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The Churchill cocktail, a venerable drink that bears the name of one of the 20th century’s greatest statesmen, has become synonymous with elegance, refinement, and the art of mixology.
The story of the Churchill Cocktail begins with Joe Gilmore, who served as the head barman at the American Bar in London’s iconic Savoy Hotel for over 50 years. His tenure at this esteemed establishment allowed him to cater to a diverse and distinguished clientele, including world leaders, celebrities, and royalty. Among his esteemed patrons was Sir Winston Churchill, the stalwart British Prime Minister who led the nation through the challenging years of World War II.
It was during one of Churchill’s frequent visits to the Savoy’s American Bar that the Churchill Cocktail came into being. Joe Gilmore, a master of his craft, was renowned for his ability to create bespoke cocktails tailored to the preferences of his illustrious guests. Inspired by Churchill’s love for Whiskey, Gilmore sought to craft a drink that would embody the spirit and character of the man himself.
The Churchill Cocktail begins with a robust foundation of Scotch Whisky, This fine spirit infuses the cocktail with rich, smoky notes, and a hint of peat, setting the tone for this drink. The Scotch whisky, renowned for its depth and complexity, forms the core of this classic cocktail, creating a strong base for the other ingredients to shine.
The addition of Cointreau, a premium orange liqueur, imparts a vibrant citrusy sweetness that beautifully complements the whisky. Meanwhile, sweet vermouth introduces complexity with herbal nuances and a gentle sweetness.
To balance the cocktail, fresh lime juice contributes a refreshing tartness and zest, adding a lively citrus dimension.
45 ml Scotch Whisky
15 ml Cointreau
15 ml Sweet vermouth
15 ml Fresh lime juice
Add the scotch whisky, Cointreau, sweet vermouth, and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and shake for 10-12 seconds, until chilled.
Strain into a martini or coupe glass, and serve.