Shipping worldwide from Sydney, australia


Your Cart is Empty

7 Cocktails Every Gentleman (and lady) Should Know

July 09, 2018 5 Minutes

By Sean Baxter

Sean is one of Australia's leading Whiskey experts and is National Ambassador for Johnnie Walker and The Classic Malts. He can be found on Instagram via @seanofthenevernever, and check out Never Never Distilling, where he is their sales and marketing guru.


A skilled workman on the cocktails tins and stirring spoons can concoct an appropriate antidote suited for anytime of day or night provided they are primed with the appropriate specifications. Here’s a list of seven of the best, although you command their timeliness during a day of effortless imbibing.

1. Aperol Spritz – Brunch

An Aperol spritz is the perfect pre lunch libation. I discovered it very early in life however only truly appreciated it’s brilliance on my first trip to Italy. Whether it slakes the thirst after an early morning stroll through Rome or the perfect accompaniment to a menagerie of beachside umbrellas, a Spritz is to be ignored at your peril. It’s simple composition belies it’s various pressure points. While it is reasonably easy to make, make sure to use a large wine glass and plenty of ice, nothing is sadder than a warm, flat spritz, made with cheap Prosecco with a lonely floating orange wheel. Pair it with Mortadella and olives.


2. Martini – Lunch

While many wouldn’t consider a martini the ideal cocktail for a lunchtime meeting (tip, it isn’t), it’s inclusion during this meal pays homage to it’s popularity in the golden era of classic cocktails (and it’s subsequent revival after the Mad Men Series). Typically served dry, the cocktail is far more forgiving for first-timers when sampled wet, which includes being heavier on the dry vermouth. I like a wet Charles Dickens martini (garnished with an olive and twist, hence the name) using a bold, juniper forward style. Bond drank his dry and shaken with vodka, because he liked his martini’s like he liked his women; thin, boring and full of booze. Pair it with fresh oysters.


3. Daiquiri – Afternoon

A Daiquri to some is the perfect cocktail, the quintessence of ‘balance’, easy to learn, but difficult to master. It’s ingredients are simple; rum, lime and sugar, however it can be interpreted in many exciting and delicious ways. Try an aged dark rum, with raw sugar syrup and fresh lime juice. Fruit and ice can be added if preferred, a mango daiquiri when made correctly is godly. The one rotating around in the slushy machine at the local casino is less so. Master this and the world of sours is at your feet including the margarita, white lady and the whisky sour. It’s the perfect libation for lazy afternoons, preferably reclined, poolside, paired with a plate of ceviche.


4. Negroni – Pre Dinner

They say you need to try a Negroni three times before your palate adjusts to the bitterness. It’s also a fabulous way to keep you in the bar a while longer as I try to convince you that this truly is a special drink. Invented in Venice, this aperitif pairs gin, sweet vermouth and bitter Campari to create the king of pre-dinner cocktails. Pour equal measures it into a heavy rocks and stir it with your finger,

no need for fancy crystal cocktail glasses. The bitter note of Campari can be a little unsettling to those not familiar with the taste. You can find it in every bar in Italy and is rather hard to stuff up. Sure, you can get bad ones, but as long as they’re cold and cheap you tend not to worry. Select a big, strong gin with lots of character, it needs to stand up over the top of the Campari and vermouth. Pair it with the salted nuts and potato chips that are complimentary when you sit down to drink in Italian cafes.


5. Bijou – Post Dinner

The Bijou used to be consumed with the same reckless gay abandon as martinis and Manhattans up until Prohibition, where it slipped into cocktail obscurity. While this cocktail borrows a little bit from both afore mentioned drinks, it’s the addition of the herbaceous Chartreuse liqueur that bumps this into the digestive category. The original 19th-Century recipe called for equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth and Chartreuse, with a splash of orange bitters hopelessly fighting a loosing battle to balance this big, sweet, boozy monster. Modern day, drier representations such as the one devised by Dale Degroff at New York’s Rainbow Room are a little more forgiving. They also mean you’re not doing shots of Chartreuse off the host at 3am. You’ll be drinking this so fast you’re not going to have time for a food pairing but if you could find a nice stinky goats cheese, it will do nicely.


6. Old Fashioned – Nightcap

An Old Fashioned uses the same drink science as a martini, where the strength of the alcohol is tempered by sugar, bitters and dilution. Its joy comes from its limited ingredients and simplicity of construction, most rudimentary cocktail bars at home feature Angostura bitters and sugar and it can be made with a wide array of quality whiskies, rums or even tequilas. If you want to explore the world of premium whisky but are still yet to master the art of straight spirit imbibing, this cocktail will give you the necessary education. Just remember not to make it with your $20 corner store brown hooch, there’s only so much heavy lifting sugar and bitters can do. Pair it with cigars and chocolate in that order.


7. Red Snapper – Morning After

The Red Snapper is another name for a Bloody Mary with gin in it and was all the rage in New York in the 1930’s. Vodka didn’t become a staple behind the bar until well after World War 2 (where everything Russian was treated with suspicion), so it was gin that found it’s way into more hair of the dog remedies than it’s flavour-inept counterpart. Claimed to be created by actor and comedian George Jessel after a heavy night on the tiles, he wanted a pick me up before a mid morning game of volleyball. The concoction of vodka, tomato juice, lemon and Worchester sauce was said to do just the trick (and was an expansion from the earlier recipes of Harry Craddock). Make it with gin for a richer and complex flavour. I wouldn’t recommend volleyball the next day though. In fact most ball sports except pool, billiards and pinball should definitely be avoided.


All images courtsey of Ryan Noreiks, you can find him on Instagram via @ryannoreiks

Leave a comment