Star wars Cocktails – Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Continuing our celebration of Star Wars Day here are some cocktails for Episode VI…

EPISODE  VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI

Creatures in the desert, the Emperor’s new groove and the planet of the teddy bears…

Jabba Jumble

Jabba Jamboree Cocktail Episode VI Star Wars Drinks - FINALInspired by the drinks that R2-D2 serves on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge, this cocktail is easy to make up in large batches and pre-chill, making it particularly good to share with friends if you’re having a Star Wars viewing party today.

Recipe – Serves 6
30ml White Rum, 30ml Midori Melon Liqueur, 120ml Milk
Mix together in a bottle and chill in the fridge, pour into small shot glasses to serve.

Smooth and creamy, with a subtle, but pleasant hint of melon; it tastes a little like a melon milkshake. The rum comes through on the finish, along with a herbal chocolate note courtesy of the bitters.

Sanctuary Moon

Sanctury Moon Cocktail Episode VI Star Wars Drinks - FINALLeafy and herbaceous, and reflective of the forest, this is a variation on Jörg Meyer’s cocktail from 2008, the Basil Smash.

Recipe
50ml Herbal Gin (St George’s Terroir), 25ml Lemon Juice, 15ml Sugar Syrup, 100ml Soda Water

Bright, fresh scents of mint and rosemary on the nose. The flavour is light and dry, with a lovely note of green basil, rosemary, juniper, and the revitalising zing of fresh lemon juice. There’s even a tiny hint of fennel at the end of the finish. Rustic and refreshing.

I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This

I've Got a Bad Feeling About This.... Cocktail Episode VI Star Wars Drinks - FINALThis is perhaps the most famous phrase in the Galaxy, uttered by a variety of characters, humans and droid alike. The recipe for this may give a feeling of trepidation, but the results are delicious.

Recipe – Serves 2
15ml Vodka, 15ml Gin, 15ml White Rum, 15ml Dark Rum, 15ml Tequila, 15ml Bourbon, 15ml Triple Sec/Orange Liqueur, 15ml Apricot Liqueur, 15ml Sugar Syrup, 45ml Lemon Juice, 240ml Cola

This drink has a little over a double measure of alcohol per person, so enjoy sparingly.

Notes from the cola are always at the centre of this, but other flavours creep in and out, including: warm spice and brown sugar, a fruity vanilla note, and a hint of sweet raisin. The finish is dry and woody, with additional wisps of the flavours of cocoa and tequila smoke. Surprisingly smooth; this one may charm you.

Star Wars Episode V Cocktails – The Empire Strikes Back

Continuing our celebration of Star Wars Day with cocktails for Episode V…

EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Where we learn that you should NEVER come out of hyperspace early and things get a bit chilly, especially for Han Solo.

Hoth

Hoth Cocktail Episode V Star Wars Drinks - FINALHome of the Rebel base is the planet of snow and ice, Hoth. You’ll want a blanket whilst you drink this one.

Recipe
50ml Vodka, 25ml White Creme de Menthe (or a few drops of peppermint essence)
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir without ice, then carefully pour over a glass full of crushed ice.

Exceptionally – almost uncomfortably – cold, the vodka in this cocktail takes on a lovely viscosity, whilst the Creme de Menthe quickly makes itself known with striking notes of spearmint and peppermint. Pleasant, faint echos of the mint continue on the finish, along with hints of the underlying vodka.

Dagobah

Dagobah Cocktail Episode V Star Wars Drinks - FINALAnother planet that we see for the first time in Episode V is Dagobah, a swamp planet populated largely with indigenous wildlife. The film’s atmospheric scenes make it a great inspiration for cocktails.

Recipe
35ml Herbal Gin (we really like Shortcross Wild Clover Edition), 10ml Midori, 120ml Cloudy Apple Juice)
Line a glass with the cucumber peel and fill with ice, before adding the gin and juice (it works better if they have already been mixed). Add ice and carefully pour the Midori down the side of the glass to create the “Midori sink”.

This drink is smooth and fruity to start, with a hint of sweet melon giving the apple juice an unexpected, slightly alien flavour. The cucumber garnish adds aroma, as well as a wonderfully atmospheric feel that there’s foliage (or some kind of creeping vine) in your drink – this one really matches its on-screen scenes well. Finally, the gin contributes a delicious, herbal complexity as the apple notes fade, and this builds with every sip. This is definitely Mrs. B’s favourite from the cocktails for Episode V.

Cloud City

Cloud City Cocktail Episode V Star Wars Drinks - FINALThe gas giant of Bespin is home to the floating mining colony of Cloud City. In addition to its purpose as a base to mine Tibanna gas, it was also a tourist attraction; imagine sipping one of these in one of its casinos.

Recipe
60ml Dry Gin, 30ml Blue Curacao, 30ml Lemon Juice, 15ml Egg White
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

Exceptionally smooth, with the creamy froth from the egg white adding even more silkiness. The underlying cocktail has a welcome tartness to it, with an array of vibrant, revitalising citrus notes: first fresh orange, then more zesty lemon. A clean and refreshing drink.

Star Wars Episode IV Cocktails

Continuing our preparation for Star Wars day, here are some cocktails for Episode IV…

EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE

Where we learn you can command the deadliest weapon in the galaxy in your slippers and that exhaust vents do not make the best architectural features.

Bantha Milk

Bantha Milk Cocktail Episode IV Star Wars Drinks - FINALWhat is that weird blue stuff that Luke drinks with Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen? It’s bantha milk (banthas are those buffalo-like creatures that the Tusken Raiders/Sand People ride on); oh and it’s blue!

Recipe
35ml White Rum or Coconut Rum, 15ml Blue Curacao, 70ml milk (semi-skimmed)
Shake ingredients with ice, then pour into a tall, ice-filled glass. Top with whipped cream.

Understandably milky, but still lightweight in texture, this cocktail has a gentle sweetness at the start, boosted by a light note from the rum, which takes on a chocolate-like flavour (much like the chocolate filling you get sandwiched between biscuits like bourbons). The whipped cream adds a touch of luxury and a real dessert quality. The finish is clean and dry, ensuring that it continues to be easy to sip.

The Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing Cocktail Episode IV Star Wars Drinks - FINALPeter Cushing already had a great deal of experience with monsters by the time he played the ruthless Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin aboard the Death Star in Episode IV. This cocktail, in honour of the gentleman and the actor, is made from completely vegetarian ingredients (he was a patron of the Vegetarian Society).

Recipe
50ml Shortcross Dry Gin, 25ml Stone’s Ginger Wine
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Smooth, but complex, with notes of juniper, coriander, and a light note of black pepper that integrate well with herbal notes and a gentle warmth from the ginger wine. The flavour develops more as you sip, with the ginger building and lasting, and adding a delicate and not overwhelming sweetness. Equally, the finish builds with notes from the gin, including a greener, herbal juniper flavour. Sophisticated and delicious.

Binary Sunset

Binary Sunsets Cocktail Episode IV Star Wars Drinks - FINALThe Skywalker homeworld is in the Tatoo binary star system in the Outer Rim Territories. The system’s two suns – Tatoo I and Tatoo II – appear in a poignant scene during which one of Star Wars’ great musical themes is played: Binary Sunset’.

This bi-glass drink is an adaptation of the two Tequila Sunrise cocktails from Dale DeGroff’s excellent book, ‘The Essential Cocktail’.

Recipe
Tatoo I – 30ml Blanco Mezcal, 80ml Fresh Orange Juice, 15ml Grenadine
Combine ingredients in a glass with ice and then slowly pour in the grenadine.

Smoky mezcal on the nose, which immediately continues onto the palate, before a flash of sweet red berries, then fresh orange juice. The mezcal then returns, starting out strong – almost like charred meat in its level of smokiness – and gradually softening to a fruity smokiness, like chargrilled pineapple.

Tatoo II – 30ml Reposado Tequila, 30ml Fresh Lemon Juice, 20ml Simple Syrup, 5ml Creme de Cassis, 5ml Grenadine
Combine ingredients in a glass with ice and then slowly pour in the Creme de Cassis and Grenadine.

Sharp and revitalising. Tart lemon notes at the start are almost sherbet-like in texture – very reminiscent, actually, of a lemon sherbet sweet. The tequila then appears, gradually building on the finish, where it mingles with the lemon notes and more tangy notes, this time blackcurrant notes from the Creme de Cassis.

Star Wars Episode III Cocktails

Coming this week is 4th May or, in America, May 4th (as in “May the 4th Be With You”), which makes it Star Wars Day. As such, I am creating some companion cocktails for each of the seven films. Today, we’re watching/drinking to Episode III.

EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH

Things go from bad to worse for Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi, and Democracy in the Galaxy…

The Wookiee

The Wookie Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALIn Episode III, we are taken to the Wookiees’ homeworld of Kashyyyk. This cocktail was inspired by the mighty, feisty, and loyal Wookiees and their forest-covered planet.

Recipe
50ml Oat-infused Brandy*, 120ml Cloudy Apple Juice
Add to ingredients to an ice filled glass and stir. Garnish with three fanned slices of ginger root.
*Infuse 50ml of brandy with 1 tsp of oats and 1/2 tsp of grated ginger root for 5 mins. Strain before using.

Dry ginger on the nose, then a delicious, smooth, lightweight fruitiness: it has an almost tropical, but not too sweet flavour, reminiscent of coconut water. This fades to a more creamy, tart flavour of cloudy apple juice and a softness from the oats. The warmth of ginger and woody cinnamon increase on the finish, leaving me craving apple crumble.

The Emperor Palpatine

The Emperor Palpatine Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALFrom Senator to Supreme Chancellor to Emperor, Palpatine is the Francis Urquhart/Underwood of the Galaxy. This drink is a variation on the Emperor Cocktail (with Unicum) from the excellent Kindred Cocktails.

Recipe
30ml Campari, 20ml Red Vermouth, 5ml Orange Curacao
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

From the moment you bring the glass towards you, there is a strong nose of orange and sweet red fruit. The initial taste has a smooth, regal nature to it, full of silky flavours from the red vermouth, but the palate is quickly absorbed by a rich bitterness from the Campari, highlighted by hints of bitter orange. A perfect fit for this cocktail’s namesake.

The Mustafar

Mustaphar Cocktail Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALFor the final cocktail of Episode III, we take some inspiration from the fiery, Outer Rim planet of Mustafar.

Recipe
30ml Chilli Vodka (I think the St. George Spirits’ Green Chile Vodka is the best that money can buy), 10ml Smoked Vodka (optional), 60ml Carrot & Orange Juice
Add to an iced glass and gently stir. Garnish with chilli flakes and a small red chilli.

Rich, warm, genuine notes of chilli, swiftly followed by creamy, savoury notes of carrot and then the fresher, brighter notes of orange juice; neither of the latter are too strong, though, so it stays both savoury (and slightly reminiscent of soup) and refreshing. The chilli returns on the finish, along with a hint of charred smokiness. A delicious twist on a Bloody Mary that works extremely – if surprisingly – well.

Star Wars Episode II Cocktails

Coming this week is 4th May or, in America, May 4th (as in “May the 4th Be With You”), which makes it Star Wars Day. As such, I am creating some companion cocktails for each of the seven films. Today, we’re watching/drinking to Episode II.

Episode II – Attack of the Clones

In which we see: the beginnings of the stormtrooper, a galactic colosseum, and possibly the worst on-screen chemistry of any cinematic couple.

Jawa Juice

Jawa Juice Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALThe Jawas – those rapscallions from the desert planet, Tatooine – appear in a number of the Star Wars films, but with so much inspiration for drinks in Episode IV, I’ve fitted them in here.

Recipe
30ml Coffee vodka (or a 50/50 mix of cold coffee and vodka), 90ml Cola.
Add ingredients to an ice-filled glass and garnish with two honeydew melon balls.

Smooth, slightly sweet and herbal cola flavours are lifted by lovely notes of black coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla wafers. On the finish, the light fruitiness of the honeydew comes through, nicely complemented by the other flavours and making the drink a refreshing cooler.

Kamino Float

Kamino Float Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALKamino is the water planet from which the clone army originates. Unsurprisingly, given that its inspiration is a planet covered by sea water, this cocktail is blue and, sticking with the aquatic theme, it has a scoop of cream added to make it a “float”. *groan*

Recipe
25ml Vanilla Vodka, 15ml Blue Curacao, 100ml cream soda
Add the vodka and curacao to the glass, top up with cream soda and then add a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

The creamy vanilla of the cream soda is strong at the outset, then gradually fades to a zingy, refreshing note of sherbet-like citrus. Very tasty and the perfect colour to accompany the tranquil, then stormy scenes on Kamino.

Count Dooku

Count Dooku Cocktail Episode III Star Wars Drinks - FINALPortrayed by the wonderful Sir Christopher Lee, Count Dooku is a character that I don’t think we get to see enough of. This drink has a slightly red colour – a nod to Dooku’s lightsaber – and the Italian vermouth is a reflection of Lee’s Italian heritage.

Recipe
20ml Scotch whisky, 20ml Bourbon whiskey, 10ml Red Vermouth, 5ml Cherry Brandy
Add ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice; strain into a Martini glass.

This is a complex, herbal, and bitter cocktail that would make a great aperitif. It starts with dry notes of cola, red currants, and cherry, with a gradually increasing herbal bitterness somewhat reminiscent of a Negroni. After a few sips, however, it takes on more of a creamy, bourbon character. The finish is of smooth vanilla oak, but it nonetheless keeps its refreshing, bitter edge.

Star Wars Episode I Cocktails

One week from now is 4th May or, in America, May 4th (as in “May the 4th Be With You”), which makes it Star Wars Day. As such, I am creating some companion cocktails for each of the seven films.

EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE

In which a young Darth Vader races through the desert, some robots fight swamp creatures, and we see a double-bladed lightsaber.

Naboo Royale

Nabbo RoyaleThis cocktail takes its regal inspiration from the tipple enjoyed by both Queen Elizabeth and the late Queen Mother; gin & Dubonnet, which has been lengthened with Champagne in the style of a Kir Royale.

Recipe
20ml Gin, 20ml Dubonnet (or Red Vermouth), 75ml Champagne

This has a wonderfully savoury, herbal nose. Rich, warm berry notes are quickly followed by an unexpected, but pleasant note of basil, which develops into a more complex array of herbal flavours. This fades into more savoury notes from the gin – a little pine and tart berry – accompanied by the revitalising dryness of the Champagne.

Podracers’ Punch

Podracer PunchFor this cocktail, I wanted to reflect the colourful, exotic scenes of Tatooine’s podrace. As a punch, it’s also easy to scale up and share with a group of friends (or fellow spectators).

Recipe
30ml Rum (I used Golden Rum), 10ml Lime Juice, 10ml Sugar Syrup, 30ml Pineapple Syrup Mix ingredients in a shaker, pour into a glass with ice and top up with a splash (10ml) of ginger beer.

Thirst-quenching, light, and comforting, this has a great note of spice at the start, followed by notes from the rum and a hint of fruity cola. What’s particularly nice about it is that it’s neither too sweet, nor too bitter. The fresh sweetness from the pineapple juice comes through increasingly on the finish, along with richer notes from the rum and a light, warm spiciness.

Duel of the Fates

These three mini cocktails, inspired by Episode I’s lightsaber battle, work surprisingly well when drunk together – taking a sip from each highlights strengths and flavours in each.

Duelofthefates

Recipe
Blue – 10ml Blue Curacao, 60ml Champagne
Red – 10ml Campari (Grenadine or Cherry Brandy if you like something sweeter), 60ml Champagne
Green – 10ml Midori, 60ml Champagne

For each, add the liqueur to the glass and top up with Champagne.

The green cocktail is vibrant, bubbly, and full of fruit notes; there’s a flash of sweetness at the start, before a more confectionery flavour of melon gradually builds. The Champagne adds a lovely dryness to the finish, although the melon notes linger for a while in the background, taking on a more bubblegum type of character.

The green cocktail is complemented well by its blue counterpart, which is more dry and has an array of complex citrus notes, including hints of marmalade and dried fruit. Again, the wine adds a refreshing dryness to the finish.

In stark contrast to both of the above, the red cocktail is full of bitter, earthy notes, which nonetheless works surprisingly well alongside them. The light, fruity sweetness of the wine also comes through more strongly, balancing out those bitter Campari notes on the finish.

Check back tomorrow for Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Gin Distilling Workshop, Ginposium and Craft Distilling Debate

Gin Workshop at the Bermondsey Distillery

Wednesday 11th May 2016 – 10:00-15:30 with Dr. Anne Brock and David T Smith.

DTSAB1After its popularity during the last two London Cocktail Weeks, we are once again running our one-day workshop exploring designing and distilling your own gin. As well as instruction on the practical aspects of gin, the workshop will allow attendees to discuss the more nuanced aspects of bringing a spirit to market. Topics covered include: production methods, “making the cuts”, working with botanicals, and filtration.

10:00-15:30, Bermondsey Distillery, 55 Stanworth St, London SE1 3NY.

£234 (lunch included). Tickets available here.


Special Offer: Buy a ticket for the Gin Guild Ginposium and receive 20% off the ticket price for the Gin Workshop.

Places are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Wednesday 11th – Thursday 12th May promises to be a little hub of distilling events in London with the Distilling Workshop (11th), the Gin Guild Ginposium at the London Transport Museum (12th), and the Worshipful Company of Distillers’ Annual City Drinks Debate on Craft Distilling (12th).