Having a few solid cocktail recipes up your sleeve is pretty handy. It means you can always fix an amour an impressive drink; you will have the ability to create something nicer than discounted supermarket wine to go with a fancy meal; and when it is a grim Monday night you will be able to mitigate the fact it is a grim Monday night.
Who actually knows how to do this kind of thing, though? Maria Kontorravdis does. A diminutive Devon gal, raised by a Greek family, she jumped behind a West Country bar and learnt to mix spirits as soon as she wouldn’t get arrested for doing so. Such early commitment paid off: this year she was a UK finalist in Beefeater Gin’s global bartender competition.
Currently working her mixology magic at The Bike Shed Theatre in her home county, in between shifts we sat her down and commissioned a few Perrier-themed re-workings of some classic cocktails for you to learn. These are life skills, folks!
PERRIER-I-CANO (The Americano)
The Americano is the lighter, taller brother of the Negroni. Some say that its name comes from Americans finding the Negroni too bitter, thus taking out the gin and adding soda to make it a longer drink. In this version, we keep the Italian roots of using Antica Formula and Campari; adding ginger syrup for a sweet kick to mellow out the bitter notes. Without soda, this drink simply wouldn’t of been palatable for our American friends; and what a difference it makes.
In the late 1920’s, a description of the gimlet was “Gin, a spot of lime, and soda” – so we’ve done exactly that. This can be made with Perrier original soda or for an extra twist – Perrier Lime. You may not be having to tackle scurvy like the navy men that this drink was originally designed for; but hey, who doesn’t love extra lime?
The Paloma is a stunningly simple and refreshing tequila based drink. In Spanish, Paloma translates to “dove” – I wanted to keep this drink as pure and beautiful as the bird itself. Using mescal really rounds the drink and keeps it wholesome. Using Perrier soda instead of grapefruit flavored soda really helps to keep the taste more clean and focused.
THE SCOTCH AND SODA
The beautiful harmony that is scotch and soda is an elegant drink for any occasion. This drink has no set-in stone way of being made and really leaves the drinker to become creative with how they prefer to enjoy their drink. Try using different whiskeys and comparing which is your favourite; try figuring out how much Perrier your taste buds enjoy. Remember, just as water opens the flavours in whiskey – soda does the same. Whether you’re a dasher or a topper, enjoy opening the world of whiskey with Perrier soda.
Introduction - Maria Kontorravdis
Recipe Descriptions - Maria Kontorravdis
Illustrations - Maria Kontorravdis