Let me set the scene, it’s a night out with your better half or maybe a first date. You’ve had a glass of bubbles on arrival, a Negroni pre-dinner to get those taste buds working, white wine with your starter and red with the main. Both of you are nearing the point of satisfaction, a dessert may be a little over indulgent but you are looking for something sweet.
Port seems a bit too serious at this juncture but the atmosphere is cosy and moving-on will bring the evening to a close, what do you do? The after-dinner cocktail is so often forgotten, there is no need to have another glass of wine because it’s easy. Let's get customers reaching for the cocktail list to go out on with a bang!
Prohibition is credited with the majority of the after-dinner cocktails. Whether the base was bath-tub gin, brandy or even tequila, the quality of liquid in that era didn’t leave much to the imagination. Yet they say necessity is the mother of invention and how do you disguise terrible tasting liquor? By adding a load of sugar of course!
The ingredients we use today have seen vast improved from those consumed during the ‘great experiment’. But prohibition has left us with some super tasty libations in which we can literally dine-out on. Here are a few of my favourites:
The Silk Stocking was a drink created by Ryan Chetiyawardana for the finals of the 2007 Word Class cocktail competition. The earthiness of the tequila paired with chocolate and cream makes this one a real winner in my book.
- 40ml Blanco Tequila
- 15ml White Crème de Cacao
- 10ml Grenadine Syrup
- 20ml Single Cream
Method: Shake with cubed ice and strain into a martini or coupette glass, dust with grated dark chocolate.
The Coffee Cocktail
This drink comes from Professor Jerry Thomas’ cocktail book from 1887- 25 years after publishing the world’s first in 1862. As he states, it’s a bit of a misnomer as it contains neither coffee nor bitters but when served correctly, it looks very much like coffee. If it’s caffeine you crave, then there is always the Espresso Martini.
- 50ml Ruby Port
- 25ml VS Cognac
- 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
- 1 whole egg – the smaller the better
Method: Shake all the ingredients (very hard) with cubed ice and strain into a latte glass, dust with nutmeg.
Prohibition spawned, this drink was originally gin-based but over time tastes moved away from the rougher spirits of the 1920s and 30s. It gave way to Cognac and popularity increased, almost forgetting that gin was the forerunner of the Alexander family. To make a Brandy Alexander just switch the gin for Cognac.
- 25ml Old Tom Gin
- 25ml Crème de Cacao
- 25ml Full Fat Milk
- 25ml Double Cream
Method: Shake all of the above with cubed ice and strain into a martini or coupette glass, dust with nutmeg.
Peach Blow Fizz
The Peach Blow Fizz dates back to an article printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer May 2nd 1909 but made famous in the Savoy Cocktail book of 1930. This recipe stated the use of either ‘one peach (mashed) or a few strawberries (mashed)’. The choice of strawberries prevailed over peach, probably due to the time taken to prepare the drink but the name stuck all the same. Strawberries, Cream, Gin? Yeah, that’ll work pretty well don’t you think?
- 2 Strawberries (Hulled)
- 50ml London Dry Gin
- 25ml Simple Syrup
- 15ml Double Cream
- 10ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- Soda Water
Method: Muddle the strawberries in the base of the shaker and add the next 4 ingredients. Shake with cubed ice and strain into a hi-ball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a strawberry.
Let us know what you think in the comments and don't forget to share with us your favourite After-Dinner cocktails. We're here to support you with everything that you need to make your cocktail range a success, from free menu design and print and barware at exclusive Matthew Clark prices. Click here to order any of the products mentioned online now, or click here to open an account with us.