Cocktail advice from the pros

Cocktails are such a lovely way to welcome your guests and make a great first impression. Not only are they delicious, but if you choose 1 or 2 of your favourites, it really adds an extra personal touch to your wedding reception or party. The right cocktail can also really compliment your product launch or brand event; a refreshing cucumber and mint cooler would be perfect for the launch of a new wellness spa.

We love experimenting with cocktails here at L27, so we have interviewed an expert in mixology, Fred from Cock&Tail, to discover the latest cocktail trends, uncover his favourites and learn some tricks of the trade!

  Fred Campbell -   Director of Cock & Tail

Fred Campbell - Director of Cock & Tail

Hey Fred! How did you get started in the cocktail business?

I’ve always grown up surrounded by alcohol with my dad being a wine merchant so we always had a lot of bottles kicking around. I was always interested in the weird looking dusty bottles at the back of the drinks cupboard and got tasting them as soon as I was allowed! I began working in pubs at 15 and I started behind the bar literally as soon as I turned 18! I then went on a week long cocktail course at 19 and it has become a hobby/ obsession ever since.

What has been your most exciting event so far?

Pretty much all the events are exciting actually and we’ve done lots of amazing weddings and parties in some stunning locations. I think London Fashion Week is probably my most exciting time for events just because it’s an amazing buzz and I also quite fancied getting into the Fashion World somehow when I was younger. Now I feel part of it!

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What has been 2017’s most popular drink?

I think it has to be the negroni! It’s one of those cocktails that the more you drink the more you love it so it’s cool that more and more people are getting into them. It also allows for more geeky discussions about weird Italian vermouth and amaro.

How do you come up with new ideas for your cocktail menus?

Lots of reading online blogs and keeping up to date with what’s going on in the cocktail scene. America have some awesome blogs that go really in depth and are always great for ideas. Also old cocktail books are amazing, reading old recipes and then experimenting and tweaking them is a lot of fun. There were some really weird recipes back in the day! Then obviously going out to cocktail bars is the best way to research!

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For winter weddings, what drinks would you recommend to get the party started?

I think an espresso martini is a must, it’s almost become it’s own course at weddings these days. We do ours with salted caramel popcorn which people seem to love! Then I’d suggest definitely having some form of margarita and properly made Whisky Sours. That’s a good wedding combo!

Where is your favourite place to enjoy a beverage in the colder months?

Living in Hackney there are a lot of bars in East London that I’d recommend and are really cosy when it gets colder. Satan’s Whiskers by Bethnal Green is probably my favourite. Otherwise you can’t beat a pint of ale in a country pub next to the fire!

With Christmas coming up, what will be your festive tipple of choice?

I think it has to be a negroni but Winter version! You can switch out the Rosso vermouth with a vermouth called Antica Formula. It’s got a really wintery taste with spices and vanilla and is delicious! Otherwise this Christmas I’m going to go for whisky sours - as they feel like a really indulgent cocktail!

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Can you share a delicious cocktail for us to make at home?

This delicious gin cocktail with raspberries is perfect to make for friends at Christmas.

Ingredients:

  • 35ml Gin
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 15ml Cloudy Apple
  • 15ml Sugar Syrup
  • 5ml Elderflower
  • Dash egg white
  • Handful fresh raspberries
  • Garnish: Sprig of redcurrants
  • Ice

Method:

  • Add all ingredients (except garnish and ice) to a cocktail shaker
  • Shake vigorously for 30 seconds (this is called a dry shake)
  • Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for another 30 seconds
  • Strain liquid from shaker into martini glass
  • Garnish glass with redcurrants

There you have it! For parties in and around London, get in touch with Fred for some delicious, imaginative cocktails and a really great, fun atmosphere.

www.cockandtailbars.co.uk | fred@cockandtailbars.co.uk+44 (0) 20 3637 8557 | @cockandtailbars

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