It’s cocktail season in the shop, with one or sometimes two of the five tastings we host per week being based around gin or rum. I love these events, as not only do we get to show off our range of top quality spirits, we also get to make our favourite cocktails. The gin nights usually include a Gimlet and a VERY dry martini, while the rum events feature a Yellow Bird or a Mojito. Of course both nights can have a Long Island Iced Tea on the list, and they usually do.

The secret to making good cocktails is to use the very best ingredients you can find. Avoid supermarket own spirits, or anything bottled at 37.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). Instead, choose premium, full-strength quality products and, I promise, you’ll notice the difference. You’ll also need lots of ice.

The Gimlet is super easy to make and it’s just delicious. Grab a cut glass tumbler and chuck in some ice. Pour in a healthy measure of your favourite gin, it should be at least a double. Then add in exactly the same amount of Roses Lime Cordial. Give it a stir and you’re good to go. My preferred gin for a Gimlet is the Botanist Islay Dry Gin 46% (Inverarity One to One, £36.99). The Botanist is made at the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay in an old copper still called Ugly Betty. They use a massive 31 botanicals, many of which are sourced locally.

A Long Island Iced Tea is traditionally made using equal quantities of gin, vodka, triple sec, white rum and tequila. I’ve tweaked this recipe ever so slightly, by doubling the gin and halfing the tequila. I also add a dash of gomme syrup (sugary water) at the end which adds a sweet note. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all the ingredients. Give it a good stir, then strain into a glass over ice, add a wee splash of cola and a wedge of lime if you’re feeling fancy. The best version I’ve made recently used the following combination of products, all of which are available at Inverarity One to One.

  • East London Liquor Company London Dry Gin 40% ABV £25.99
  • East London Liquor Company Small Batch Vodka 40% ABV £25.99
  • Edmond Briottet Curacao Triple Sec 40% ABV £27.49
  • Doorly’s White Rum 3 year old 40% ABV £27.49
  • Calle 23 Tequila Blanco 70cl 40% ABV £32.49 limited availability