Dregs Party

The kitchen cabinet I store all my booze in is outrageously overstocked. I’m scared it’s going to collapse under its own weight and kill me while I was mopping the floor or some other trivial task, so it was time for the excess alcohol to go before I did.

Fortunately, my friends love boozing as much as I do (if not more) so when they came round for a games night we decided to tackle all of the near-empty bottles lining the shelves. Time to take on several gins, whiskies, tequila, cream liqueurs and other random dregs. Armed with some citrus and a fresh batch of sugar syrup, I had a few cocktails in mind to use up what we had to play with…

Tommy’s Margarita

  • 2 measures Jose Cuervo gold tequila
  • 1 measure lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • Shaken, poured over cubed ice with a lime wedge garnish

Tom Collins

  • 2 measures Caorunn gin
  • 1 measure lemon juice
  • 1/2 measure sugar syrup
  • Soda water
  • Stir the ingredients together in a glass of cubed ice, top with soda water, a lemon wedge and a cocktail cherry!

Trinidad Sour

  • 1/2 measure Woodford Reserve whisky
  • 1 measure (!!!) Angostura bitters
  • 1 measure lemon juice
  • 1 measure orgeat
  • Shaken, then poured into a chilled coupe glass.

Amaretto Sour

  • 1 1/2 measures Amaretto
  • 1/2 measure Haig Club whisky
  • 1 measure lemon juice
  • 1/2 measure sugar syrup
  • 1/2 measure egg white
  • Whipped up in the shaker, poured over ice with a lemon wedge and cocktail cherries.

We shared all of the drinks and while the sweetness of the Amaretto Sour won us all over, we were equally surprised and delighted at the Trinidad Sour. Penned in my Cocktail Bible as ‘one for the brave’ I was dubious about the whole measure of bitters! However, somehow it worked and the sours gave it a savoury, almost Christmas-spiced tang that I would actually drink again. It feels very fancy and sophisticated for a drink that only has half a measure of spirit to play with.

What is guaranteed to use up the extra dregs? A punch. But I wasn’t about to pour everything together and hope for the best – instead, I set my sights on a ‘Fish House Punch!’

  • 1 measure Cognac (criminally, I used Nikka whisky instead… hey, I’ve got bottles to empty over here)
  • 1 measure Dark Matter rum
  • 1/2 measure peach liqueur
  • 1 measure lemon juice
  • 1/2 measure sugar syrup
  • 2 measures cold English Breakfast tea
  • Soda water
  • Shake all ingredients together, top with soda water and add a lemon wedge.

I personally find dark rum a very distinctive taste so it was quite prominent for me in this drink. It’s not something I would order or make again, but really interesting and exciting to make my first grown up punch and use so many elements!

Several rounds of Bucks Fizzs, a couple of whiskies, a fierce boardgame and a bonus Baileys later, our evening was complete, with a total of six new empties in the bin. A true success!! Now, does anybody have an upcycling project that can put these beautiful bottles to good use..?