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OCTOBER - What's In The Box?


21st Century 

  • 25ml Blanco Tequila
  • 25ml lemon
  • 25ml cacao liqueur
  • 25ml Ambrato vermouth
  • dash of pernod

The 21st Century is an update of the classic ‘20th Century’ Cocktail which was first featured in the 1937 edition of the Café Royal Bar Book. The 21st Century is a Tequila revision of the old gin classic, updated by Jim Meehan of New York City’s ‘Please Don’t Tell’ Bar.  

Please Don’t Tell can be found in a basement on the storied St Mark’s Place in NYC’s buzzy East Village, hidden behind a phone booth in the scuzzy but excellent Crif Dogs hot dog shop. The PDT team have been serving some of the finest cocktails in the city for years and are credited with creating over 200 original drinks from the space. We think the 21st Century is the crown jewel in their collection… 




  • 25ml Gin
  • 25ml Sloe Gin
  • 25ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 15ml Crème de Mure (blackberry liqueur)

You might not know Dick Bradsell’s name but you’ll certainly know his drinks. He’s the creator of iconic cocktails such as the omnipresent Espresso Martini and the delicious Bramble but here at Kocktail HQ we’re partial to one of his slightly lesser known, but equally magnificent cocktails, The Wibble. 

The Wibble’s gin and sloe gin combination is brightened further by the addition of crème de mûre (made from blackberry juice and extracts). It’s creator, Bradsell, was known to say that the Wibble “May make you wobble but you won't fall down”. Needless to say, it’s our kind of drink! 



Pear and Honey Mule 

  • 50ml Pear Vodka
  • 25ml Lime
  • 20ml Ginger Honey

The Moscow Mule was so named due to the use of Russian vodka and the ginger beer that gives the drink it’s Mule’s “kick”.  The drink was concocted when the American owners of Smirnoff were struggling to convince 1930s Americans to indulge in vodka. Fortunately for us and the American general public, the drink took off and the rest is history. 

Our autumnal version of the Mule was created by our Kocktail curator, Neil Donachie who has added the silky texture and taste of pear vodka and a luxurious twist of ginger infused honey to this familiar favourite. 


Autumn Adonis

  • 30ml rose vermouth
  • 30ml fino sherry
  • 15ml apricot liqueur
  • 3 dash orange bitter

The Adonis was created to celebrate the 500th performance of the Broadway musical of the same name in 1884. The show told the story of a beautiful Adonis statue turning into a living, breathing human, only to decide life was better back in stone. 

We’d like to think that if the Adonis had enjoyed our autumnal take on this classic cocktail, he may have considered life in human form to have been somewhat more pleasurable, even with the trials and tribulations of 2020. 




Maple Old Fashioned 

  • 60ml Aged Rum
  • 10ml maple syrup (3:1 maple syrup with water)
  • 5ml banana liqueur
  • 3 dashes of angostura bitters

In this take on arguably the oldest classic in the book, we’ve switched the whiskey for a delightfully rich, aged rum and added a small amount of maple syrup and banana liqueur to add a toasty profile to this already warming drink.

The Old Fashioned was simply referred to as the Whiskey Cocktail for the first decades of it’s existence and was often drank as a matutinal cocktail, meaning it was taken as the first drink of the morning, to steady you for the rigours of the day ahead. Fortunately we at Kocktail are not entirely beholden to the past, so we would instead suggest enjoying it as the golden sun dips and the leaves take their exit cue from the first flushes of Autumn. 


Jack Rose  

  • 50ml Apple Brandy
  • 20ml Lemon
  • 20ml Grenadine (1:1)

One theory has it that the Jack Rose was named for (or even invented by) the infamous gambler Bald Jack Rose but as is common with cocktail histories, this is certainly untrue, as the cocktail predates the underworld figure by roughly a decade. However, the cocktail was rumoured to have a slump in popularity when Bald Jack Rose was caught up in a murder trial in the 1910’s. Clearly not all press is good press!

Wherever the drink got it’s name, this apple brandy cocktail has certainly become a true cult classic, even appearing in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel, ‘The Sun Also Rises’.  



  • 50ml bourbon
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • 3 dash angostura bitters

Here, we present our perfect Manhattan. This classic drink is traditionally served with rye but our Kocktail Curator, Neil Donachie, prefers the slightly sweeter tones that a great quality bourbon brings to this whiskey Martini. 

Although it is almost certainly a nonsense, the most interesting popular history behind the drink’s name is that the Manhattan was created for a party hosted by Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, at the swanky Manhattan Club in the “City so nice, they named it twice” back in the 1870s.  


Blood and Sand 

  • 25ml blended Scotch whiskey
  • 25ml cherry liqueur
  • 25ml orange juice
  • 25ml sweet vermouth

The Blood and Sand is a peculiar cocktail with a less than savoury name but as is often the case, those who are willing to take a chance are rewarded with something most gratifying. It’s gory name derives from a 1922 Spanish movie on bullfighting where the matador and beast both succumb to deadly blows. Fortunately, this cocktail hasn’t suffered such a barbaric fate. 

It’s intriguing mix of scotch whiskey and sweetness from the cherry liqueur and fresh orange juice create a beautifully drinkable cocktail with just enough of an edge to satisfy the beast within.