Dillionaire cocktail

Dillionaire cocktail

As the gin boom continues, the number of tonic syrups becoming available increases. While I enjoy using them in a G&T, they can be used in cocktails, like the Dillionaire cocktail, created by Nick Capuana from The Straight Up.

Cucumber and gin are a perfect match (thanks to Hendrick’s for bringing that to global attention) and the addition of dill makes the cocktail even more spring-like. Interesting fact…dill and cucumber are often planted together by gardeners as they thrive in each other’s company! The bitterness of the Cocchi Americano and the bitters balances well against the sweetness of the maraschino liqueur and the tonic syrup.

While the recipe for the Dillionaire might make you weigh up whether you need maraschino liqueur and Cocchi Americano, I promise you it’s a worthy investment. You can use Maraschino liqueur for your Last Word or Aviation. Cocchi Americano is an aperitif wine from Italy and is considered a worthy replacement to Kina Lillet (which was reformulated without the cinchona to create Lillet Blanc in 1985), making perfect Corpse Revivers and Vespers.

Dillionaire cocktail ingredients

Ingredients for the Dillionaire cocktail

2 thickish cucumber slices
2 sprigs dill
15ml Luxardo maraschino liqueur
15ml Soda Press Co. tonic syrup
60ml gin (Nick used Hendricks but I swapped it for Poor Toms)
15ml Cocchi Americano
15ml ounce fresh juice from 1 to 2 limes
2 dashes of bitters
90ml Fevertree soda


Put the cucumber slices and dill sprigs in an empty shaker. Add the maraschino liqueur and tonic syrup and muddle all the ingredients together until the cucumber is broken, but not mushy.

Add the gin, Cocchi Americano, lime juice and one dash of bitters to the shaker. Add ice and shake together until well chilled.

Strain into an ice filled rocks or highball glass and top up with the soda water stir gently to mix.

Garnish with cucumber and dill and the other dash of bitters.


Dillionaire cocktail


Satan's Whiskers Cocktail

Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail

The Satan’s Whiskers cocktail appears in Harry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail book, but is essentially a variation on a Bronx cocktail from Hugo R. Ensslin’s ‘Recipes for Mixed Drinks’, published earlier in 1916.  Featuring three different types of orange – juice, liqueur and bitters, the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail is a juicy glass of bittersweet deliciousness.

There are two versions of the drink; one uses Grand Marnier, the other, orange curaçao. This recipe is considered the “straight” version, while the other is “curled.”

Satan's Whiskers Cocktails ingredients

Ingredients for a Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (straight)

30ml gin (I used Tarquin’s, but Four Pillars gin would also work well)
15ml Grand Marnier
30ml sweet vermouth
30ml dry vermouth
30ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Dash orange bitters



Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Enjoy!


The Lady Sage Gin Cocktail

I’m still busy researching herb and gin cocktails, and this week it was the turn of sage. This slightly bitter herb is often paired with lemon in cooking, so is an obvious garnish for a gin and tonic. You could also make up a batch of sage simple syrup to add to gin and soda for a refreshing alternative to a G&T.

However, I wanted to try something a little more sophisticated (but still easy!) and Ryan Magarian‘s The Lady Sage Gin Cocktail was the perfect choice.


The Lady Sage Cocktail is riff on a White Lady which is essentially a gin sour with an egg white added. This simple but delicious cocktail is easy to do at home (if I can do it, anyone can!) and if you pot up a small sage plant you’ll always be ready to whip up a batch for friends.

The Lady Sage Gin Cocktail


60ml Aviation American Gin
2 leaves Sage
20ml Freshly pressed lemon juice
20ml Simple syrup
1 egg white


Gentle muddle the sage in a cocktail shaker. Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white and dry shake (without ice) for a few seconds. Then add ice and shake hard until the outside of the shaker is very cold.

Fine strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a sage leaf.




Gin, Peach and Verbena Smash

Herbs in cocktails are not a new phenomenon but they are a delicious one. I’m growing a few to ensure I always have a fresh sprig to hand when making drinks.

The Peach and Verbena Smash from Ryan Chetiyawardana’s book, ‘Good Things to Drink‘, gave me an excuse to pot up some verbena (apparently it makes a good tea too) and take advantage of peach season here in Australia. Ryan’s recipe uses rum, but you know me, GIN 4 LIFE, so I just swapped it out for a London Dry.


It was absolutely perfect after another scorching summer’s day in Melbourne and next time I’ll follow Ryan’s advice and whizz it up in a blender with some ice to create a slushier version.


Ingredients for Gin, Peach and Verbena Smash

1 ripe yellow peach

2 sprigs lemon verbena

25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

15ml sugar syrup

65ml gin



Cut the peach in two and then cut a slice for garnish. Muddle the peach in a cocktail shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients and shaking vigorously with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish with the peach slice and a sprig of verbena.



Pickering’s Gin Cosmopolitan

The team behind Edinburgh gin, Pickering’s, Matt Gammell and Marcus Pickering, visited Melbourne just before Christmas and we met up to taste their delicious gins (more about those another time).

While we were chatting they shared some of their signature Pickering’s cocktails created by Brand Ambassador, Paul Donegan, and their version of the iconic Cosmopolitan caught my eye. The traditional cosmopolitan (lemon-flavoured vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice) is obviously very well-known as the drink of choice of the Sex and the City gals in the 90s, but the combination has been around for a while.


Pickering’s Gin Cosmopolitan, however,  uses gin (obviously) AND elderflower liqueur, so I was able to use my favourite non-gin tipple, St. Germain! The result is crisp, with a hint of sweetness and is so refreshing, you’ll want another. Be careful to enjoy responsibly!

Ingredients for Pickering’s Gin Cosmopolitan

35ml Pickering’s Gin

20ml St. Germain Elderflower liqueur

40ml cranberry juice (fresh if you can, it makes such a difference!)

7.5ml freshly squeezed lime juice


Vigorously shake all the ingredients together in an ice-filled cocktail shaker until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a wedge of lime.



Note I like my cocktails on the drier side  so upped the quantity of gin while slightly reducing the St. Germain and the cranberry juice. Play around to see how you prefer yours!


Blueberry Buck and Aviation gin

Blueberry Buck

A ‘Buck’ (sometimes call a Mule e.g. Moscow Mule) is a long cocktail combining citrus, spirit and ginger beer. For those of you wondering about the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale, ginger beer tends to be fermented, while ale isn’t. I find ginger beer gives a bolder flavour to cocktails and a little more kick, but play with both and see which you prefer.

A Gin Buck (or a Ginger Rogers) is fantastic alternative to a gin and tonic and is my go-to on a hot summer’s day. There are all sorts of Buck recipes and lots of ingredients you can experiment with. I chose to feature the Blueberry Buck as an homage to American Aviation Gin after meeting founder Ryan Magarian earlier this month, and it’s delicious!

Ingredients for  Blueberry Buck

60ml Aviation gin
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
17 blueberries
90ml ginger beer
Mint leaves for garnish


Method for making the Blueberry Buck

Add gin, lemon juice, blueberries (keep a couple for garnish) and ice to a cocktail shaker and muddle together. Add ice and shake until outside of the shaker is chilled.

Strain into a tall glass and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a couple of blueberries and a mint leaf or two. Enjoy!


Corpse Reviver No. 2

Corpse Reviver No. 2 is of the classic cocktails featured in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. A refreshing shaken cocktail featuring gin, triples sec, lemon juice, absinthe and vermouth, it promises to give you a lift on a long night.

However as Harry Craddock himself said:

“Four of these taken in quick succession will unrevive the corpse again”


Ingredients for a Corpse Reviver No. 2

22ml gin (I used Fords)

22ml triple sec

22ml lemon juice

22ml Lillet blanc (referred to as Kina Lillet in the Savoy Cocktail book)

4ml absinthe


Shake all ingredients together in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice.


Charlie Chaplin Cocktail

I’m constantly looking for different cocktails that use sloe gin. The one that is mentioned often to me by bartenders is the Charlie Chaplin cocktail.


Yes, you guessed correctly, the cocktail was named after  Charlie Chaplin, the silent movie star at the height of his fame when this drink was created.

It is a boozy one and would appeal to those of you who favour slightly sweet cocktails. Mixing sloe gin and apricot brandy liqueur might sound like an odd concoction, but the lime juice cuts through the sweetness nicely.

As I prefer my drinks on the drier, bitter side,  I opted for a drier sloe gin and used McHenry’s

Ingredients for a Charlie Chaplin cocktail

20ml Sloe Gin

20ml Apricot Brandy Liqueur

20ml freshly squeezed lime juice


Shake all ingredients together with ice. Fine strain into a glass. Garnish with a piece of fresh apricot, or dried if not in season.



Orange Blossom Cocktail

I have a cold and I am in need of vitamin C, well that’s my excuse for looking up gin and orange recipes!

Snoop Dogg wasn’t the first person to fall for the simple ‘Gin n’ juice’, this cocktail has been popular since prohibition when orange juice was used to disguise booze.

There are several recipes for gin and orange and several ways to serve it. The Savoy Cocktail book lists 3 variations you could try, including one with Cointreau that I might try next!

Harry Craddock’s version of the ‘Orange Blossom’ is a very basic mix of gin and freshly squeezed orange juice over ice. However, as a lover of vermouth, I really liked the sound of the recipe cocktail historian David Wondrich suggests – equal parts gin, juice and sweet vermouth.


Ingredients for the Orange Blossom Cocktail

30ml gin (I used Tanqueray No. 10 for a slightly boozier effort)

30ml freshly squeezed orange juice

30ml sweet vermouth (I used Dolin)

slice of orange to garnish

Method for the Orange Blossom Cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigrously and then strain into a glass over the slice of orange.


The Perfect Gin Cocktail For Brunch

No other city (except possibly New York) does brunch as well as Melbourne. It’s one of my favourite things about living here. A cocktail with breakfast might raise an eyebrow or two (with the exception of a breakfast martini?), but with brunch? Move along people, nothing to see here.

This is the perfect gin cocktail for brunch!

Now, I’ve already shared the Red Snapper cocktail with you, but I wanted to try a variation. You see, I’m not a fan of tomato juice, particularly commercially produced bottles or cartons, it’s just too gloopy. On my recent visit to London I spotted clear Bloody Mary’s on menus and knew I had to try it.

Creating the clear tomato juice is a bit of a faff, but it’s so worth it. It creates a brighter, fresher version of this classic drink.

Make the juice overnight in preparation for brunch the next day. I reckon you could freeze any leftovers (who are we kidding) or chuck it in the pan with your spag bol.

Ingredients for the Perfect Gin Brunch Cocktail

For the clear tomato juice

1kg of fresh tomatoes

For the cocktail

45ml Gin (I used The West Winds Gin Cutlass – bold and savoury)

120ml Clear Tomato juice

2-3 dashes of tabasco sauce

dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Celery stalk, chilli pepper, cherry tomato for garnish (optional celery salt for the rim)


Method for the clear tomato juice

Blitz the tomatoes in a blender or food processor (skins and all!).

Place a sieve over a jug and line it with a piece of muslin cloth.

Pour the blitzed tomatoes into the sieve.

Leave in the fridge for 8 hours and let gravity work its magic.

(Top tip: After a few hours I pegged the corners of the muslin together to form a bag to avoid any sloppage.)

After 8 hours, discard the tomato pulp and run the tomato juice through a clean muslin, just to be sure.

Method for making the Perfect Gin Brunch Cocktail

Add ice to a cocktail shaker

Pour in 120ml Tomato Juice and 45ml Gin. Add 2-3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold.

Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and garnish with celery stalks, tomato and chilli.