You have been through yet a stressful week of home-office work. The tasks keep rolling into your inbox, your phone is buzzing every hour of the day, and your kids are dangling from your arms like monkeys off a tree. However, it is Friday, and there is no excuse not to celebrate.
So kick back and call up the guys for a virtual Friday bar from within the confines of your own living room. And even though you are limited to your own barstock and mixology skills, there is no need to compromise. To help you keep the refreshments at a pre-lockdown quality, we at Les Deux, are bringing you 5 simple cocktails that will lighten up any Friday afternoon.
So give yourself a toast – you deserve it.
The Bourbon Mint Julep is classic summer cocktail from the old American south. It combines the round caramelly notes from bourbon whiskey with the freshness and florality of freshly picked mint. A beautiful refreshment for a sunny afternoon on the balcony.
6–7 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon of simple syrup
60 ml bourbon – we recommend: Four Roses Small Batch
1 large mint sprig
Serve in: Rocks glass or Metal Julep Cup
To make simple syrup, combine 1 part white sugar with 1 part water in a saucepan. Heat until combined and cool down to room temperature.
Combine the mint leaves, syrup and bourbon in a rocks glass or metal julep cup. Using a bar spoon, lightly crush the mint to release its essential oils into the liquid. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir gently to incorporate the bourbon-syrup mixture. Top up with more crushed ice and garnish with a large mint sprig.
Also read: The World Class Concoction
This is a summery twist on the Negroni, a classic Italian Aperitivo. It combines the distinct bitterness of Campari with sweet sloe berries and the bright citrus notes of grapefruits, resulting in a well-balanced concoction, perfect for the start of any meal.
40 ml Sloe Gin – we recommend: Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2017
20 ml Campari
20 ml Sweet Vermouth – we recommend: Carpano Antica Formula
20 ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 zest of a grapefruit
Serve in: Rocks glass
Combine sloe gin, Campari, vermouth and grapefruit juice in a rocks glass. Add large ice cubes and stir until the glass is frosty and slightly opaque. Top up with more ice cubes and run the freshly cut grapefruit zest along the edge of the glass. Finally, add the zest as a garnish.
Over the past couple of years, vermouth has been regaining some lost terrain within the world of alcoholic beverages. And for good reason! It is lovely on its own and extremely versatile in mixology. This simple combination is an appreciated alternative to the classic gin & tonic, putting light, flowery notes in front and centre.
For this recipe we call for a specific type of vermouth. Belsazar is a German house, eager to challenge the traditions of vermouth production. The Belsazar Rosé is brewed on pinot noir grapes and infused with a variety of herbs and spices, giving it a distinct palette of red berries and green herbal notes.
50 ml Belsazar Rosé vermouth
100 ml of tonic water – we recommend Fever Tree Indian Tonic
1 wedge of lime
1 large mint sprig
Serve in: Highball glass or white wine glass.
Combine vermouth and tonic water in a highball or wine glass. Add ice cubes and stir until the glass frosty and slightly opaque. Top up with more ice cubes and garnish with a large mint sprig and a freshly cut lime wedge.
You might also be interested in: From Passion To Michelin
The Aperol spritz have for a long time been the quintessential cocktail for warm summer evenings. However, the spritz is a concept of great flexibility, and the possibilities are endless. Our version channels the Italian riviera and uses limoncello, an Italian lemon liquor, to create a bright yellow blend of fresh citrus and fizzy prosecco. A true winner - especially paired with a plate of great charcuterie.
50 ml limoncello – we recommend Pallini.
100 ml of dry Italian prosecco
40 ml of sparkling water
1-2 slices of lemon
Serve in: White wine glass
Combine limoncello, sparkling water and prosecco in a wine glass. Gently add ice cubes and stir for around 30 seconds. Top up with more ice cubes and garnish with a couple of freshly cut slices of lemon.
Finally, there will be times where your mood calls for something modest and soothing. Where craftsmanship and simplicity is the way to go. These times call for a classic whiskey on the rocks. Whether it be a gentle, buttery highland blend, a smoky Islay or a funky Japanese single malt, is up to you.
So, sit back and pour yourself a well-earned glass of your preferred top shelf liquor.