If you're an avid cocktail lover then you will understand the importance of a good old classic. Take a look at our classic cocktail map to find out where the finest classic cocktail bars are located throughout the UK, we are talking quirky bars with a vintage style venue. After all, we order a classic cocktail not only for taste but for the overall experience too.
When you have a drink named after you, you know you’re something special…
There are drinkers and then there are cocktail drinkers. The former achieve notoriety through excess boozing and hell-raising – your George Best and Gazza types. The latter are a different, elegant breed, as cool as the ice chinking in their crystal.
Every hour would be happy, spent with these timeless icons…
Heaven with 007 – James Bond
You might be tempted to hop into his car, or even his bed, but one thing you wouldn’t want to share is the spy’s liver.
Researchers on the British Medical Journal worked out from the novels that he downs around 92 units a week, which is four times the recommended limit for men.
He’s been seen to sup Dom Perignon champagne and Heineken lager, but 007 is, of course, know for his attachment to the martini, ‘shaken, not stirred.’
A multi-million deal with Belvedere Vodka puts the classic cocktail at the centre of the action in Spectre, the latest Bond movie.
‘Bond’s cool attitude and stylish sophistication have always gone hand in hand with his choice of vodka martini,’ a Sony Pictures spokesman says.
007 never specifies the exact recipe, but 80ml of vodka, a capful of white vermouth and a twist of lemon would do the trick.
Purists claim that the classic martini should actually be stirred, as shaking clouds the drink, but who’s going to argue with a super-spy with 352 kills to his name?
Cosmopolitan Queen - Carrie Bradshaw
In TV’s Sex And The City, style maker Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) was rarely seen without a lust-worthy pair of heels and an equally vertiginous Cosmopolitan cocktail.
Some say the drink is based on the Harpoon, which was created to promote Ocean Spray juice in the 1960s, though others claim its origins lie in the 1934 book Pioneers of Mixing Gin at Elite Bars.
One of the most popular drinks of the past 20 years, when made properly, the Cosmopolitan deserves its reputation as a classic (rather like Carrie herself).
Shake 11/2 shots of citrus vodka with ice, plus 1/2 shot Cointreau, 3/4 shot cranberry juice, 1/2 shot fresh lime juice and 2 dashes of orange bitters. Strain into a conical cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of orange zest.
Never surrender your glass – Sir Winston Churchill
It’s said that on arrival at the White House, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister told the butler: ‘I must have a tumbler of sherry in my room before breakfast, a couple of glasses of Scotch and soda before lunch, and Champagne and brandy before I go to sleep.’
He liked his martinis very, very dry. Instead of adding vermouth to the gin, he’d nod respectfully in the direction of France to acknowledge its absence.
To try the Churchill Martini - the tipple that vanquished Hitler - pour 3 fluid ounces of Plymouth gin over ice. Stir, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green olive.
For whom the bar tolls…Ernest Hemingway
There is a bar in Paris with a plaque that reads: ‘Hemingway did not drink here.’
The great writer’s life was an alcohol-fuelled quest. ‘I drink to make other people more interesting,’ he said.
[tweet_box]Unlike today’s lightweights who can barely lift the lid of their laptop after a night on the tiles, Hemingway’s hangovers forged some of the finest novels of his generation.[/tweet_box]
He also placed his favourite cocktail bars on the drinkers’ map, including Harry’s Bar in Venice, Paris’ La Closerie Des Lilas and El Floridita in Cuba.
It was here that the Papa Doble daiquiri was invented for him, in honour of his customary double measure.
Shake 11/2 fl oz of rum, 1/2 fl oz fresh lime juice, 3/4 fl oz Maraschino liqueur and 1 fl oz grapefruit juice with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Swing as you’re swigging - Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack
Sharp dressing and high rolling, Frank’s band would sip martinis and Jack Daniels on stage. The glamorous image they promoted around alcohol would have today’s nanny-state health advisers reaching for a kale smoothie to steady the nerves.
‘I feel sorry for those that don’t drink,’ Frank Sinatra said. ‘When they wake up, that’s as good as they feel all day.’
Dean Martin added: ‘If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.’
Bar tender Pepe Ruiz invented the Flame of Love martini in Dean Martin’s name: 2 1/2 fl oz Absolut vodka with 1 tbsp fino sherry, stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with orange zest.
Mad Men and Women – Don and Betty Draper
All-American beauty Betty (actress January Jones) knows her way around a mint julep. In Series One of Mad Men, she makes a tray for the adults attending her daughter Sally’s birthday party. Beats warm orange squash and a curly ham sandwich.
The mint and bourbon concoction was born in the south of the USA, where it was traditionally served in silver cups.
Her one-time husband Don (Jon Hamm) makes excessive drinking an art form. While his tastes are by no means exclusive, an Old Fashioned is the adman’s classic cocktail of choice.
It’s an appropriately bittersweet mixture of whiskey, bitters and sugar, served with a strip of orange or lemon peel. In Series Three, Dom hops over an untended bar to whip up an Old Fashioned for hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.
To recreate the cocktail era in your very own home, take a look at our cocktail cabinet, serving table, drink trolleys and cocktail serving ware.