• Babington House Cocktails with Tom and Henry

    Tom and Henry recently joined the team at Babington House for a few days of workshops.
    They met Sam Kershaw from The Electric in London, who wowed the guests with his cocktail making skills. It was a perfect lesson after a day of making bread and BBQ skills from Tom and Henry.
    We wanted to share the cocktails with you from the event, and to thank Sam for a great mixing lesson.
    Perfect drinks for the summer evening and festival times…

    Here are the recipes for making the cocktails, and also a few great pieces of advice from Sam himself to get you all started:

    ( Tom's Favourite) Grey Goose Le Fizz
    35ml Grey Goose
    25ml St Germain Elderflower liqueur
    70ml Soda Water
    Shake with ice/strain into coupe/top with soda.

    Grey Goose Martini
    70ml Grey Goose
    10/15ml Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
    Stir over ice, strain into a chilled stemmed glass. Garnish with lemon peel/olives/both.

    ( Henry's Favourite) Electric Diner Bloody Mary
    50ml Grey Goose Le Citron
    50ml Tomato Juice
    25ml Tomato Shrub*
    15ml Spice Mix**
    10ml Fresh Lemon
    10ml Pickle Brine
    Throw over ice, twice, and strain into a highball glass with a salt and pepper rim. Garnish with olives, lemon and heaped pickles.

    Lunch time punches – recipes for individual servings. Quite boozy, I'd say multiply by 5 to serve 8 or 10, depending on the size of the serving vessel:
    L'Orange Punch
    50ml Grey Goose L'Orange
    50ml Pinot Noir or decent light wine
    15ml Creme de Mure
    50ml Cranberry
    Pop all into a wine glass with lots of hard cold frozen ice cubes. Garnish with a straw, an orange slice and a mint sprig.

    Le Poire Sangaree
    50ml Grey Goose Le Poire
    75ml Lillet Blanc
    25ml Creme de Peche
    10ml Fresh Lemon
    50ml Tonic Water
    Pop all into a jug or bowl with big cubes of ice. Enliven with tonic and garnish with slices of fresh pear and citrus fruit.

    Punch formula is strong, sweet, sour, bitter. Add these elements to every punch you make and you can always rectify an off-balance. Too tart add more sugar, though you won't want it too sweet. Add wine where necessary for flavour, length, acidity. Or go all out booze, depending on the mood. As they say, candy is dandy, but liquor's quicker!!

    *Tomato Shrub
    Place 10 plum tomatoes in a bowl and cover with caster sugar. Massage the toms to break the skins and get all the sugar and tomato juice involved. Re-cover with caster sugar. Clingfilm and leave in a cool place for 3 days. Pass all through a fine sieve and add 10ml Red Wine vinegar (I use Aspalls) to each 100ml of syrup. Bottle and refrigerate.

    **Spice Mix. Very handy to have as a base for bloody marys and for adding spice to other dishes
    470ml Worcestershire sauce
    30ml Tobasco
    2 spoons Maldon Sea Salt
    2 spoons freshly ground black pepper
    Blend all together as it will keep for a while in the fridge.

    For a great Virgin Mary mix, add 25ml Spice Mix and 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice to 120ml of Tomato Juice (or 75ml Tomato Juice and 50ml Tomato Shrub) to 50ml (or an egg cup) of Good Vodka = Grey Goose, Chase, or Sipsmith
    With Tequila – Blanco is best – makes a Bloody Maria
    With gin – Tanqueray is my pick – a Red Snapper
    With clamato juice -a Bloody Ceasar

    So here are a few points of note to help you you create the very best cocktails.
    For fancy equipment use Cocktail Kingdom (, for shakers, hawthorne & julep strainers; fine strainers and measures (or just stick to egg cups) and Japanese style Trident forked bar spoons.  For the hand held juice press, head to John Lewis for a great one that costs about £10. Remember, cut through the fruit, not lengthways, and juice fresh on the spot.

    Booze wise.  Supermarkets are good these days for quality at a good price, but buy good and do a little research beforehand. Buy rubbish and you'll be playing second fiddle to bad flavour from the start. For specialty spirits you can't you wrong with Master of Malt (pretty pricey though) or Whisky Exchange (the best). Google them both, you will get what Sam means.

    Keep fresh.Jams and marmalades are good once properly dissolved. Fresh fruit, pressed juices.

    Make stuff at home. Sugar syrups are easy. Equal parts caster or demerara dissolved into the same of boiling water. You can then flavour with vanilla, fresh raspberries on caster or cinnamon. Honey syrup is the same proportions. Keep them chilled and you have a great sweetener for toddies and old fashioneds, etc.

    Ice is king. And ice keeps ice nice so use lots of it. The most UNDERRATED ingredient by a country mile. Using more ice keeps the other ice intact, it means you can TASTE what you are drinking without it being drowned out. If you are after awesome ice moulds, check out for silicone block and cube moulds.

    Sam  also recommends the following cocktail books- 
    The Joy of Mixology, by Gary Regan
    A Spiritous Journey, by Jared Brown and Anastasia Miller
    Jigger, Beaker and Glass, by Charles H Baker
    PDT Cocktail book, by Jim Meehan

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