It’s been hot out there and after an impressive, month long heat wave in the UK, we have decided to help you Londoners refresh yourselves with an all new cool cocktail list!
After all, you don’t need a drink that’s best served next to a well stoked fireplace.
Instead, you need a drink that transports you from Edgware High Street to a shaded veranda overlooking the ocean!
Sounds good, right?
Whether it’s the ultimate summertime classic, a stirred Negroni, or an ambitious concoction of bourbon with berries and basil, here are the latest cocktail recipes from Edgware Mascalzone that are perfect for those warm Summer months.
#1 APEROL SPRITZER
Our Aperol Spritzer recipe is one of the most popular beverages that we offer and Mascalzone probably one of the best Italian restaurants in Houston and London to sit back and enjoy one in true Italian style!
ORIGINS OF THE APEROL SPRITZER
The first recorded mention of the Aperol Spritz dates back to the early 19th Century. Originating from the Veneto region of Italy, it is believed that the Spritz was introduced to Italy by Austrian Soldiers and Merchants who were part of the then ruling Austrian Empire.
Major evolutions of the drink were to follow, most notably in the early 1900s, when the drink was made popular as an aperitif by Austrian noblewomen.
APEROL SPRITZ RECIPE
50:50 Aperol and Prosecco
Top Up with a Splash of Soda
Garnish with a slice of orange
Ingredients for an Aperol Spritz poured over ice in a lowball glass (or sometimes a martini glass or wine glass). Garnished with an orange or maybe an olive, just as they do in Venice!
The Negroni is one of the best known Italian cocktails. It usually consists of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. It is typically drank as an apéritif.
Brief History of the Negroni
True origins of the Negroni are unknown. One popular account is that was first mixed in Florence in 1919 at the Caffe Casoni, now called Cafe Roberto Cavalli.
According to the story an aristocrat, Count Camillo Negroni concocted the aperitif by asking the bartender Fosco Scarselli to fortify his Americano further by replacing the normal soda water with Gin. The orange garnish was also added to distinguish the Negroni from it’s similar looking predecessor.
The drink was an immediate success. So much so that the Negroni family founded the Negroni Distillerie in Treviso, Italy. They produced a ready made version of the drink sold under the name of Antico Negroni.
The drink reached the palate of legendary Hollywood actor Orson Welles prompting him to comment that the Negroni contains “bitters (that) are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”
1oz Tanqueray Gin
1oz Sweet Vermouth (rosso)
Ingredients pured over ice into a cocktail shaker. Stirred and strained into a rocks glass with ice. Garnished with an orange twist.
#3 ITALIAN MULE
The Italian Mule Cocktail is an ideal aperitif to sip on a hot Summer afternoon. The delicious sweet lemon, almond and ginger beer harmoniously work together to create a cocktail that is smooth, satisfying and unmistakably Italian!
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ITALIAN MULE
The Italian Mule is a fun and tasty twist on the classic Moscow Mule.
The story goes that the Moscow Mule was invented in Manhattan in the early 1940s at the Chatham Hotel. Apparently the head bartender mixed the drink out of a need to clear the bar’s cellar that was packed with unsalable goods such as Smirnoff Vodka and Ginger beer!
ITALIAN MULE RECIPE
1oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1oz Fernet Branca
0.5oz Conton Giner Liquer
0.5oz Sour Mix
Top up with Ginger Beer
Ingredients poured into a cocktail shaker and stirred. Strained into a rocks glass with ice. Garnished with a slice of orange.
The Mimosa is a glamorous aperitif usually reserved for a special event, such as a wedding, or for brunch. The Mimosa contains prosecco and orange juice. Traditionally it is served in a champagne flute.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIMOSA
Invention of the Mimosa is credited to Hotelier Frank Meier of the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Dating back to 1925 it is believed to have been named after the European name for the yellow flowers of Acacia dealbata.
50:50 Champagne and Orange Juice
Ingredients poured into a champagne flute.
#5 OLD FASHIONED
The Old Fashioned is made by mixing sugar and bitters and then adding Whiskey, with a final addition of citrus zest. Usually it is served in a short round glass, which has since come to be known as an Old Fashioned Glass after the drink.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OLD FASHIONED
Earliest mentions of the forebear to the Old Fashioned date back to the 1800s, with additional mentions of a bittered sling cocktail folowing in the 1830s. In 1833 a J.E. Alexander encountered versions of the Old Fashioned that contained Rum, Gin, Brandy along with water, bitters and sugar, plus a Nutmeg garnish.
By the mid 19th century other accounts included the addition of Orange Curacao or Absinthe among other liqueurs. However, the most in vogue version of the drink was made with Whiskey.
The first use of the name Old Fashioned for a Bourbon Whiskey Cocktail is credited to the Pendennis Club, founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. This recipe was believed to have been invented by a bartender in honour of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent local bourbon distiller. Pepper later took the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York.
Such a deep rooting in the city of Lousiville’s history prompted the Old Fashioned to be named the city’s official cocktail. During the first two weeks of June Louisville celebrates “Old Fashioned Fortnight” and National Bourbon Day, which includes Bourbon themed events and cocktail specials around the city.
OLD FASHIONED RECIPE
1 teaspoon (5g) sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
2/3 Dashes of Bitters
2oz Makers Mark Whiskey
Orange and Cherry Garnish
The Sugar is placed into an Old Fashioned Glass and saturated with bitters. Then we add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Glass is filled with ice cubes and Makers Mark Whiskey added. Garnished with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry.
#6 Eastern Standard
An Eastern Standard can be made with either Vodka or Gin. Both work well, but in the Mascalzone version we believe that the vodka really complements the cucumber and mint flavour profile in a more enjoyable way.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EASTERN STANDARD
The Eastern Standard is a late addition to the cocktail menu. Credited to Tom Kerr, the Soho House Bar Manager, this zesty and tasty beverage is a great tipple after a long hot summer’s day.
The Cocktail has since made its way to the US, via Soho House Chicago. It is best enjoyed whilst sitting outside during the Chicago Springtime, but can be enjoyed equally as much in North London!
EASTERN STANDARD RECIPE
2oz Grey Goose Vodka
Juice of 1 Lime
1oz Sugar Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
2/3 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
All ingredients shaken in a cocktail shaker and then double-strained into a cocktail glass. Garnished with a floating slice of cucumber.
#7 FRESH ROSEMARY LEMONTINI
The concept of a Vodka Martini has a certain allure….. think James Bond, “…..shaken not stirred.”
But the idea of essentially drinking straight liquor can put many people off. Cue the herby Rosemary Lemontini…..
This distinctive cocktail is one of the most refreshing on Mascalzone, Edgware’s cocktail list. Fragrant rosemary and tangy lemon come together perfectly as the garnish on this particular Martini does more than just make the glass pretty!
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROSEMARY LEMONTINI
Origins of the Rosemary Lemontini remain something of a mystery… if anyone has any information about this, feel free to fill me in in the comments section below.
We do know that the herb Rosemary was thought to be a love charm during the Middle Ages thanks to a close association with weddings. In modern times it has become more symbolic of remembrance.
We all know how versatile Rosemary can be in the kitchen. Lesser known is that it is also a killer ingredient for some delicious warm weather cocktails. In the Mascalzone version we combine it with Lemon to freshen and clear the palate before a delicious meal.
ROSEMARY LEMONTINI RECIPE
2 oz. Vodka
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Simple Syrup
2 Sprigs Rosemary
The first four ingredients are added to a cocktail shaker. The shaker is then filled with ice and shaken 20-30 times. Attention is paid to the amount of shaking because it releases the oils from the rosemary, cools the drink and dilutes the alcohol slightly.
The drink is then strained into a Martini glass garnished with lemon peel and a fresh sprig of rosemary.
#8 Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini is a cold, coffee infused cocktail made with Vodka, Espresso, Coffee Liqueur and Sugar Syrup. As you would expect as well as being highly refreshing this cocktail is a real pick-me-up!
Although not strictly a Martini, the Espresso Martini incorporates elements of the more traditional Vodka Martini.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ESPRESSO MARTINI
Various claims as to the origins of the Espresso Martini have been made. One of the most commonly heard accounts is that it was first put together by Dick Bradsell in the late 1980s at Freds Club in London. The story goes that the concoction was a response to a young lady who requested a drink that would, “Wake me up, and then fuck me up.”
Recipes for an Espresso Martini vary from source to source.
ESPRESSO MARTINI RECIPE
2oz Grey Goose vodka
Coffee Beans to Garnish
The Vodka, Kahlua and Espresso are poured together into a cocktail shaker. Then a Martini glass is filled with ice to chill. The contents of the Cocktail Shaker are then poured into the glass.
#9 AMARETTO SOUR
Sours are a traditional family of mixed drinks. Each sour containing a base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener which could be triple sec, sugar syrup, grenadine, or pineapple juice. Egg whites are another common ingredient.
The Amaretto Sour is one of the lesser known versions of a Sour, but with its unmistakeable Italian flavour it wouldn’t have been write to create a list of cocktails without including an Amaretto based beverage!
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMARETTO SOUR
Versions of the sour can be traced back to pre-prohibition USA. The Gin Sour was popular in the 1940s before morphing into variations such as the White Lady and the Sidecar.
The classic Pisco Sour is a variation that includes brandy and egg white, giving a foamy and creamy texture.
The Whiskey sour soon sprung up around this time, containing Bourbon and a dash of Egg white.
AMARETTO SOUR RECIPE
1.5oz Disaronno Amaretto
1oz Lemon Juice
2/3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
The ingredients are poured into a cocktail shaker containing crushed ice. The mixture is shaken well and strained into a sour glass. Finally, the drink is garnished with a slice of orange.
The Mojito is a traditional highball cocktail that originates from Cuba. It’s combination of sweet, citrus and mint flavours provide a fine blend with White Rum that is particularly refreshing in hot climates.
The Mojito is the most common highball drink and no summer drinks menu can be complete without it!
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MOJITO
First mentions of the Mojito remain obscure, although Havana, Cuba is most certainly where it originates.
One story relates to British explorer Sir Francis Drake.
The sailors would have known that the local South American Indians had remedies for various tropical illnesses. As the story goes a boarding party went ashore on Cuba and came back with a drink made up of aguardiente de caña (a form of rum made from sugar cane) mixed lime, sugarcane juice, and mint.
The lime juice alone would have been an antidote to the scurvy and dysentery. Rum became a staple ingredient when the drink was made widely available to sailors in the British Navy in the mid 17th century. The mint, lime and sugar would have helped disguise the harsh taste of the spirit.
Although not named a Mojito at the time, this is believed to be the earliest combination of these ingredients.
Juice from half a Lime
12 Fresh Mint Leaves
Top up of Soda
Garnish with Mint
Muddle together the Mint leaves with the sugar and lime juice. Rum is then added and topped up with soda water. Garnished with sprig of mint leaves.
So there you have, our list of 10 Great Cocktails to Refresh Yourself in London this Summer.
Author: Toto Mascalzone
Toto Mascalzone is event and marketing manager at Mascalzone restaurant. He is an Italian wine writer and educator, blogger, and food and wine enthusiast currently living in London. He is author of the wine and lifestyle blog, and was a co-editor, together with Italian wine writer a blog devoted to news from the world of Italian wine.