes and has reduced in volume a little. Remove from flame and pour into a heat-proof jar.

Caramel syrup

Used in our espresso martini.

Measures & Instructions:

  • 1 part sugar syrup
  • 1 part water

Place sugar into a large saucepan or boiling pot.
Put the kettle on with the same amount of water as you have sugar. You will need the water to be just under boiling point shortly.

Heat the sugar over a medium heat stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon while the sugar melts. Gradually increase the stirring speed until the sugar changes to a light brown liquid. At this point, the sugar may begin to give off steam but there may still be lumps of unmelted sugar. Turn the heat off so that the sugar will not become overcooked and discolored. Continue stirring until all the sugar is melted.

When all the sugar is melted and the caramel is a golden brown color, GRADUALLY add  your hot (near boiling) water. You must add the water very very slowly and continue to stir the melted sugar while the water is being added. You’ll probably need to put it back on a low heat while you do this. Care must be taken to:

1. Avoid the pot boiling over and
2. Avoid hot caramel being splattered all over the place and
3. Continue stirring to avoid any premature hardening of the caramel in spots

When all the water has been added, turn the heat up and let the syrup boil for about 15 minutes. KEEP STIRRING IT to stop sticking/burning.

After 15 minutes, pour the liquid into a large heat-proof jar.

Home-made Triplesec

home-made triplesec

Another home-made liqueur still in progress but looking like a winner. If you can stand the wait it’s cheaper than buying an expensive branded triplesec/curacao like Grand Marnier or Cointreau. And kind of satisfying in the process.

Measures & Instructions:

  • 4 large, sweet oranges
  • 2 1/2 cups vodka (ideally a good quality high-proof one but we used smirnoff!)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar

Peel zest from 2 of the oranges and set aside. Squeeze juice from all oranges into a measuring cup and add water, if necessary, to bring juice to 2 cups. Pour juice, sugar and zest into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often (seriously, keep your eye on it… as it starts to caramelize there’s a way higher chance of sticking/burning). Reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pour cooled juice mixture and vodka into a jar, stir to combine and seal. Let steep 3-4 months. Strain and filter as needed to remove zest and sediment.

Home-made coffee liqueur

coffee liqueur

In the search for a perfect espresso martini, we ended up stumbling across some great recipes for home-made liqueurs and bitters. Seemd like a pretty good idea at the time but waiting a couple of months to make a drink with your home made triplesec is kind of pushing it. Still – the jars are on the shelves infusing as we speak!

Measures & Instructions:

  • 660ml rum (Bacardi Superior Light Rum is best but a cheaper brand will do)
  • 2/3 cup freshly ground coffee
  • 330ml caramel syrup
  • 660ml standard sugar syrup
  • 40ml vanilla extract


1. Combine rum and coffee in a large (about 2l) jar. Shake vigorously to thoroughly mix ingredients.
2. Macerate for 4 weeks then strain/sieve and filter the contents with a paper coffee filter. Let settle for about another 3 to 4 weeks then rack off the clarified part and filter the remainder with paper coffee filters.
3. Combine the caramel syrup, sugar syrup & 40ml vanilla extract and add all of this to the infused spirits.

Mae yourself that espresso martini. You probably deserve it.

Espresso Martini


  • 1 oz cold Espresso
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 1.5 oz Coffee Liqueur (like Kahlua or if you have the patience, make your own)
  • 1 oz White Creme de Cacao

Pour ingredients into shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into chilled martini glass. It should be a little frothy.

McCartney Margarita


Inspired by one by the same name from the Groucho Club, London.
Trialled at a friends birthday… sore but happy heads the next morning!

Measures & Instructions:

  • 2oz  tequila/reposado
  • 1 1/2 oz  lime
  • 3/4oz  cointreau
  • 1/2oz agave syrup/simple syrup
  • A good squeeze of fresh orange

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice.
Shake & strain into a chilled margharita/martini glass.

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