Dark afternoons turn into dark evenings, it’s either cold and wet or cold and windy or just plain cold, and at this time of year summer evenings sat sipping cocktails are but a hazy memory. But fear not, there’s no reason to put that mixer to the back of the kitchen cupboard just yet.
To celebrate the release of their brilliant book Doctor’s Orders, our very good friends Chris Edwards & Dave Tregenza from London’s fantastic First Aid Box bar have rustled us up the perfect winter cocktails to take your cold-weather cocktail drinking to a whole new level.
You’ll be the toast of your friends during party season if you knock these delightful recipes together. Just remember to pre-book them a taxi, these babies pack a punch!
A highlander & hunted old fashioned.
50 ml (1. oz) American whisky
10 ml (1/3 oz) grappa
5 ml (1/5 oz) Salts of the Earth
cigar bitters 1
7.5 ml (. oz) sugar syrup
5 ml (1/5 oz) Birch juice
3 drops of Angostura bitters
2 drops of orange bitters
Add 100 ml (3. oz) of Grappa to 100 ml (3. oz) of base bitters (see page 22).
Add 2 Cuban cigars (your preference) and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks.
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
Stir until sufficiently chilled.
Single strain into the vintage crystal brandy balloon over chipped ice.
Then twist an orange peel over the drink.
Orange peel; dill (if desired)
Take a venison loin and, with a sharp knife, remove any sinew. Slice the loin into long 5-cm (2-inch) cylinders. Then finely chop a large sprig of dill and sprinkle all over the venison. Season with salt and black pepper.
Wrap each piece of meat tightly in cling film (plastic wrap) to make a sausage shape, then twist the ends of the cling film to tighten the roll. Put the venison in a fridge to firm up.
After 1 hour remove the meat from the fridge to be sliced for serving. Using a pestle and mortar, break pistachio nuts into a crumb.
Slice the venison thinly with a sharp knife. Sprinkle each slice with pistachio crumb and another touch of sea salt and cracked pepper. Pierce 1 slice of venison per drink with a bamboo skewer then garnish the top of the drink.
At the bar we serve this drink with venison carpaccio rolled in dill with pistachio crumb and fresh thyme. If you’d like to do so as well.
Chris & Dave:
“We came up with this old fashioned twist while unsuccessfully deer hunting in Scotland. we were more there for the whiskey and cigars anyway hence the drink coming to life. a strong mix of bourbon, tobacco grappa, birch & bitters accompanied by version carpaccio. Perfect for a winters evening by an open fire or after dinner.”
COFFEE + CIGARETTES
Combine all your vices into one drink.
25 ml (1 oz) Campari
15 ml (. oz) Picon aperitif.
15 ml (. oz) amaretto
25 ml (1 oz) espresso
2 dashes orange bitters
Add all the ingredients to a stirring glass filled with ice.
Stir the mix down until sufficiently chilled and single strain into a chilled frozen small Chicago rocks glass.
Twist orange peel over the drink and rim the glass with the peel before discarding.
Orange peel cross (if desired). To create an orange cross, use exemplary knife skills or use a cross-shaped cookie cutter.
To present this drink as we do in the bar, place the glass on a dry orange wheel on a cloche stand. Using a blowtorch, ignite the orange wheel creating dry orange smoke. Capture the smoke in the cloche and serve. If you are in a no-smoking zone, just leave it out.
Chris & Dave:
“A bittersweet negroni change up with campari, amaretto, picon & espresso all smoked under a closhe. A firm favourite and mainstay on the first aid box menu since we opened almost 2 years ago. Perfect for anytime of the day as a fogmatic, before or after dinner or just for boozehounds.”
An earthy cocktail that could have been lifted from a forager’s journal.
50 ml (2 oz) P.rigord blacktruffle-infused whisky (1)
10 ml (1/3 oz) Yellow Chartreuse
20 ml (. oz) field mushroom syrup (2)
20 ml (. oz) fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
Shave approximately 12 slices of P.rigord black truffle and add to a 700 ml (28 oz) bottle of whisky. Leave for at least 2 days to infuse. This will make enough for 14 drinks.
If making the syrup, add 200 g (7 oz) of field mushrooms and 300 g (17. oz) of caster sugar to a pan and heat slowly. Add 300 ml (17. oz) of water regularly then let simmer until you have a light mushroom-flavoured syrup.
Strain mushrooms through a sieve. The syrup will last in the fridge for a week and makes 25 drinks.
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake the mix. Then add ice to the shaker and shake hard. Single strain over ice into a rocks glass.
Dushi button and shaved P.rigord black truffle (if desired).
For a slightly less decadent drink, use thinned-out truffle honey instead of the field mushroom syrup.
Chris & Dave:
“Earthy & luxurious whiskey sour fix with mushrooms and truffle. An idea born through our love of cookery, disruptive flavours and savoury ingredients. It totally works and one for the adventurous drinker.”