A few years ago, whilst bartending in one of the very first cocktail bars I ever had the pleasure of working in I came across this recipe and it’s one that I still love to make and drink today. The bar wasn’t the most prestigious; it was the sort of establishment that would see goldfish bowls of luminous drinks laced with peach schnapps and cheap vodka being thrown at customers by the dozen every Friday and Saturday night. However I felt that this was one drink on the menu that I’d happily serve in most places I’ve worked. It comes as courtesy of the manager I worked under, a guy called Lee, and was one of his signature drinks that he was entering into competitions at the time. The base spirit for the drink was Mandarine Napoléon Liqueur; a cognac based liqueur made with mandarins (obviously) and a variety of spices and plants. I think that even as a neat spirit served over a couple of cubes of ice it is a perfectly palatable drink, and as such would probably lose its charm if it were to be overpowered by a huge number of flavours in a cocktail. This is probably the reason I’m so fond of this recipe. It’s simple but at the same time makes for a fantastic drink that you can slowly sip and enjoy without the lip curling effects one usually gets from near enough a neat spirit.
- 50ml Mandarine Napoléon Liqueur
- 2 Bar Spoons Soft Brown Sugar
- 6 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Shake and double strain all ingredients.
- Serve in a Martini glass with a mandarin segment floating on a basil leaf for garnish.