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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

9 mixologists share their go-to cocktail order (and the one they love making)

Plus why whiskey is the order of the hour for bartenders.

Image: Unsplash

WHETHER YOU’RE TAKING IN the last of the summer rays in your favourite bar or celebrating the kids’ long-awaited return to school with an ice-cold G&T in the evening, cocktails can be the perfect antidote to the transition between seasons. 

But once you’re in a cosy whiskey bar or in your own kitchen, it’s sometimes difficult to decide what to order or what to make. Even when you’ve a preferred spirit, there are a multitude of options for how it’s served – Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned? Martini or Negroni? Cosmo or Woo Woo?

To gather a few tasty ideas, we asked the best people in the know – cosmologists, for what they love to drink, both when they’re shaking up a storm and when they’re off the clock.

1. David McConvey, Zozimus

shutterstock_1029769477 Source: Shutterstock/Marian Weyo

My favourite cocktail to order: A Negroni – it is bitter, aromatic and leaves a lingering mouthfeel. It is considered an aperitif and has its roots in Italy as an iconic cocktail. It consists of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part Campari (the bottle covered in dust in your parent’s drinks cabinet).

You stir the three ingredients over ice and add an orange wedge or peel. I prefer a wedge to squeeze a small amount of the juice into the drink. It is served on ice in a short tumbler glass if possible. This cocktail can be replicated in any cocktail bar so I don’t have a specific bar I prefer it in, just as long as the bartender knows what they’re at!

My favourite cocktail to make: Our Nui Nui cocktail in Zozimus. It is a fruity, fresh, tiki-style drink with Caribbean influences originally made by the notorious Don the Beachcomber. Don was very secretive about his recipes so no one knows his exact recipe but we pride ourselves on making a stellar version of it.

It contains:
- House blend of island rums (5 rums in total)
- Citrus juice
- Orange juice
- House vanilla syrup
- Passionfruit flesh (one whole passionfruit)
- Cinnamon dust

We shake all ingredients except cinnamon dust in a cocktail shaker and strain over ice in a tall glass. We keep the hollowed out passionfruit husk and fill with overproof rum and light on fire with a blowtorch and then sprinkle the cinnamon dust on top to create a flaming bonfire effect (we sometimes have to warn people to stand back if they have hairspray in their hair!)

2. Viktorija Jakovickaite, Bow Lane

adam-jaime-119551 Source: Unsplash

My favourite cocktail to order: A Bulleit Rye Old Fashioned (rye, sugar, bitters) served on tap, in r.i.o.t. – it’s a perfectly balanced classic served in seconds. Another great drink is a Solomon’s Sour from Camden Bites & Brews, a concoction of Opihr Gin, homemade apple and rhubarb jam, homemade chai tea syrup, lemon and egg whites – it’s packed with oriental flavor!

My favourite cocktail to make: When it comes to our own cocktails in Bow Lane, my favourite is Let it Be Gin – a refreshing, tart and silky mix of Beefeater Gin, raspberry, honey, coconut water, lemon, fresh basil and egg whites. It’s always a hit with gin drinkers!

3. Darren Geraghty, Candlelight Bar

shutterstock_733397293 Source: Shutterstock/Martha Graham

 My favourite cocktail to order: A Smoked Old Fashioned in The Exchequer – it’s a modern twist on the granddaddy of all modern cocktails, served up in one of Dublin’s favourite haunts.

My favourite cocktail to make: In Candlelight Bar is The Smoke On The Water. It’s a Negroni reimagined, utilising spiced gin, sweet vermouth, homemade watermelon bitter aperitif, mandarin and lemon sugar, sea salt, stirred down for correct dilution and temperature. It’s then hickory-smoked and served with a large ice sphere, in an all round theatrical serve. When I’m at home, I love making Pineapple Negronis which contain:

- 30ml of Mór Pineapple Gin
- 30ml sweet vermouth
- 15ml Campari
- 15ml Aperol

You just stir down all the ingredients with ice and serve it with orange and pineapple slices.

4. Niall Connolly, The Lincoln’s Inn

shutterstock_733448971 Source: Shutterstock/GM PHOTO

My favourite cocktail to both order and make: is a whiskey sour. We make ours in The Lincoln’s Inn a little differently in that we make our own sugar syrup with Franciscan Well IPA and various spices and then freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh egg whites and a mixture of grapefruit and angestor bitters, and a 50ml shot of whiskey – DWD Whiskey is my choice at the minute.

As for where I’d order it in, my favourite one recently was in The Old Spot on Bath Avenue. That’s the last place I ordered a Whiskey Sour but it’s definitely up there with my favourites.

5. Gareth Lambe, Vintage Cocktail Club

shutterstock_1079985143 Source: Shutterstock/Andrei Mayatnik

My favourite cocktail to order: It may sound a bit pretentious but I don’t have a favourite, I normally just go to bars that I know can make decent drinks. If I had to choose, Andre in The Blind Pig makes a great Elephant Gin Super Dry Martini with a twist.

My favourite cocktail to make: We do a drink in Vintage Cocktail Club called GM’s Licorice Skins, created by our manager Annmarie – it’s truly a fantastic drink, which contains:

- 50ml Jameson Black Barrel
- 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 10ml sugar syrup
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 spoon homemade whiskey marmalade
- 5ml star anise-infused poitín
- 2 dashes of Tabasco

To make it, just shake and strain all the ingredients, and serve in a coupe glass over a rock of hand-cut ice.

6. Frank Keegan, Mulligan and Haines

shutterstock_1022913484 Source: Shutterstock/Alp Aksoy

My favourite cocktail to order: Is the ‘Whiskey Smash’ at Vintage Cocktail Club in Temple Bar. It’s made with Bulleit Bourbon, fresh mint, gomme syrup and crushed ice and it dates back to 1830 – the ‘Golden Age’ of cocktail-making. 

My favourite cocktail to make: On our menu in Mulligan and Haines at the minute is ‘Damn the Weather’. It’s made with tequila, St Germain liqueur, fresh lime juice and grapefruit syrup, shaken and poured into a rocks glass over ice.

7. David RS Guerrero, The Chelsea Drugstore

shutterstock_460012576 Source: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

My favourite cocktail to order: There’s nothing like going to a bar to enjoy a conversation or bit of time on my own with a classic Sidecar in The Sidecar Bar in The Westbury. It’s a great classic cocktail in a perfect spot with brilliant, friendly service.

My favourite cocktail to make: I love sharing my passion for the history of cocktails with the Boulevardier in The Chelsea Drugstore. I prepare it with:

- 40ml of rye whiskey
- 30ml Mancino vermouth rosso
- 30ml Campari
- A dash of Angostura bitters, orange bitters and chocolate bitters

Depending on the guest, I change my technique between throwing or stirring, to make it more or less light, and I serve it neat with a twist of orange.

8. Cheryl Divine, Tribeton

FullSizeRender Source: Tribeton

Favourite cocktail to order: The ‘Ginger Snap’ from the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder in Killarney, Co Kerry. It’s made with Writer’s Tears Red Head whiskey, Martini Rosso, lemon juice, sugar syrup, chocolate bitters and Angostura bitters.

My favourite cocktail to make: Holy Water at Tribeton (pictured above) created by our mixologist Barry. It’s one of our tiki-inspired cocktails. It contains:

- Hennessy VS cognac
- Sailor Jerry rum
- Grapefruit juice
- Lime juice
- Orgeat syrup
- Angostura bitters
- Green Chartreuse liqueur

Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice with Angostura bitters. Use a Mexican Elbow to squeeze half a lime. Turn it inside out and add 5ml of Green Chartreuse. Add a sugar cube and set it on fire.

9. Gary Colohan, O’Connells Bar – Galway

shutterstock_718231771 Source: Shutterstock/GANNA MARTYSHEVA

Favourite cocktail to order: Would definitely have to my favourite twist on a classic cocktail – ‘Taylor’s Old Fashioned’ in the newly renovated Taylor’s Bar, Galway.  

Your favourite cocktail to make: Probably the Le Grand Fizz that we make in O’Connells Bar. It contains Grey Goose vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur with Schweppes soda water and a generous lime wedge.

Feeling inspired? When you’re ordering, be sure to look out for a refreshing one made with Schweppes 1783, a range of naturally flavoured premium mixers, expertly crafted by mixologists. The range features Schweppes’ superior effervescence in flavours that include Salty Lemon & Cucumber. Please drink responsibly.

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