In previous blogs we’ve looked at how to brighten up your basic G&T, and then we followed up by looking at some gin based cocktails.

Here we look at some of our favourite non-gin based cocktails. Try some out, and please leave any comments in the section below. Also please pass on any you think I should know about.


  • 40 ml tequila (we like Tequila Reposado)
  • 20 ml cointreau
  • 40 ml lime juice
  • 10 ml sugar syrup
  • chopped ice


  • With chilled martini glass, rub the rim with a lime wedge and dip rim into medium fine Himalayan rock salt, or salt of choice
  • Shake all ingredients in Boston Shaker till really cold and strain into martini glass

Classic margarita


  • 50 ml Reposado Tequila
  • 50 ml cranberry juice
  • 25 ml fresh lime juice
  • 20 ml sugar syrup


  • Shake and strain into a rocks/old fashioned glass
  • Garnish with a mint sprig
  • Can make in a large jug for parties

This cocktail is rapidly turning into a crowd favourite; the tequila shines through just enough to give it real interest.



  • 30 ml reposado tequila
  • 30 ml aperol
  • 30 ml vermouth rossoMETHOD
  • Build over lots of ice in a rocks/old fashioned glass
  • Stir with a bar spoon till cold
  • Garnish with orange twist
  • Can top with soda if desired

Introduced to us at a tequila and food pairing at the quirky Tequila Mockingbird restaurant in Sydney’s Paddington. Much smoother and easier to drink than the regular negroni, so beware.


  • 45 ml vodka
  • half a large lime
  • top up with ginger beer


  • Cut the lime into 8 wedges and muddle in a highball glass
  • Add the ice, vodka and top up with ginger beer
  • Stir and serve


  • 30 Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 30 ml white rum
  • 20 ml lime juice
  • 10 ml sugar syrup
  • 6 mint leaves


  • In a highball glass muddle sugar syrup and mint leaves, then add ice and other ingredients.
  • Top up with club soda.
  • Can back off on the lime juice if it’s too sharp.


  • 35 ml white rum
  • 20 ml Cointreau
  • 20 ml lime juice
  • 15 ml pomegranate concentrate
  • 6 mint leaves


  • in a higball glass gently bruise the mint leaves with a muddler
  • add ice and rest of the ingredients
  • stir with a bar spoon till all is well mixed and cold
  • top up with soda water and gently stir

This is an alternative to the Pama Mojito when Pama Liquour is too expensive or too hard to find. Pomegranate concentrate is readily available and inexpensive.

Pomegranate Mojito


VLM (Vodka Lime Martini)

  • 10 ml extra dry vermouth
  • 50 ml Absolut vodka
  • 10 ml Cointreau
  • lime slices


  • Swirl the vermouth to coat the glass and leave in
  • Add the vodka and Cointreau
  • Squeeze the lime slices and drop in
  • Swirl gently to mix

Can be made in a Boston Shaker, or just in a boston glass

I came up with this one myself some time back, but since then have seen many similar recipes. It’s a wonderful drink.


  • 60 ml vodka
  • half a lime (or whole smaller lime)
  • 5 ml sugar syrup


  • Cut the lime into eights and add to a rocks glass with the sugar syrup
  • Muddle the lime and SS until you get plenty of juice
  • Fill remainder of glass with ice and add the vodka
  • Stir carefully with a bar spoon until vodka and lime is blended
  • Heap on more ice till glass is full



As for CAIPIROSKA but use White Rum


  • 60 ml rye (or bourbon) whisky
  • 20 ml sweet vermouth
  • 2/3 dashes Angostura Bitters, or bitters of your choice


  • In a mixing glass with ice, pour in the bourbon and vermouth and stir down until very cold
  • Add the bitters and stir gently
  • Strain into a cocktail or martini glass
  • Another option is to add the bitters now
  • Garnish with a twist of orange


It’s said that the the Manhattan was the most famous cocktail in the world shortly after it was invented in New York City’s Manhattan Club, some time around 1880. And there are many other stories as to its origin. No matter, it has remained a world favourite and, like great music and great art, the reason is because it is timeless and the people love it.



  • 40 ml vodka
  • 20 ml Kahlua
  • Coca Cola


  • Build in an ice filled highball glass
  • Top up with Coca Cola
  • Garnish with lemon or lime


  • 30ml Kahlua
  • 45ml vodka
  • 60ml chilled espresso coffee
  • 10ml simple syrup

Shake all ingredients in a Boston shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass.


  • 40 ml Reposado Tequila (can use silver)
  • 20 ml Cointreau
  • 5 ml fresh lime juice
  • 30 ml cranberry juice


  • Shake and strain into martini glass
  • Garnish with orange twist
  • Easy to make in a large jug for parties


  • 35 ml vodka
  • 20 ml cointreau
  • 35 ml cranberry juice
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice


  • Shake over lots of ice into a chilled highball glass
  • Can be easily made in a large jug for parties


  • 45 ml Reposado Tequila
  • 30 ml fresh white grapefruit juice
  • 10 ml Lillet Blanc (could sub with extra dry vermouth)
  • 10 ml Bols White Cacao


  • Add all ingredients to a BS and shake vigorously with ice till cold
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass
  • Garnish with grapefruit twist

This looks very interesting, even just for the name, but till we can find the white grapefruit juice we will not know.


  • 40 ml white rum
  • 20 ml orange curacao (use blue for a My Blue Tai, or can use use cointreau)
  • 2.5 ml orgeat syrup (almond)
  • 25 ml lime juice
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • 20 ml dark rum
  • (10 ml sugar syrup if needs sweetening)


  • Mix all ingredients except dark rum in cocktail shaker, strain over ice.
  • Use a rocks/old fashioned glass, float dark rum on top, garnish with maraschino cherry, pineapple slice etc.

There are more methods for Mai Tai than there are pineapples in Hawaii. Pineapple makes it way too sweet for our liking so suggest you leave it out.


  • 30 ml cognac
  • 30 ml white rum
  • 30 ml Cointreau
  • 30 ml lemon juice


  • Shake the ingredients together in a shaker with lots of ice
  • Strain into a cocktail or martini glass
  • Garnish with a lemon slice

Said to have been invented in Harry’s Bar in Paris during the prohibition years. It is named such for good reason; if you have just two of these that’s where you will end up.


  • 50 ml vodka
  • 25/30 ml lychee juice
  • splash of vermouth (white)
  • 2 lychees for garnish


  • Shake with ice in a BS and pour into a chilled martini glass
  • Can be easily made in a large jug for parties



  • 30 ml Kahlua
  • 30 ml Vodka
  • 45 ml Baileys Irish Cream


  • Use lots of ice in a rocks/old fashioned glass
  • Can add ice cream and save on dessert


  • 5 ml sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura or Fee Brothers bitters
  • 60 ml bourbon (can also use Irish, Scotch, dark rum)


  • Place ice (one large ice block works well), SS, bitters, then the whisky/bourbon in a rocks/old fashioned glass
  • Orange peel to garnish, express some oil from the orange peel, then drop it in the glass.

Old fashioned


  • Equal parts Aperol and Prosecco
  • One part soda water if desired
  • Serve in a rosé glass


  • 50 ml Aperol
  • Two lime wedges
  • Top up with soda water
  • Serve in highball glass


  • Same as a MANHATTAN but using SCOTCH whisky.
  • Use the best SCOTCH you can afford


  • 45 ml bourbon
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth
  • 30 ml campari
  • orange peel


  • Add all the ingredients to a Boston glass with ice.
  • Stir with a bar spoon till very cold,
  • Strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with an orange twist


Loosely translated, apparently a boulevardier is a man-about-town. It’s said the cocktail by the same name was created by Erskine Gwynne, the publisher of “Boulevardier,” a magazine for expats living in Paris in the 1920s. It’s quite simply a Negroni with Bourbon substituted for Gin, although we are using a higher percentage of Bourbon than we would gin.


  • 45 ml vodka
  • 45 ml tequila
  • mint leaves
  • slice of lemon


  • lightly muddle mint leaves into a rocks or highball glass
  • add all other ingredients over ice
  • stir with a bar spoon and serve
  • garnish with a wheel of lemon

Our thanks To Jo Hipkiss, who invented this for us one night at a dinner party. We have tried it since and it is delicious.



  • 50 ml gold rum
  • 25 ml fresh lime juice
  • 15 ml Kahlua
  • 5 ml pomegranate syrup (grenadine)
  • Cocktail cherry for garnish


  • In a cocktail glass with ice add the gold rum, lime juice and Kahlua.
  • Shake or stir till very cold.
  • Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
  • Drop a teaspoon of pomegranate syrup into each glass and garnish with cocktail cherries

Port Antonio cocktail


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