FOODIES & BREWDIES - St. George's Day Cocktails


Selected from
Curated by Craig Young

Dragon Slayer (St George’s Cocktail)

St. George, the patron saint of England, is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon, which is celebrated on the 23rd April. He is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints and in England he is often draped in the English flag, which is red and white, and so this cocktail reflects these colours.
We are building a little story in a glass here … for the dragon heart we need a small blackberry soaked in sloe gin, (which represents the dragon blood) and for the lance we are using a cocktail stick, for the knight’s pennant we are using a red rose petal. The drink should be mostly clear (white) for the flag, with a stain of dragon’s blood dropped in around the heart. The rose petal and rose water sugared rim also reflects the other main symbol for England, the red rose.
Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
  • 2 measures dry London gin
  • 1 measure dry vermouth
  • 1/4 measure fresh lemon juice
  • 1 drop rose water
  • Tonic water
  • Splash of sloe gin (red/purple in colour)
  • Small blackberries, soaked in sloe gin
  • Red rose petal
Directions: Take an old fashioned rocks glass and season it with the lemon juice. Swirl to coat the inside. Discard any extra lemon juice and upturn the glass and gently rub the very tip of the glass rim in some rose water then dab gently into some icing sugar (powdered sugar) sprinkled on a plate to neatly coat the rim. Add three ice cubes and reserve the glass. Place the gin and vermouth in a Cocktail Shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously and then strain the mixture into the rocks glass over the ice cubes. Top off with a little tonic water. Add a splash of sloe gin (for the dragon blood) into the centre of the drink and then garnish with a small blackberry (soaked in sloe gin) skewered on the end of a cocktail stick (the lance) and add a red rose petal (the pennant) at the other end of the stick. Plunge the blackberry into the ‘blood stain’. Serve.

English Rose

Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
  • 2 measures London Dry  Gin
  • 1 measure Dry Vermouth
  • 1 measure Apricot Brandy
  • 1/2 measure lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • 1 dash rose water
  • A maraschino cherry for garnish
Directions: Pour the ingredients into a Cocktail Shaker with some ice cubes. Shake well. Then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Nelson’s Blood

This spirits drink reflects the defeat the Spanish and French suffered at the hands of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 in which he was shot and killed, (surviving long enough to know the enemy had surrendered). Whilst dying Nelson was made comfortable, fanned and brought lemonade and watered wine to drink after he complained of feeling hot and thirsty. His last words were ‘God and my country’.
Nelson died at half-past four, three hours after he was shot, and his body was placed in a cask of brandy mixed with camphor and myrrh, (to preserve his body on the long voyage back to England) which was then lashed to theVictory’s mainmast and placed under guard. The body was later transferred to a lead-lined coffin filled with spirits and wine. Legend has it that the crew and his shipmates drank from this preserving wine and brandy, calling it ‘Nelson’s Blood’.
To make Nelsons Blood we are adding in traditional lemonade and ice cubes (to water down the fortified wine), in honour of the last things Nelson drank, and adding in the spirits he was preserved in. Honouring his victories over the Spanish and French we are using French Brandy and Spanish Port.
Cocktail Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink.
  • 3 measures of (cloudy) traditional lemonade
  • 1 Measure Spanish Port (Fortified Wine)
  • 1 measure of French Brandy
  • 1 measure of Lamb’s Dark ‘Navy’ Rum
  • 1 measure fresh orange juice
  • Dash orange bitters
Directions: Pour the port, brandy, rum, and orange juice and orange bitters into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake. Strain into a large, wide brandy (cognac) glass, with a few ice cubes in it. Pour in the lemonade carefully to top off, then garnish with a twist of orange peel and serve.

The Blenheim (Four Score And Ten)

This is a Birthday Party Cocktail. Created for Winston Churchill’s 90th Birthday by Joe Gilmore one of the longest running Head Barmen at The Savoy Hotel’s American Bar.
Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
  • 3 measures Brandy
  • 2 measures Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 measure Lillet
  • 1 measure Orange Juice
  • 1 measure Dubonnet
Directions: Pour the ingredients into a Cocktail Shaker together with ice, shake and strain into a cocktail (martini) glass and serve straight up (no ice).

Royal Occasion

Not quite a fighting drink, but British inspired nonetheless.
Crisp Bombay Sapphire Gin, throw in some elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and mint and garnish with some pretty flowers  ?
Ingredients: Makes 1 drink: 
1 oz Bombay Sapphire
½ oz elderflower cordial or liqueur
½ oz lemon juice
4 mint leaves
Shake all, double strain and serve in a champagne flute. Top with Martini Prosecco/Champagne. Garnish with an edible flower.

Garden Party Pippin

Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
  • ¼ measure grenadine
  • ¼ measure lemon juice
  • 3 measures fresh apple juice
  • 1 measure vodka
  • Ginger ale (or ginger beer) to top up the glass
  • Slice of lemon to garnish
Directions: Into a mixing beaker with some ice cubes add the grenadine, vodka, lemon juice and apple juice and stir well, until chilled. Strain into a tall glass, with a little crushed ice in, fill and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Rolls Royce 

Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904. And a luxury car manufacturer needs a luxury cocktail.

Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
  • 1 measure London dry gin
  • ½ measure dry vermouth
  • ½ measure sweet vermouth
  • ¼ measure Benedictine
  • Lemon peel twist
  • Cracked ice
Directions: Into a mixing beaker with some cracked ice pour the gin, vermouth and Benedictine. Stir until the cocktail is cold, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon. Serve.
 and Finally....
The British Affair (featuring Quintessentially Vodka)
Created by Giovanni Cassino - Bar Manager at The Donovan Bar, Brown’s Hotel  -London. The British Affair is a refreshing and elegant cocktail which is easy to make at home and perfect for the spring and summer seasons.
40 ml Quintessentially Vodka 
10 ml fresh lime juice 
20 ml passion fruit juice 
2 fresh strawberries 
1 tea spoon rose syrup 
Topped up with Ruinart Brut Champagne 

 1)    Muddle ingredients, then shake together in a cocktail shaker 
2)    Top up with Champagne 
3)    Garnish with half a passion fruit and two halves of a strawberry Quintessentially Vodka redefines luxury spirits with sleek design and a liquid of such discerning quality that is quite simply perfection on ice.


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