Elderflower Collins

Last Christmas was the Christmas of Gin. I’ve just opened the bottle from my sister Louise, very nice Dockyard Gin. It came with a recipe for Elderflower Collins. Very good. 


  • 50ml gin
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml elderflower cordial
  • 10ml simple syrup, or to taste
  • Soda water, or sparkling water


  • In a tall glass, over ice, add the cordial, syrup, lemon juice and gin, and stir together. 
  • Top up with soda and garnish with lemon peel. 

Very refreshing. 


I found the end of a bottle of tequila in the back of the drinks store area. I’ve had it for a while. I had enough to make two small Margaritas. They were so delicious, I may have to buy more tequila. 

A note about tequila. It is a distillate of a drink made from the blue agave, which grows wild in Mexico. The process was bought to Mexico by the conquistadors, who set up a distillery in Tequila.  

Tequila comes in various types:

  • Silver or white tequila, which is clear white, and bottled within 60 days of being distilled.
  • Gold tequila (joven) is a caramel colour, and is much the same as silver tequila, with a little colouring and flavouring. 
  • Reposado tequila has been aged in oak barrels for up to a year, and is generally a lovely golden colour. 
  • Anejo tequila is aged for between one year and five years
  • Mezcal is not specifically a tequila, and may be made from a variety of agave plants. The agave is roasted before the fermentation, adding a smoky flavour. The ‘worm’ is a larva of an insect that lives in the agave plants. It is a sign of authenticity and luck. 


  • 2 Lime wedges
  • Table salt
  • 3 floz (75ml) silver tequila
  • 3 floz (75ml) fresh lime juice
  • 2 floz (50ml) Cointreau
  • Lots of ice. 


  • Rub a wedge of lime around the rims of 2 chilled cocktail or margarita glasses, and salt the rims. Fill the glasses with ice
  • Add the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until the mixture is very cold. 
  • Strain into the prepared glasses. Give the lime wedges a bit of a squeeze, and drop them into the margaritas. 

Classic Champagne Cocktail.

Lockdown holiday – I work in healthcare, so I have been out at work most days, but now I have a week off. I’m planning on lots of things, including using my exercise hour to clear litter from the verges around and about. I am also going to be trying out some cocktail recipes. This cocktail is delicious. 


  • 1 sugar cube, or a level teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 150ml Champagne
  • A twist of lemon peel


  • Put the sugar into the bottom of a chilled champagne glass and add the bitters. Let the bitters soak into the sugar
  • Pour in the champagne carefully; it will fizz up a lot
  • Run the lemon peel around the rim of the glass and then drop it in. 

Buckfast with Grapefruit Juice – the Perfect Serve

Another attempt to find a way to drink the Buckfast. This was pleasant. I got it from the Buckfast website. I added more grapefruit juice than they suggested. The picture on the website looks a lovely juicy orange, whereas the real thing is a dark brown.


  • 50ml Buckfast
  • 50ml pink grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Soda water


  • Put a lot of ice in a highball glass, pour over the ingredients in the order listed, stir and serve.

Buckfast Negroni

In the interests of investigation and fearless gastronomy, once upon a time we purchased a small bottle of Buckfast at the co-op in Broadford. It has been languishing in our kitchen ever since. Neither of us has developed a taste for it at all, but every now and again we try it out as an ingredient. It works as part of a cocktail.


  • 25ml London dry gin
  • 25ml Buckfast
  • 25ml Campari
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters


  • Put about six cubes of ice in a mixing glass, and pour the ingredients over the ice.
  • Stir for around 2 minutes, to chill the ingredients and dilute them with melted ice.
  • Serve in a small glass over ice.

Hebridean Bees Knees

This is a lovely and easy cocktail. Sorry for skipping the cocktail recipe last weekend; I was working.


  • 20ml heather honey syrup (see below for directions)
  • 50ml Harris Gin
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 1 cocktail shaker with ice


  • Melt heather honey in water – make a 50/50 mix, and slowly heat and stir until the honey is dissolved. Chill the mixture.
  • Put a good deal of ice in the cocktail shaker, and put your glass in the fridge to chill.
  • Measure the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup into the shaker and shake the living whatnots out of it for a couple of minutes, so that the mixture is ice cold and looks smooth and opaque.
  • Serve in a cold cold glass. It is quite strong so be careful.

Bramble cocktail

I keep thinking it would be nice to have a cocktail each weekend, try out a new recipe. It has taken me quite a long time to get round to it. I had some blackberries in the freezer, picked last autumn, so I made this.


  • 4 blackberries
  • 1 level teaspoon of caster sugar
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 1/2 floz gin
  • 1/2 floz creme de mure (blackberry liqueur)
  • Soda water (or any carbonated water e.g. from the sodastream, to avoid plastic)


  • In the bottom of a tall glass, mix the sugar and lime juice and add the blackberries
  • Fill the glass with ice, and add the gin and creme de mure.
  • Top up with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a slice of lime.

I have some Tanqueray gin flavoured with lime, so I might try that next time.