With the nights drawing in, we asked Lee Potter Cavanagh, bar manager across all the Hix restaurants, to make us a drink suitable for chilly evenings. His own Shipshape & Bristol Fashioned, a spicy, rich cocktail that’s very autumn/winter.

‘You get the theatre of the flame and the smoke,’ says Lee. ‘And it’s a good, strong cocktail – this is for people who really like drinking. It’s the Hix take on the Old-Fashioned cocktail, and a tribute to Bristol’s heritage of rum connections. Rum would have come in on ships from Guyana.’ Strong it may be, but it also has sweetness and light to it – we found it aromatic, refreshing and steadying.

Shipshape & Bristol Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 40ml El Dorado 15-year-old rum
  • 15ml Bramley & Gage quince liqueur
  • Two dashes Xocolatl bitters
  • 10ml demerara syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
  • Three peppercorns
  • Orange peel

Do use rum from Guyana for this if you can. It’s English-style rum, nice and rich, full-flavoured, but with a sweetness to it

  • 1

    Take a rocks glass, and add water and ice.

  • 2

    Place three peppercorns on a plate and set them alight with a blowtorch or lighter.

  • 3

    Empty the rocks glass and place it over the smoking peppercorns to catch the smoke.

  • 4

    Add the rum, quince liqueur, bitters and sugar syrup to a mixing glass.

  • 5

    Stir over ice.

  • 6

    Strain into the smoked glass and add ice.

  • 7

    Use a knife to cut a nice rectangle of orange peel.

  • 8

    Keep a certain amount of pith, since it holds the aromatic oils.

  • 9

    Brush the orange peel not only around the rim of the glass, but on the outside, too – so the aroma get onto your hands.

  • 10

    Add lots of ice and garnish with the twist of orange peel.

Lee’s Old-Fashioned tips

  • When you’re making a cocktail for the first time, start with the least expensive ingredients first: that way, if you go wrong, you’re just chucking out a bit of sugar and some bitters, not wasting precious 15-year-old rum.
  • Do use rum from Guyana for this if you can. It’s English-style rum, nice and rich, full-flavoured, but with a sweetness to it.
  • Invest in a couple of really good ice trays (Muji do good ones). Alternatively, get a plastic takeaway container, fill it about 5/6ths full of water and freeze it, then you have a big block of ice you can break into good-sized pieces.
  • If you can’t get hold of the Xocolatl bitters (try Gerry’s on Old Compton Street in Soho), use Angostura, instead.

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