World Cocktail Day

While a topic of mass debate among hooch historians, many reckon the word ‘cock-tail’ was first defined on May 13th in 1806, in a New York publication called The Balance, and Columbian Repository.

It was described thus: ‘Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. It renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.’

As a result, this day is marked around the world as World Cocktail Day, and lo drinks writers around the world have a chance to create features like this.

If you’ve been to our show, you’ll know we talk a lot about a specific set of spirits, so this seems like a useful opportunity to give you some recipes for these drinks.

Rum Old Fashioned with Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

The Old Fashioned first appeared in bartending guides around 1860, and called for it to be prepared with gin. A couple of decades later it was prepared with bourbon, apparently by James E. Pepper, bartender and esteemed bourbon aristocrat, at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

But the Old Fashioned tastes just as incredible with Reserva Exclusiva. It almost feels like the foundations of the Old Fashioned were designed with this rum in mind. An amazing blend of rich, bitter and citrus makes our rum version a go-to for all Old Fashioned aficionados.

Glass: Rocks

50 ml Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
5 ml Sugar syrup
3 large dashes of bitters


Add all ingredients to a stirring glass, fill with ice, stir and strain.

Garnish with an orange peel


Manhattan with Elijah Craig

Once served with absinthe, bartender Harry Johnson suggested in his Bartender’s Manual, 1882: ‘It is for the customer to decide, whether to use absinthe or not. This is a very popular drink at the present day. It is the bartender’s duty to ask the customer whether he desires his drink dry or sweet.’

Glass: cocktail

60ml Elijah Craig

25ml sweet vermouth

3 dashes of Angostura bitters Ice

Cherry, to garnish

Pour the bourbon, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass. Add ice, stir gently for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry


Highball with Suntory Toki

The Highball is another cocktail that has an illustrious history, and many have laid claim to. In 1890 Patrick Gavin Duffy got so worked up about his claim that he wrote to The New York Times, arguing he conceived it as a Scotch drink at New York’s Ashland House. The great Gary Reagan wrote in his Joy of Mixing, that the word highball was adopted from railroad jargon, based on a driver blowing his whistle, twice short whistles, followed by one long one, which is loosely how the drink is made. These days we head to Black Rock bar in London for the best examples of the style.

In Japan they call it is a Mizuwari and it’s a revered serve with a specific ritual.

Glass: highball

30ml Suntory Whisky Toki

Cold premium soda water

Lemon or grapefruit twist


Fill a highball glass with ice, pour the Toki over the ice, stir, top with moreice if required, slowly pour chilled soda water down the side of the glass, gently stir, from the bottom of the drink to the top, with a long bar spoon. Garnish with a twist of citrus, and enjoy.


The Adele, Warner’s Gin

And for something modern and fresh, try this from Warner’s Gin. It’s named in honour of creator Tom Warner’s late mother who was the inspiration for the botanical garden where Warner’s select many of the ingredients used in their farm grown gins. We taste the Rhubarb in the show, but the Elderflower reveals the wide variety of gin styles available at Warner’s.

Glass: goblet or wine glass

50ml Warner’s Elderflower Gin

12.5ml Triple Sec (orange liqueur)

A squeeze of fresh lemon

75ml Fever Tree Tonic Water

Fill your glass with ice (the more, the better!). Add your gin and Triple Sec.

Squeeze a wedge of lemon into your glass, and top up with Mediterranean tonic water. Give it a quick stir. Garnish with cucumber and orange..


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