Tag Archives: friday night cocktail

Doctor’s Orders: an Old Fashioned recipe

old fashioned recipe

UPDATE: I won! You’ll be able to order your very own Doctor’s Orders bourbon cocktail at the South Place Hotel bar in the near future. More details here if you’re interested!

For years gin was my tipple of choice. Gin and Tonics, gin and elderflower cocktails, gin in teacups… I was your walking talking gin-lovin-early-twenty-somethin gin stereotype, and it was great.

Then two years ago something magical happened. I discovered bourbon, and I’ve never looked back.

Sure, I’ll have a G&T on Christmas Day. Perhaps even in a beer garden in the height of summer. But when it comes to what I really want to drink and making my own cocktails, it’s bourbon all the way. Whether it’s a hot toddy in winter or a bourbon ginger ale float in the summer (or neat in a good glass just about whenever) I can’t get enough.

A few weeks ago I joined some fellow bloggers and bourbon enthusiasts for a Woodford Reserve masterclass at South Place hotel with Tom Vernon, Woodford Reserve’s ambassador (best job ever?).

woodford reserve south place hotel

Aged for seven and a half years on average, Woodford Reserve is one of my favourite bourbons to drink. It has cherry and caramel undertones and is on the sweeter side of the spectrum, which I think makes it a great introductory bourbon. I get a hit in the back of my throat just smelling the stuff.

old fashioned south place

On the night we were treated to an Old Fashioned which went down oh so perfectly on a Monday night. Afterwards we were told to think about our own cocktails, and were given an opportunity to get our own bourbon cocktail recipe served at South Place hotel.

So here’s my shot. I’ve reimagined a classic American bourbon cocktail and created my very own Old Fashioned recipe. It’s called Doctor’s Orders and I hope it will make you feel better. Even if you’re already feeling pretty good.

Doctor’s Orders: an Old Fashioned recipe

A traditional Old Fashioned recipe features sugar, bitters, orange and bourbon. Today I’m switching the sugar and orange for honey and lemon, two magical ingredients that perk you up when you’re not feeling your best.

If honey syrup sounds complicated, it’s not. Just mix equal parts of honey and water over a low heat and let cool before adding to the cocktail.

You could switch the angostura bitters for your own homemade lemon bitters, but after experimenting I decided not to. The lemon should slice through the sweetness of the honey but shouldn’t be the focus of the drink.

I also tried using a honey liquor that we had in the cabinet, but decided against using it. For me an Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that can be rustled up anywhere as everyone should have access to the ingredients. Most people don’t have honey liquor at home so for me that was a deal-breaker.


Woodford Reserve bourbon
Angostura bitters
Honey syrup


Mix a single measure of honey syrup with a small squeeze of lemon in a glass. Add a couple of drops of bitters and a double measure of bourbon. Top with a small handful of ice cubes. Stir gently and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Thanks to Woodford Reserve and Stir PR for a great night, and good luck to all the other bloggers participating! Can’t wait to try making all of your cocktails.

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Strawberry tequila cocktail recipe

strawberry tequila cocktail recipe

Dry January didn’t last very long. Last Friday night I just needed to get creative in the kitchen and ended up making a Strawberry Tequila fizz. There was a small amount of champagne leftover which had lost most of it’s fizz that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away, and a handful of almost gone strawberries that needed to be used up. Add a bit of lime and the last drop of tequila taking up space in the cupboard and ta-dah, the perfect ingredients for this strawberry tequila fizz cocktail recipe.

After three weeks of no alcohol, only the odd cup of tea and lots of water I craved something with colour and flavour. This ticked the colour and flavour boxes and I savoured it more than ever. The Friday night cocktail service has resumed.

I used champagne, but prosecco or sparkling wine will do the job too. I wouldn’t buy a bottle of anything sparkling especially for this recipe, unless you love this recipe so much and want to make it en masse for a party. Personally I’m not a fan of putting perfectly good champagne in a cocktail, and only make champagne cocktails from the leftover remnants at the bottom of the bottle that nobody had the capacity to drink the previous night.

Similarly don’t rush out for strawberries if you have raspberries in the fridge already. I haven’t tried it, but I reckon blackberries would work well too. The drink has the potential to be pretty potent so if you’re serving it in a tumbler instead of a champagne glass, keep an eye on the amount you’re pouring out.

Strawberry tequila cocktail recipe

  • Tequila
  • Leftover champagne
  • Strawberries
  • Lime

Take four soft strawberries and chop them into small chunks. Place in a jug and muddle until all the juice has been released. Squeeze a quarter of a lime into the jug and sieve into a glass. Top with champagne.

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Bourbon ginger ale float recipe

Bourbon ginger ale float recipe

It’s Friday, hurrah! I finally went back to work yesterday after four months off working from home. It was great to see everyone back in the office and reclaim my desk – and finally slather my hands in my favourite hand cream! However my ankle has swollen to twice its usual size which made the walk home quite painful – and naturally my mind wandered to distract myself…

It’s taking me twice as long as usual to walk anywhere and all I could think about on my walk home from the station was making myself an icy cold coke float and listening to the Juno soundtrack (The Kinks, Mott the Hoople and Velvet Underground – yes please). But I took one look inside my fridge and realised that we had no coke. Which I should have realised because we never have coke. And then I saw a bottle of ginger ale I bought last week. And then (is the suspense killing you yet?) I thought ‘wouldn’t bourbon go well with ginger ale and vanilla ice cream?’

So I tried it. I created my own superbly simple, quick and easy bourbon ginger ale float recipe. It’s perfect for a hot summer night like tonight. Cold, refreshing and delightfully warming too, all at the same magical time.

Any other suggestions for coke float alternatives? The wackier the better.

 Bourbon ginger ale float recipe


  • Bourbon
  • Ginger ale
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Sprig of mint (optional)


Scoop a generous amount of ice cream into your favourite glass. Pour over a measure or two of bourbon and slowly top with ginger ale, making sure it doesn’t fizz over. Top with a sprig of mint, your prettiest straw and enjoy. Preferably in the garden. As the sun goes down. With the Juno soundtrack playing in the background. It really is the perfect way to start the weekend!

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Bourbon iced tea recipe

Bourbon iced tea recipe

I remember drinking iced tea for the first time on holiday when I was seven. It was cloyingly sweet and I loved it. Since then iced tea has always been a treat – anything with that amount of sugar needs to be enjoyed in moderation.

As I’ve grown up I’ve shied away from sugary iced tea. All you can really taste is the sugar and I’d like to taste some tea please, thank you very much. Every summer I play around with my iced tea recipe and this year is no different.

For tonight’s Friday night cocktail I decided to keep it simple. I removed an cold jug of iced tea from the fridge, picked a sprig of fresh mint and grabbed a bottle of bourbon and some honey from the cupboard (I should really keep my bourbon and honey in the same cupboard. It would make making Bourbon iced tea in the summer and a hot toddy in the winter that little bit quicker…). And there you have it. A delightfully simple bourbon iced tea recipe.

Bourbon iced tea recipe

  • 3 tea bags
  • Half a lemon
  • Fresh mint
  • Bourbon
  • Honey

Boil water and allow to settle. Place tea bags in jug and add the boiled water. After five minutes remove tea bags, add a handful of fresh mint and a generous squeeze of honey. Add the juice of half a lemon and chop the remaining lemon peel into four chunks and add to jug. Allow to cool completely.

Put a handful of ice cubes in each glass and add a single measure of bourbon. Top with iced tea and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh mint.

Rosé Sangria recipe

Rosé Sangria recipe

Let us pretend that the sun is shining and that it’s one of those magical warm summer evenings that we will all spend indulgently with friends and the view from Parliament Hill.

Got it? Because tonight’s Friday night cocktail is called Dance of the Sugar Plum fairy, aka my Rosé Sangria recipe. It’s refreshing, tastes like summer and is packed full of fruit so it’s kinda dinner and drinks in one, if you’re that way inclined.

Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, blackberries, white grapes, red grapes… whatever you have to hand) is steeped in liqueur for a little while before you pour over chilled rosé wine and top with tonic water. The result is a sweet attempt at summer in a glass.

Make it for yourself by the glass or better yet, make a pitcher of the stuff for everyone to enjoy. If you’re going down the pitcher route though don’t add the tonic water to your jug – just top up the glasses with the tonic water on a glass by glass basis.

As usual there are no rules when it comes to the Friday night cocktail so please adapt the recipe as you see fit – just remember to let me know what clever changes you make!

Rosé Sangria recipe

  • Strawberries and blueberries, or fruit of your choice
  • Rosé wine
  • Tonic water
  • Sugar plum liqueur, or liqueur of your choice (Cointreau would work nicely)

Place the fruit in your glass and drizzle with liqueur. Let the fruit steep for a while before adding half a glass of rosé wine and topping with tonic water. Enjoy!

PS Sorry for the rubbish photo. I did my best pointing and shooting and filtering but you’re going to have to make your very own sugar plum fairy cocktail to appreciate its true beauty.

PPS Admittedly Rosé Sangria looks suspiciously similar to last week’s blueberry and gin concoction, but I promise you they are rather different!

Blueberry and gin cocktail recipe

blueberry and gin cocktail recipe

Let’s get this straight – no gin based cocktail can ever compete with a gin and tonic.

Nine times out of ten spirits are better on their own. Sugary syrups, fizzy drinks and bits of fruit have no place muddled with good alcohol. But let’s be honest – how often do you have a cupboard or bar cart stocked exclusively with good alcohol? Supermarkets tempt us with their bargain liquor offers and my cocktail cabinet is rarely home to anything fancier than a bottle of Jim Beam. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Jim Beam. In fact it’s become a mild obsession and when it comes to alcohol, I’ve barely drunk anything other than bourbon since last year.)

These bottles earn their place because Friday night cocktails aren’t there to get you drunk. They’re enjoyed before dinner and can be themed to the occasion, whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just the start of summer. Best of all, you rarely need to make a separate stop for ingredients as you can create some pretty fancy delights just from the contents of your fridge.

This week’s Friday night delight is a blueberry and gin cocktail. The blueberries in the fridge were acidic so I added a dash of grenadine to sweeten them up. This blueberry and gin cocktail recipe is a little on the sweet side, so feel free to avoid the grenadine or swap lemonade for soda water.

Blueberry and gin cocktail recipe


  • 8 blueberries
  • 25ml gin
  • Lemonade
  • Grenadine
  • Lemon

Add six blueberries to your glass and muddle with a little lemonade. Add the gin, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of grenadine (if using) and top with lemonade.

Garnish with the two remaining blueberries and a slice of lemon.

Not ready for a summer cocktail quite yet? Try this hot toddy recipe instead.

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