Pete Ste­wart and Andy Gem­mell

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Food + Drink - Pete Ste­wart is Glas­gow di­rec­tor of In­ver­ar­ity One to One, 185a Bath Street. www.in­ver­ar­i­ty­mor­ton.com

Ev­ery­one should have a sig­na­ture cock­tail, and it should be rel­a­tively sim­ple so that you can make it quickly us­ing a few high-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents.

Mine is a very dry mar­tini. I like a gin mar­tini as op­posed to vodka, and you’ll need a good qual­ity ver­mouth such as Noilly Prat or Coc­chi Amer­i­cano. All you have to do is pour a very gen­er­ous mea­sure of the gin into a shaker half-filled with ice. Then add the tini­est amount of ver­mouth, shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Sim­ple, and ef­fec­tive. A larger mea­sure of ver­mouth cre­ates a less dry mar­tini, and you should ex­per­i­ment (a lot) to find the per­fect amount for you.

To be­come an ac­com­plished stayat-home mixol­o­gist, a shaker should be top of your list, and a bar spoon would come in handy too. Keep a good sup­ply of vodka, gin and rum (and a ver­mouth). I’d also sug­gest bit­ters, an orange liqueur, Kahlua, a nice brandy, te­quila and a bot­tle of Gal­liano for emer­gen­cies.

Here are three easy ones to try... 1) A Sea Breeze is a clas­sic vod­k­abased cock­tail made with cran­berry juice and fresh grape­fruit juice. You don’t need to shake this one, sim­ply pour the in­gre­di­ents over ice into a high­ball glass, squeeze a lime wedge into the glass and give it all a wee stir. It’s very easy to make, and in­cred­i­bly re­fresh­ing.

2) If you’re feel­ing a bit el­e­gant, try a White Lady. In a shaker, pour in equal parts gin, Coin­treau and fresh le­mon juice. Shake well over ice, then strain into your posh­est (chilled) glasses. You can add a twist of le­mon rind.

3) Al­though I like Pina Co­lada, my favourite rum-based cock­tail is a Yel­low Bird. You’ll need white rum (I also add golden rum, but it’s not es­sen­tial), fresh lime juice, Gal­liano and triple sec (an orange liqueur). Pour a good glug of the white rum into a shaker over ice. Add half as much of the other in­gre­di­ents, and shake re­ally well be­fore strain­ing into a chilled glass.

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