I invented a cocktail – now it just needs a name

Until recently I thought that cocktails were created in the dim and distant past by bartenders called Harry or were the preserve of Heston Blummenthal-types with degrees in Mixology from Dalston Polytechnic. Now I realise that making cocktails is just like cooking. You can go off-piste. You’re probably never going to invent anything as remarkable as a negroni but you might come up with something delicious that you’ve never tried before. The trick is balance between sweet and sour and beware flavours that might clash. I’ve found Richard Godwin’s book, The Spirits, an incredibly helpful guide. He not only gives you fish but gives you a fishing rod so you can catch your own fish. Delicious boozy fish.

Here’s one I ‘invented’ as part of a Christmas lunch that the Guardian are putting on next month.

It is a cross between that old winter stalwart, the whisky mac (a mixture of whisky and ginger wine), and something a bit more tropical, the dark and stormy, (rum, ginger ale and lime). I’ve used Irish whiskey (note extra e) because it’s normally a little sweeter than Scotch. Bourbon might work too. I tried it initially with my own patent-blended whisky (Black Grouse topped up with some malt miniatures and a bit of Cutty Sark) but the smokiness didn’t work. The bitters at the end make it taste a bit exotic. It’s a delightfully warming drink for the winter and would I think double as a particularly delicious cold cure. You can make it weaker if you like or remove the fizzy water entirely to make it really sweet.


(makes one drink)

35ml (one shot) King’s Ginger liqueur

35ml Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

35ml Jamaica Ginger Beer – if you’re using Fentimen’s omit the water and use double the amount. 

35ml fizzy water

17.5ml (half a shot) fresh lemon juice

Dash of angostura bitters

Lemon slice to garnish

Fill a tumbler with lots of ice, add the ginger liqueur, whiskey, ginger beer, lemon juice and water, stir thoroughly. Add a dash of Angostura bitters and garnish with a slice of lemon.

All it needs now is a name. I was going to call it the Prince Harry because of the high ginger quotient but it seems that name is already taken.

Any ideas please let me know.

@Hurtlepuss suggested the Joan Holloway after the redhead from Mad Men. Perfect.

About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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2 Responses to I invented a cocktail – now it just needs a name

  1. Jennifer says:

    I suggest you call it The Freelancer, in a nod to your work status, discussed in previous post. Also, this cocktail has sweetness, fizz and spice to hold your attention, which I suppose would be desirable in freelance writing.

  2. Jyrgenn says:

    Re the whisky: I can understand that the smokiness of some scotch whiskys isn;t a good fit. But I could imagine that some unpeated, slightly sweet and malty whisky may be well-suited here, e.g. a 10-year-old Glenlivet or Glenmorangie (although a 10 or 12yo Yamazaki might be even better).

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to try that short-term, as King’s Ginger liquer and the ginger beer aren’t exactly household items here around (.de). Plus, I have to admit I’d even fail the Angosture requirement, although that could be healed soonish. Which I should probably do, given the number of cocktail recipes requriing it.

    Anyway, I like that recipe and hope I can give it a try some time. And I like that Harry picture. He appears (not only in this photo) less boring than his brother.

    Regards, JyrgenN.

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