The world’s finest fancy barman mixes up eight killer drinks…

There’s more to cocktails than an intimidating pricelist and some ‘ooh, naughty’ names that sound like they were made up by your mum. These days they’ve become their own industry, with award ceremonies and a pretentious vocabulary – ‘mixology’, ‘muddler’, ‘flaring’ – to match. But how do you transfer that to your flat? By listening to Ben Reed, that’s how. He’s shaken cocktails around the world, been courted by hotel moguls, ruled over leading bars and had his own TV series. He’s like Tom Cruise before the lesbian haircut.


50ml brandy 20ml fresh lemon juice 20ml Cointreau Sugar, for the glass

Tip: “Shake all the ingredients together over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass with a sugared edge.” Taste. Pause. Grimace.




1/2 lime, cut into quarters 25ml Centenario Anejo tequila A brown sugar cube Negra Modello, or other dark beer, to top up

Tip: “Mix in this order: lime, tequila, sugar. Muddle with spoon. Ice, then beer, muddle again.”



Sour Italian

25ml Campari 12.5ml Galliano 25ml fresh lemon juice 12.5ml cranberry juice 12.5ml sugar syrup 1 dash egg white 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Tip: “Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.” Poncey!



Dirty Martini

50ml gin 1 dash dry vermouth 12.5ml olive brine Lemon zest and 1 green olive for garnish

Tip: “Shake sharply and pour into a cold martini glass with a lemon-zested edge. Garnish with an olive.”



Brandy Alexander

50ml brandy 25ml dark crème de cacao 25ml double cream Grated nutmeg, to garnish

Tip: “Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into your glass. Garnish with a sprinkling of grated nutmeg.” Tap dance.



Mulato Daiquiri

50ml aged Cuban rum (Bacardi 8-year-old) 20ml fresh lime juice 2 barspoons sugar syrup 1 barspoon crème de cacao

Tip: “Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice, shake sharply and decant into a chilled martini glass.”



Cuba Libre

50ml Cuban white rum 3 lime wedges Coca-Cola, to top up

Tip: “Muddle the lime in a highball glass, fill with ice and add the rum and the Coke. Stir gently and serve with two straws.” Then, still seeking attention, drop-kick the shaker into the sink.



Ginger Cosmopolitan

30ml lemon vodka 20ml triple sec 20ml fresh lime juice 25ml cranberry juice 2 thin ginger slices

Tip: “Add to a shaker filled with ice, shake, decant. Garnish with orange zest.” Moan orgasmically.



Behind every great barman is the right kind of kit.

“There are three different types of ice: cubed, crushed and shaved. Use mineral rather than tap water, to avoid chlorinated ice cubes.” Or see if you can shove more than 15 into your mouth.

“This is a ‘stick’ for muddling, which means a more vigorous stirring to release the flavour and aroma of a herb, extract juices from fruit or dissolve something like sugar.” Muddles, £3;

“The Swiss army knife of the cocktail world. Go for a long, flat-bottomed one. It’s the most versatile for measuring, stirring and creating layers.” Twisting mixing spoon, £7;