Friday Night Cocktails-keeping ’em simple

Have you ever noticed how some of the best songs were always the simplest? Think early Beatles or Rolling Stones. Shocking Blue‘s Venus. Or maitre d’ of the simple line, Chuck Berry himself, whose sparse songs are far more memorable than the bloated over-orchestrated offerings of so many later acts.

As with art, so with cocktails. Our aim this week is to provide you with a few simple classics. Short, sharp and sophisticated, they can be run up with a couple of bottles and a twist of fruit, maybe. None of that wasted drinking time mucking around with syrups, strainers and twenty different ingredients this week, chums. And so, without further ado:

Dry Martini 5 ice cubes, 1/2 measure dry vermouth, 3 of gin. Stir, don’t shake and pour into a cocktail glass. Decorate: one green olive and a spiral of lemon peel. How James Bond is that?

Rusty Nail Put 3 ice cubes in a nice chunky tumbler glass and pour in 1 measure of good scotch. Add 1/2 measure of Drambuie and decorate with a single spiral of lemon peel. Don’t get hammered!

Gimlet To 5 ice cubes in a medium glass, add 1 measure of lime juice cordial. Very slowly add the gin, and decorate with a slice of lime. Personal note: the author first discovered the word “gimlet” while studying the novel Peter Pan, aged nine. The teacher challenged us to explain what it meant, and when we could not , kept us in during break. Harsh!

Harvey Wallbanger Put six ice cubes in a shaker. Add one measure of fine vodka and 2 teaspoons of Galliano. Add 125 ml of real fresh orange juice , then shake, rattle and roll. Pour with ice into a long-ish glass, which you should also have kept chilled beforehand. Stylish!

Well, that lot is almost as easy as pouring a beer, unless you drink it from the can, like our old correspondent Ms R.S. of Southend-on-Sea. We don’t think that anyone can give you a fairer start to the weekend than that. Happy drinking, people!

Adapted from that excellent volume The Hamlyn Ultimate Cocktail Book. Please buy!

#cocktails #galliano #jamesbond #teachers #friday

Mr Bond’s car is the one on the right

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