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5 Famous Gin Cocktails Created in London

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Not only does our nation’s capital have some of the finest cocktail bars on the planet, but many classic cocktails were created by the mixologists working in them.

Here are 5 of our favourite London-born mixes.

BREAKFAST MARTINI

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And this creation from the former President of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild, Salvatore Calabrese, no less, who invented the Breakfast Martini in 2000, while working in the The Lanesborough Hotel’s, Library Bar, is a worthy addition to the table.

The cocktail, allegedly inspired by Salvatore’s English wife whose favourite breakfast spread was marmalade, although I’m sure Salvatore was aware of the famous Marmalade Cocktail created by Craddock in the 20s and included in the mixologist’s bible; the Savoy Cocktail Book.

Ingredients:

50ml gin

15ml Cointreau

15ml fresh lemon juice

1 full teaspoon of thin cut orange marmalade

Orange peel to garnish

Method:

1. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and stir to dissolve the marmalade. Fill with ice.

2. Shake and strain mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.

3. Shred some orange peel on the top of the drink as garnish.

THE COLLINS

Created in the mid-19th century by bartender, John Collins, and features in the Steward and Barkeeper's Manual of 1869. The Collins is a twist on one of the most popular cocktails of the day; a classic gin punch. The subsequent name change to, "Tom Collins" in an 1876 recipe may have been a due to a call for Old Tom gin to be used. Today, the "John Collins" sometimes refers to a "Tom Collins" made with whiskey instead of gin.

Method:

1. Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

2. Add ice to a highball glass and pour the mixture over the ice.

3. Top up with soda water and garnish with lemon and maraschino cherry.

Ingredients:

50ml gin

25ml lemon juice

10ml sugar syrup

Soda water

VESPER MARTINI

My favourite, not as a drink, but from watching Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

This is possibly London’s most famous combination. It was said to have been fashioned first in the bar of Duke’s Hotel in the 1950s for James Bond author, Ian Fleming. Fleming was so taken with the cocktail he included it in the first James Bond novel, naming it for Vesper Lynd, 007s tragic inamorata.

Method:

1. Combine the gin, vodka and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.

2. Serve in a Martini glass with a twist of lemon.

Ingredients:

75ml gin

25ml vodka

12.5ml vermouth

THE BRAMBLE

The Bramble cocktail was the idea of Dick Bradsell while tendering at the famous, Fred’s Club in Soho in 1984. Bradsell wanted to create a British-themed cocktail stirred by memories of black-berrying as a child on the Isle of Wight.

Method:

1. Add gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

2. Add crushed ice to a tumbler style glass and strain the shaker contents over the ice.

3. Drizzle the crème de cassis over the cocktail and garnish with blackberries and lemon slice.

Ingredients:

60ml gin

30ml lemon juice

15ml crème de cassis

15ml sugar syrup

3 fresh blackberries

1 lemon slice

THE HANKY-PANKY

This cheeky little number, was invented by Ada "Coley" Coleman in 1903, while working in the American Bar at the Savoy. Coley first made this for the English actor and director, Sir Charles Hawtrey, who, thus declared "By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!"

Method:

1. Stir ingredients well in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

2. Twist a small slither of orange peel over the surface of the drink to garnish.

Ingredients:

40ml gin

40ml sweet vermouth

2 dashes Fernet Branca bitters

1 orange twist 

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