Cocktails: The Masterclass

Cocktail Masterclass - with Pillow Mag's Anna Bridgeman

GREEN tea is good for you, water keeps you hydrated… But cocktails are classy, cool and completely delicious!!

So if you like yours shaken, stirred, over ice or muddled, keep reading!

Pillow’s Anna Bridgeman has all you need to make three perfect and delicious cocktails in three different ways, taught by one fantastic cocktail bar.

The Orange Tree in Loughborough pride themselves in their ‘Rum Wall’ and (of course) their incredible cocktails, from the standard issue Long Island Ice Tea’s to their own recipe Pop My Cherry’s and so I was taken through three cocktails that will definitely not disappoint.

The Cosmo

Who doesn’t love a Cosmopolitan?

Known to bartenders and cocktail shakers since the 1970′s, America gave way to a cocktail every girl simply couldn’t do without – it was further famed by the infamous Sex and the City Girls in the 1990′s and we’ve never looked back since!

Preparation: Fill a martini glass with ice and top up with soda water, then take a pint class and fill with ice cubes.

Making: Usually made three parts citrus-vodka one part triple sec, The Orange Tree instead use two equal measures of both and replace the triple sec with Cointreau.

So, in go two shots of (Absolut) Citrus Vodka and Cointreau into the pint glass, then top up with 3 parts cranberry juice, squeeze in half a lime and add 3 dashes of orange bitters.

Pop the top of the cocktail shaker of the pint glass (make sure it’s on tight!) and shake shake shake!

Once the shaker is freezing cold, pop off the top and strain; this particular cocktail is double-strained because of the lime bits. Take a Hawthorne strainer (the metal plate with the spring around the side) and place that on the top of the strainer, then pour that through a tea strainer into the cocktail glass.

Garnish: If you can do this, do it. It’s SO cool. Take a slice of orange peel (about a 10p sized piece) and a lighter, with the outside of the orange peel facing the lighter, simultaneously snap the orange peel in half as you light the light – it sets fire! – and then wipe the orange peel (outwards still) around the rim of the glass and pop into the drink. Incredible.

I found this one relatively easy to make, although it was more complicated than I actually thought. Needless to say I wasn’t brave enough to light the orange peel as well!

Cosmpolitan masterclass with Anna Bridgeman

Cosmpolitan masterclass with Anna Bridgeman


The Mojito

The world’s most refreshing drink.

Originating in Cuba, the classic Mojito has mixed or ‘muddled’ since the late 1500′s and has since travelled to probably every bar in the world with fruity variations of the drink being added to the collection along the way.

Making: take two teaspoons of brown sugar and place into a glass, add 6 wedges of lime and a handful of mint, take a wooden pestle and gently mix the sugar, limes and mint together – avoid smashing the limes up or you’ll get bits.

Then top with a little crushed ice. Add in two double measures of white rum, or as The Orange Tree use – golden 3 year Havana rum, get a long cocktail spoon and mix the ice with the mixture taking care to get all the sugar mixed in.

And finally top with more ice, a wedge of lime, a sprig of mint and a dash of soda water – et voila!

On taste test inspection I hadn’t quite mixed the sugar in properly so the top of the drink was a bit bitter, so take care to mix – other than that it was lovely!


Mojito masterclass with Anna Bridgeman


The Sex on the Beach

Smooth as silk and gorgeously fruity, The Orange Tree have tweaked the recipe to create a deeper and more delicious drink.

Prep: Half fill a highball glass with crushed ice and fill a pint glass with ice cubes.

Making: Pour one shot of Passoa (passion fruit liqueur) into the highball glass, and top about two thirds up with glass with cranberry juice.

Next, pour two shots of normal vodka into the pint glass, and add three parts pineapple juice and shake shake shake!

This is where it gets tricky, with the hawthrone strainer on the cocktail shaker, slowly pour the pineapple juice on top of the cranberry juice and it should sit on the top and start to layer. Once the juice has nearly gone, give the shaker another little shake and a pineappley foam should start of come out; pour this on top even slower.

Garnish with a slice of lime and (in theory) you should have a 3 layered drink. I failed completely at this one! I didn’t layer I just ended up with a mixed mess (sad face).


Sex On The Beach cocktail masterclass with Anna Bridgeman

Sex On The Beach cocktail masterclass with Anna Bridgeman


And there you have it, three fabulous cocktails made by manager Dan, one fabulous, one okay, one and one complete fail from me!

I must say, it is definitely fun and something I’ll be having a go at at home with my friends sometime, after all, practise does make perfect, and a great excuse to drink!


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