Friday, 14 September 2012

Fabulous Friday: Cocktail Hour Memories

Aoife, Cambridge

Rachel and I aged 16 ordering Asti Spumante on a terrace in Turin, enormous bellinis with my sister to celebrate my engagement, the prosecco and raspberry creations at our wedding reception; memories of my friends and family always seem to involve cocktails or fabulous drinks of some description. My good friend Marie recently tweeted a picture that brought back a particular memory. It was a sheet from a cocktail class we attended in Dublin in 2006. That was a very long time ago but it got me thinking and looking for my own notes from that very class. I'd always been a big fan of drinking cocktails but this was probably the first time I had made them properly. I was dazzled by the concept of flaming orange peel over a cosmopolitan (also known as a stealth martini apparently) and amazed by the difference the flavour of the released aromatics gave to the cocktail.

I was very diligent in my note-taking at first: apparently our teacher (Paul) made "The Tastiest Gin Martini of 2004" and it was the 200th anniversary of the cocktail. The notes tail off towards the end, the last cocktail gets one word that I think is yes or possibly yum.

We practiced our skills in Marie's house a couple of weeks later, cleaning out the local shop out of all (and I do mean all) of their limes in the process.  I think we made the caiprioska and the cosmpolitan that night but for some reason those memories are a little hazy. I would love to have time to train to be a world class cocktail maker.  Until I win the lottery I will continue practicing on a Friday night, conducting my own little experiments and interrogating (read flirting outrageously with) bartenders. Tonight I will be making my old favourite the cosmopolitan, remembering the night I first learnt to make it and raising a toast to my cocktail partners in crime. Sláinte.

cosmopolitan (makes one large one) 
35ml vodka
17.5ml triple sec
17.5ml fresh lime juice
70ml cranberry juice
orange peel for flaming

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange zest.

This recipe uses different proportions to Rachel's classic recipe. Some side by side tasting and optimisation may be required the next time we are together: just to be sure we have it right! The Husband is always ready and willing to be a pink drink guinea pig.


  1. Very impressed you still have the notes Aoife.

    1. I could probably do with decluttering but my hoarding comes in handy every now and again!

  2. Your handwritten notes were comprehensive! I do remember trying to clear up the sugar syrup from my kitchen counters for a week after that night :)

    1. That was a great night! Messy but great.....