With the nights drawing in, we asked Lee Potter Cavanagh, bar manager across all the Hix restaurants, to make us a drink suitable for Halloween. He went for something more delicious than ghoulish, with a bit of Bonfire Night thrown in: 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.
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.