Liquor and Lust

Liquor and Lust

Liquor and Lust!

    So Valentine’s Day is coming up soon and we thought instead of sharing a bottle of bubbly with your better half, why not treat them to something extra special? We’ve taken inspiration from famous romantic literary and movie characters, and some real historical figures, and compiled a list of recipes for their tipples of choice, or simply for cocktails named after them. You’ll be able to recreate these easy recipes at home and we’re sure your loved one will appreciate the effort you’ve put in! There are a variety of drinks in this list- some strong, some sweet, some for men and some more suited to women. We’re sure you’ll find one you’ll love!

    Let’s start with one of my favourite books, ‘The Great Gatsby’, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is set in the roaring ‘20s, in the midst of the prohibition era- just like Riddles! Fitzgerald made no secret of his love for alcohol, and once said “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”  His drink of choice was a ‘Gin Rickey’, and he immortalised this in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by making it the favourite drink of the main character, Jay Gatsby. It’s a really simple and refreshing drink, and a great alternative if, like myself, you don’t like the bitterness of tonic water. We all know how the story turned out, but hopefully your Valentine’s Day will have a happier ending.

Gin Rickey:

  • Build in a highball with cubed ice
  • 50ml London Dry Gin
  • Juice of ½ a lime- drop into glass
  • Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge
  • You can add a splash of sugar syrup if you or your partner like it a bit sweeter

Gatsby’s love interest in the novel, Daisy Buchanan, has her own favourite tipple. This is the ‘Mint Julep’, another simple yet delicious cocktail:

  • Place 5 or 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a cup
  • Add a tsp of sugar syrup and muddle
  • Pack glass with crushed ice
  • Pour 75ml of Bourbon over the ice and stir
  • Garnish with a mint sprig


    Sex and the City follows the stories of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends and the highs and lows of their pursuits to find ‘the One’. I’m sure we all know the association between the programme and the ‘Cosmopolitan’ cocktail. It has a reputation as a ‘girly’ drink mainly due to its pink colour, however it certainly packs a punch and isn’t as sweet as it looks.


  • 35ml vodka (citrus flavoured vodka is even better)
  • 35ml cranberry juice
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 5ml lime juice
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Shake and strain into a martini glass
  • If you want to go the extra mile for your partner you can wow them by flaming an orange zest over the drink and dropping it in!


     I’m sure many of you have seen ‘Titanic’, without a doubt one of the most romantic yet tragic films ever made. There isn’t a specific drink that is prominent in the film, however I’ve combined the names of the two protagonists- Jack and Rose, and there we have the ‘Jack Rose’! This was a popular drink in the ’20s and ’30s, and is a simple yet delicious cocktail (and bright pink so perfect for Valentine’s Day).

Jack Rose:

  • 50ml Applejack (a kind of apple brandy)
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 10-15ml grenadine (depending on how sweet your tooth is)
  • Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.


     Many of the staff here at Riddles are big fans of ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’- we even have a cocktail on our Winter menu inspired by the film- it’s called ‘Veronica’s Hair’. He was a lover of both Scotch and the ladies, so the perfect candidate for a Valentine’s cocktail. You can both stay classy with this drink!

Ron Burgundy Scotch Cocktail:

  • 60ml Scotch (choose your favourite)
  • 15ml brown sugar gomme (make your own by using 2 cups of brown sugar to one cup of boiling water- stir until dissolved then leave to cool).
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 15ml fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Shake vigorously and strain over cubed ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange peel.


     ‘The Blue Lagoon’ has got to be one of the worst films ever made (in my opinion- you may think differently!). It follows the story of two children marooned on a South Pacific island, who grow up together and end up falling in love. However, despite how awful it is, there is a cocktail with the same namesake which is tasty, very simple to make, and you can buy all the ingredients at your local supermarket.

The Blue Lagoon:

  • Build in a highball with cubed ice:
  • 50ml vodka
  • 25ml Blue Curacao
  • Top up with lemonade
  • Squeeze in a lemon wedge


     Grease, cheesy though it may be, is an all-time classic, and even if you haven’t seen it I bet you know the words to some of the songs. There have been numerous cocktails inspired by the film, and I’ve chosen what I believe to be the most delicious two:

‘The Pink Lady’:

  • 75ml gin
  • 25ml egg white
  • 10ml grenadine
  • Sometimes lemon juice is added so if you think you’d prefer that, go for it!
  • Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

This cocktail, though quite potent, is definitely more for the ladies because of its pink colour. So I’ve included the ‘Greased Lightning’ as well:

  • 75ml gin
  • 25ml cherry brandy
  • 25 Martini Extra Dry
  • Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.


     Casanova was undoubtedly very skilled when it came to the art of wooing the ladies, so it’s only right that we include a cocktail inspired by the legendary lothario. If you’re feeling as extravagant as the man himself, this is the cocktail for you. This Casanova cocktail was invented by Salvador Dali:

  • 60ml brandy
  • 30ml aged brandy
  • Juice of one orange
  • 15ml Campari
  • Teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Combine all ingredients except the orange juice in a speakeasy or martini glass. Refrigerate or even put in the freezer for half an hour
  • Remove from the freezer and stir in the orange juice. Garnish with an orange slice.


     ‘Some Like it Hot’ is set in the Prohibition era, and involves a crime based on the St Valentine’s Day Massacre. A drink which features in the film is the ‘Manhattan’, a delicious drink which can be served 3 ways: dry, perfect or sweet.

Perfect Manhattan:

  • 60ml rye or bourbon whiskey
  • 10ml sweet vermouth
  • 10ml extra dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Stir with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry and an orange zest.


     We are famous for our delicious and carefully crafted Old Fashioneds here at Riddles, and there is a certain ladies man on television who is also partial to one of these- Don Draper from ‘Mad Men’. You’ll feel just as suave as the man himself once you’ve followed this simple recipe:

  • 75ml bourbon (choose your favourite)
  • 10-15ml sugar syrup (depends on your personal taste)
  • 4 dashes angostura bitters
  • Stir for a few minutes until you think it’s diluted enough
  • Strain over cubed ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Flame an orange zest over the glass, rub round the rim and drop into the drink.


     ‘Gone with the Wind’ is an epic historical romance film set in the time of the American Civil War. I’ve included two recipes here which are inspired by the American South and named after the two main characters.

‘Scarlett O’Hara’:

  • 60ml Southern Comfort
  • Dash of lime juice
  • Shake and strain over cubed ice in a highball
  • Top with cranberry juice and garnish with a lime wedge

‘Rhett Butler’

  • 60ml Southern Comfort
  • 15ml orange curacao
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 15ml lime juice
  • Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.


    Another classic romantic film is ‘Casablanca’, and a cocktail which features in this film is the ‘Classic Champagne Cocktail’. This is a really easy drink to make, and is a way of incorporating bubbly into your Valentine’s Day, but with a delicious and extravagant twist.

  • Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute and soak with angostura bitters. 
  • Add a shot of cognac
  • Top with champagne and garnish with an orange or lemon twist


     This blog wouldn’t be complete without a reference to the ultimate ladies man- James Bond! We all know the famous line “Martini- shaken not stirred”, but you can choose whichever method you prefer when making yours. We prefer the stirring technique at Riddles as it gives you much better control of the dilution of the drink. The ‘Vesper Martini’ was invented by Ian Fleming and first referenced in his 1953 novel ‘Casino Royale’. I’ll give you the recipe for this as it’s a little bit different to a regular martini.

Vesper Martini:

  • 60ml London Dry gin
  • 15ml vodka
  • 5ml Lillet Blanc
  • Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. Squeeze a lemon zest over the drink then drop it in (or an olive instead if you prefer).

     We hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day and that you enjoy making (and drinking!) these cocktails. Let us know how you get on and tell us which one is your favourite! Maybe it will feature on our next menu…Remember, the Riddles Emporium will be opening soon and you’ll be able to buy all the spirits, liqueurs, sundries and cocktail equipment you need there.

Happy drinking! Lauren x

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