As self-isolation becomes the new normal, at least for now, you may have found yourself looking longingly at that shelf of miscellaneous booze leftover from yesteryear’s house parties. If you are stuck at home and looking for ways to shake up those left-behind-bottles, Bikal Ghale – Head of Black Sheep Restaurants’ Bar Programme and the man responsible for your cocktail dreams at Buenos Aires Polo Club – lends his creative mind to a series of home bar-approved recipes.
So you were left with your fancy friends’ botanicals and have been sipping on G&Ts on the reg during self-isolation. But there is more to gin than its place in a pair (no shade to G&Ts though, they are the real MVP). So here are recipes that anyone can enjoy, no matter your level of Tom Cruise bar skills and equipment. Insider tip? Consol jars and smoothie blender bottles make great DIY cocktail shakers, and those shot glasses you bought the last time you were on holiday are an easy switch for measurement jiggers.
Going all out on the DIY? Make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water in a pan and stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. You can also flavour simple syrup to your liking with fresh herbs like rosemary, citrus zest or spices like cinnamon.
A gin OG, (Zoom) party pleaser and bartender’s favourite, the Negroni has long been the cocktail used to measure proficiency behind the bar. But it is, ironically, one of the easiest to make at home. An old Italians proverb says you need to drink at least three Negronis before you truly understand and begin to enjoy them. Up to you whether those three are all on the same night or not…
- 30ml gin
- 30ml sweet vermouth
- 30ml Campari
- 1 orange zest wheel
Add all your liquid ingredients into a mixing glass and stir well for 30 seconds using a metal spoon. Then pour into a short glass over large ice cubes and garnish with the zest of the orange wheel (a fancy cocktail term for a slice of the orange skin you have just peeled). Twist the wheel above the glass to release full flavour and aroma and leave it in for added zing. And then? Get ready to take that Italian proverb for a test run.
Looking for an Instagram-worthy drink to have on your virtual catch ups with friends? Join the club. The Clover Club: a drink that predates the days of moonshine and speakeasies. First enjoyed in the dark-wood-paneled back rooms of a Philadelphia gentlemen’s club, it lost its lustre when masculinity declared war on pink drinks. However, in recent years, an affection for nostalgia and the bygone era of cocktail craftsmanship has brought it back into fashion.
- 3 raspberries
- half an egg white
- 60ml gin
- 30ml sugar syrup
- 30ml lemon juice
Add all the ingredients into the shaker. The first shake is without any ice – known as dry shaking. This creates a beautiful foam from the egg whites. Once the foam has formed, add some ice cubes and shake again for 30 seconds. Then double strain the mix into your glass. You can use any mesh strainer you have at home, provided the holes are small. If you have one, use a martini glass for extra impressions. Garnish with one raspberry (no judgement if you pop two in there) and get ready to toast to the ones that don’t judge a drink by its colour.
Gin & Grapefruit
Level up your G&Ts and make Snoop Dogg proud with this twist on gin and juice. G&Gs are light and refreshing, which makes them a sweet companion to Hong Kong summers. And they take less than two minutes to make.
- 60ml gin
- 30ml lime juice
- 90ml grapefruit soda
Add all three ingredients to a glass, with ice (fill to the top) and stir gently. And that’s it. Laid back, with your mind on your money and your money on your mind.