Cocktail special

When it comes to ingredients, fruits, herbs and spices are commonplace behind the bar. But too many or too few and their use is pretty pointless.

“The use of herbs and spices in drinks depends on the establishment,” according to Olsson. For example, if you’re running the bar in an Asian restaurant, then spicy influences are likely to be from that area.

Dedianko likes her fruit to be fresh or for a product to have once lived life as a fruit – such as real fruit purees. 

She also says that mixers can influence a drink. “Take tonic,” she says. “Mediterranean tonic is much more suited to vodka and Indian tonic to gin. Mediterranean tonic is not as bitter so it doesn’t mask the flavour profile of the vodka.”

Dedianko’s fresh, uncomplicated Belvedere Fresca cocktail contains: lemon thyme sherbert, fresh lemon, Mediterranean tonic and Belvedere vodka. 

Although I hesitate to use the ‘T’ word, there has been a trend for reinventing the classics. This is particularly pertinent for newish brands or brands that don’t sit in the vodka/gin/brandy/whisky/rum camps – cue Agwa de Bolivia, a coca leaf liqueur. 

Inspired by a classic

Jon Kirby, manager of Socio Rehab/Keko MoKu in Manchester, England, has created a Champagne Supernova cocktail, inspired by a classic. 

He says: “My original inspiration came from the White Lady. I was sat in the bar one day and was looking at the Agwa and the St Germain and just thought I’d try a twist on the white lady with them, taking the dry classic and introducing a couple of interesting flavours: one being sweet and fruity; the other slightly sweet and vegetal in flavour. 

“I softened it up with the use of some egg and topped with prosecco. I believe you get the balance of dryness and sweetness which is pretty perfect.”