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Cocktails at The Chinashop

BY SOPHIE COLCLOUGH

Here at The Chinashop we spend a lot of time sourcing and selling the finest of British crystal and glassware. We take great pride in working with renowned brands such as Royal Scot, Dartington and Waterford, always making sure that we only offer our customers the very best quality and craftsmanship.

After hours though, we like to get together for some well-deserved down time, sharing a meal or a drink with our colleagues and friends. These experiences made us wish that we could pass on our family feeling to our customers, leading to a new idea.

We’re passionate about enjoying the finer things in life, and we always want to go the extra mile for the people we care about, so we figured that anyone who comes across our site would have a similar mindset. To that end, we have created the Drink of the Week portion of our site, where work and play interact.

Every week, we aim to release a new drink, paired with one of our fabulous crystal glasses, showing you how to get the perfect serve for every occasion. Whether you enjoy classic cocktails, summer spritzers or tasty tipples, there is something here for everyone! We’ll also be including a few mocktails and warm drinks, so even if you’re tee-total, there will be options for you to enjoy too.

We’ve already tested all of the recipes, so you know that they’ll taste great. We had a lot of fun trying them out – we hope you do too!

Gifting, Quality Time and Acts of Service

As we specialise in luxury gifts, the importance of presents is always at the back of our mind. It’s easy to pick a present from a shop or online catalogue, but what makes them special is the thought and effort that went into it. Gifts are a love language, which is why we think that every gift that goes out from our store is so important.

Everybody receives love differently, from physical touch to words of affirmation and everywhere in-between. Lots of us will feel the most loved when our nearest and dearest put in quality time with us or perform acts of service to make our lives easier or more relaxed.

These love languages play into the idea of pairing cocktail making with our crystal gifts. If you gift someone a pair of our Royal Scot tumblers, why not go the extra mile to make them a luxurious G&T in the glasses after they’ve had a long day? If you’re hosting someone’s birthday dinner, share a sumptuous Sangria that you’ve prepared yourself, and your actions will speak for themselves. It’s often the personal touches that make a gift so special!

Cocktail Ideas

Whether you’re hosting a few friends for a catch-up drink or you’re making a classic cocktail to celebrate a special occasion, we’re putting together a catalogue of cocktail ideas that are sure to fit the bill. From a simple Gin Fizz to a rich and woody Old Fashioned, browse our ever-growing collection to spark some cocktail ideas of your own.

Below is a list of ideas, sorted by which spirit you may happen to have in the house.

Vodka
  • Cosmopolitan

  • Purple Rain

  • Pornstar Martini

Gin
  • Tom Collins

  • Singapore Sling

  • Aviator

Tequila
  • Margarita

  • Paloma

  • Tequila Sunrise

Rum
  • Strawberry Daiquiri

  • Dark ‘n’ Stormy

  • Zombie

Whisky
  • Godfather

  • Whisky Sour

  • Old Fashioned

Liqueur
  • Bramble

  • Cherry Bakewell

  • Jam Donut

Our Signature Cocktail

To kick-start our new cocktail recipe range, we have created our own signature cocktail! The Chinashop Cosmopolitan is a sophisticated reimagining of the classic Cosmo, with our own cathedral city spin.

The warm oak and smoke flavours from the bitters give a sense of heritage to the drink, while the fresh and zesty orange and cranberry flavours are perfect for reflecting the vibrant culture that surrounds our small shop. We’ve added a dash of vanilla syrup to balance the flavour profile and give a sense of sweet familiarity.

The Chinashop Cosmopolitan Recipe

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml Vodka
  • 25 ml Triple Sec
  • 15 ml Vanilla Syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 75 ml Cranberry Juice
  • 1 Lime Wedge

Method:

  1. Half-fill your shaker with cubed ice.
  2. Add in all of your ingredients, except the lime wedge.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker is cold to the touch.
  4. Strain into your martini glass, then garnish with a lime wedge.

To keep the recipe for our signature Chinashop Cosmopolitan, download our PDF recipe here. Use it to treat yourself or impress your guests, and be sure to tag us on Instagram at @the_chinashop if you try it out!

Cocktail Recipes

We have put together a host of cocktails that range from easy to difficult recipes, made using a variety of methods. Whether you’re looking for a simple stirred drink or a shaken showstopper, there will be something in our Drink of the Week range for everyone, no matter what your abilities are.

To make it easier to find something that suits you, we have categorised each of our cocktails by difficulty and method, letting you know if you’ll need any fancy equipment like shakers and strainers or if a beautiful piece of crystal glassware is all the the drink requires.

We’ve also given each cocktail a rating of up to 5 stars as a way of sharing how much we enjoyed it!

Easy Cocktail Recipes

The easiest cocktail recipes are built cocktails, where you pour each ingredient into a glass and serve. You can stir them to blend the flavours, but this isn’t always essential.

One of our favourite cocktails is the Steampunk, which is one of our own creations. A subtle blend of whisky, amaretto, apple juice and limes, this long drink is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe when it launches in a couple of weeks!

A more traditional built / stirred cocktail is an Old Fashioned, which blends three simple ingredients for a delicious drink. Simply mix whisky, syrup and bitters with some ice and there you have it – a classic cocktail in a matter of minutes.

 

Medium Cocktail Recipes

For slightly more advanced cocktail makers, why not try out some layered cocktails? A simple Singapore Sling looks exceptional when it has been properly layered, leaving the bright red spirits and syrups at the bottom, with a crisp, clear soda bubbling above it.

To achieve this look it helps to have the glass filled with ice before you add the shaken mixture, then carefully pour the soda on an ice cube at the top of the glass, giving a gentle layering at the bottom.

Some simple shaken cocktails are also accessible to most home-based bartenders, as long as you have a shaker available to you. They are easy to buy in most cooking stores or online retailers – who knows, maybe you’ll see one on The Chinashop soon!

Our Chinashop Cosmopolitan is a medium-difficulty cocktail, giving you a little challenge if you are unfamiliar with shaken cocktails. As it doesn’t require any sort of foam or head to form on it, the shaking is more of a fun flare, as it could just as easily be stirred together.

 

Difficult Cocktails

The hardest cocktails are ones that involve lots of ingredients, quirky garnishes or a shaken foam top. While we would class these as more difficult cocktails, the truth is that all of the cocktails we’ll be showing you are possible to achieve at home, given a little equippment and some practice!

One of our show-stopping cocktails is the spooktacular Zombie that we will be sharing around Halloween, which has a tropical kick to it and has a flaming lime shell garnish. This isn’t for the faint of heart, as it is finished with over-proof rum, giving it that fiery finish.

Cocktails like a Bakewell Tart or Whisky Sour that have egg white in them are amongst the hardest to execute well, often requiring a double shake to get the perfect fluffy white top. They are more than worth the effort though, with delicious flavours and beautiful textures running throughout them.

 

How to Make Cocktails at Home

For most cocktails, you will only need simple equipment to make them. We recommend having the following at home if you plan to make your own:

  • Crystal Cocktail Glasses – (you can browse our range here)
  • A shaker
  • A jigger – (otherwise known as a measure)
  • A muddler
  • A bar spoon
  • A strainer

These pieces are largely available as a set, often coming in different colours and patterns to suit your personal style.

It is also possible to substitue the majority of these tools with common kitchen items, such as long-handled teaspoons or a fork. Where you can swap them out we’ll be sure to let you know in the recipes!

If you’d like to get into making cocktails at home, some ingredients that are helpful to have in your fridge or store cupboard are:

  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Whisky
  • Lime Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Soda
  • Bitters

This short list will be the basis for the majority of cocktails, making it easy to pick up only a couple of fresh ingredients as and when you plan to make your drinks.

You can tailor your list of storecupboard essentials to your personal taste as you get to know the flavour profiles that you enjoy drinking, or slowly build up your own home bar to have plenty of options for all occasions.

As any of our customers will know, we have a gift for every occasion. With the new Drink of the Week section of our website, you can now find a cocktail for every occasion too! We hope you try out our recipes, and have as much fun making them as we did.

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