Recipe: Classic Cocktails by Caretaker

Classics are the order of the day at Britomart’s own sumptuous cocktail lounge.

THE MARTINEZ

The Martinez, which is said to be derived from a Manhattan but preceded the Martini, dates back to 1884 in a book called The Modern Bartender. Like many drinks served at Caretaker, the Martinez is aromatic and strong, but it’s also sweet. Most bartenders have a slightly different formula for making one. Here, sweet vermouth gives a rounder, less bitter finish and orange bitters adds complexity.

1 1/4 oz gin
1 1/4 oz of sweet vermouth
1 bar spoon of maraschino liqueur
2 dash orange bitters

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a coup or martini glass.

EL GUAPO

Could this be the perfect breakfast cocktail? Bartender Lisa Kempen thinks so. In fact, she says, much like its cousin, the Bloody Mary, an El Guapo is a great hair-of-the-dog hangover cure. Bright tequila, lime and cucumber are juicy and refreshing, the hot sauce salt and pepper offer spice and savouriness while the sugar takes the edge off the booze – an icy, balanced drink and just the thing to take the edge off a seedy morning.

Sugar
3 cucumbers cut into chunks
5 lime chunks
1 1/2 oz tequila
3/4 oz sugar syrup
Cholula hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper
Extra cucumber to garnish

Muddle lime chunks, sugar and cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.

Add tequila, sugar syrup, hot sauce, and cracked ice. Shake briefly.

Pour the contents of the shaker into a tumbler. Add salt and pepper to taste.

QUEENS PARK SWIZZLE 

This refreshing highball was created at the Queen’s Park Hotel in Trinidad, Spain and dates to around the time the building opened in 1895. The swizzle is drier and mintier than its sister the mojito, with bittering agents that add astringency and complexity without disguising the delicate white rum. With easy-to-find ingredients, this long drink is built over ice then garnished with lime and a little umbrella for a far away feeling.

3 dashes angostura bitters
2 dashes peychaud bitters
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 sugar cube
A good handful of mint
1 oz lime juice
3/4 oz sugar syrup

Put mint, lime, sugar syrup and a sugar cube in a cocktail shaker and press the sugar cube and mint lightly using a muddler.

Add the rum.

Add a few chips of crushed ice to the shaker, seal both tins, and whip.

Dump ingredients into a glass and then add crushed ice nearly to the top.

Add the bitters and place a spoon or swizzle stick into the ice and swizzle (it’s a technique where the bartender holds a swizzle stick between the palms of their hands and rubs them together causing the stick to turn and mix the drink) then top with more crushed ice.

Photography by Josh Griggs