- Choose a glass which is large enough to allow you to serve a generous drink without filling it to the brim.
- A glass which is highly polished and sparkling will add extra appeal to your cocktail.
- Mix the drink in a large glass or cocktail shaker. Clear mixtures should be stirred, cloudy ones should be shaken.
- Stirring means mixing a drink with a long thin spoon by whirling it round until the ingredients are cold.
- Shaking means mixing the ingredients and ice in the shaker and shaking it vigorously.
- The majority of cocktail shakers are fitted with a strainer. This is to hold back the ice while pouring. If you are using a mixing glass you will have to find a suitable kitchen strainer. Ice is nearly always essential for a good cocktail.
Over the years at the Crossroads Motel barmen have come and gone, and their popularity with the more discerning guests has depended to some extent on their ability to mix a good cocktail.
Currently coming into vogue again, after a slight lessening of interest over recent years, the cocktail is practically an institution in itself. It carries with it all its own traditions, such as the cocktail hour, the cocktail party, and that cute little number, the cocktail dress.
But what exactly is a cocktail? Well, quite simply it is a blend of drinks. Gin and tonic is a cocktail, and so is vodka and orange. For the enthusiasts, however, there are far more exotic and exciting concoctions to try, and once you have mastered the basics of the art there is nothing to stop you devising an original cocktail of your own.
The cocktail is thought to have come by its name as a reference to the colourful tail feathers of the farmyard rooster, and it was ‘invented’ in America, as far back as the beginning of the nineteenth century.
We’ve chosen a few of the favourite recipes of Crossroads’ barmen to share with you, together with their hints for serving these elegant and delightful drinks.
Mix Yourself a Dream
Half fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and pour over 1 part each orange juice and Wyborowa or other good quality vodka. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled cocktail glasses.
GINGER BEER COOLER
Take two measures of Dubonnet, add a dash of Rose’s Lime Juice and top up with ginger beer. To this refresher add plenty of ice and garnish with lemon or lime.
⅔ Gordon’s Dry Gin
⅓ Dry Vermouth
Half fill a mixing glass with broken ice, add the gin and Dry Vermouth, stir well and serve with a twist of lemon peel.
Pour ⅔ Wyborowa vodka, ⅓ Drambuie and a dash – just a few spots – of Angostura into a cocktail shaker with plenty of cracked ice. Stir and strain into cocktail glasses. Serve with Chopin and moonlight.
1 measure Freezomint
2 measures Cusenier Cherry Brandy
3 measures lemonade
Use a small or medium glass. Stir the ingredients well, and add a cherry on a stick.
½ Scotch Whisky
Pour the above ingredients into tumbler filled with ice.
Pour 1 jigger Wyborowa vodka and the juice of ½ a fresh lime over ice cubes in a copper mug, silver goblet, or highball glass. Fill the container with ginger beer. Stir the drink gently and garnish with a slice of lime. Cheers!
THE HARVEY WALLBANGER
The cocktail craze which is currently sweeping America centres around the Harvey Wallbanger, a delightful concoction using Galliano, an Italian liqueur which some have likened to liquid gold.
It seems that the Harvey who gave his name to the drink was the drop-out son of an American socialite family. Harvey’s passion was surfing, and he would celebrate a successful day in Long Beach, California, with a glass of vodka and orange juice, topped with Galliano.
Harvey’s friends sampled the drink, and before long its fame had spread far and wide. So much so, in fact, that a Harvey Wallbanger character can now be seen decorating T-shirts and posters all over America.
Want to know what all the fuss is about? Well, Meg Mortimer has many friends in America, and she has offered to share with us the exclusive recipe, cabled over to her by a fellow motel owner, who figured the drink would go down as well in Birmingham as in Pasadena!
1 measure vodka
4 measures orange juice
½ measure Galliano
Fill a tall glass with ice, pour in the vodka and the orange juice – then gently float the Galliano on top. Sit back, relax and enjoy.