Fed up of the same old drinks, but intimidated by the choice and complexity of London’s bar menus? Allow Hix Soho bar manager Dan Whiteside to recommend your new favourite cocktail (click the wheel to see a larger version).
Pre dinner aperitif
For this, you want something that will really stimulate the appetite. From working in Italy I can recommend a properly made Aperol spritz. A healthy measure of Aperol is served in a large wine glass filled with ice, then topped with prosecco, a dash of soda and a nice large wedge of orange.
Something like our Hix creation, Twitter and Bisted. We take Campari, pedro ximénez sweet sherry, and pink grapefruit, then top it all with sparkling wine.
It has to be a shot. How about a quality London dry gin? Yes, really, a shot of gin. I love Chase or Sipsmith, from Hammersmith.
Long and strong
You can’t go wrong with a zombie. It’s a blend of golden and overproof rums, bitters, sea buckthorn juice and citrus. Served on fire, obviously. Nothing says ‘party’ like fire.
I would recommend a nice single malt or rye. My current favourites are Balblair 1989, and Hudson rye from New York.
Or a flip. It’s a classic class of drink traditionally made with beer, rum, sugar and eggs – here at Hix we make it with The Macallan ten-year-old, raspberry liqueur, porter reduction and a Clarence Court egg.
Tequila! It’s not just for sunrises. Preferably served in a margarita, simply shaken with fresh lime juice and orange curacao.
Popular at Mark’s Bar, our basement cocktail den at Hix, is also the trusty espresso martini, made with vodka, straight espresso and coffee liqueur.
Cold-weather drinking shouldn’t start and end with the usual sweet and spicy mulled wines. Try something like a warm punch, a blend of rum, cognac, lemon peel, demerara sugar, nutmeg and boiling water.
At Hix we make something a bit more complex but equally satisfying in the winter months – for our Atholl Brose, we cook parsnip-infused Monkey Shoulder blended malt with with Bitter Truth pimento dram, oatmeal brose, cream and heather honey. It’s then poured over ice.
Find more cocktail fun this London Cocktail Week.