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The Best LGBT Cocktails

Here is a quick list of our favourite LGBT themed cocktails, ideal to get your weekend off to a great start.

1. THE COSMO

The Cosmopolitan was invented in North America in the 1970s and spread pretty fast. It jumped into the league of super-cocktails however after becoming a mainstay of the show Sex and the City, in which Carrie Bradshaw would commonly order one when out with the gals.

The film adaptation of Sex and the City made a reference to this popularity when Miranda asks Carrie why they have stopped drinking them, and Carrie answers: ‘Because everyone else started.’

YOU WILL NEED: 2 parts lemon vodka / 1 part Triple Sec / / Juice of half a lime / 1 part Cranberry Juice / Lime wedge / Slice of orange /
Martini Glass

Preparation: Mix the lemon vodka and part triple sec combined with the cranberry juice and the lime juice. Cointreau provides a cleaner taste than cheaper triple sec, and is generally substituted in the cosmopolitan.

The cranberry mainly adds colour and should not excessively dilute the drink. Garnish with the lime wedge. Traditionally a coin sized piece of orange should be "flamed" across the top of the drink. This coats the drink with a slick of citrus oil. Get the DVD box set of Sex and the City; serve.

2. THE DIVA DAIQUIRI

The Daiquiri family of cocktails is based around the three main ingredients of rum, lime juice and a sweetener such as sugar.

Daiquiri is also the name of a beach near Santiago in Cuba, and the cocktail was supposedly invented about 1900 in a bar named Venus in Santiago, about 23 miles east of an iron mine, by a group of thirsty American mining engineers.

Although stories persist that the drink was invented when mining manager Jennings Cox ran out of gin while entertaining American guests, the drink probably evolved naturally due to the prevalence of lime and sugar.

Originally the drink was served in a tall glass packed with cracked ice and remained pretty local to Cuba, but it became truly popular in the 1940s when wartime rationing made whisky and other drinks hard to come by.

As a consequence, rum-based drinks (once frowned upon as being the domain of sailors and down-and-outs, or those lucky enough to drink with them), also became fashionable, and the Daiquirí saw a tremendous rise in popularity in the US.

This version combines everything that is traditional, but includes some strawberries which will be perfect for the divas at your gay brunch.

YOU WILL NEED: 55ml. Light Rum / 1 tsp. Caster Sugar / 55ml. Strawberry Schnapps / Juice of 1 Lime / Fresh or Frozen Strawberries

Preparation: Blend the ingredients and then strain them into a chilled cocktail glass, and then garnish with a little crushed ice and a lime wedge. Serve and enjoy.

 

3. THE CAMP GRENADA

Campari is a mild bitters-type of aperitif, made to a secret recipe in Milan, and containing quinine, rhubarb, ginseng, orange peels and aromatic herbs. These are combined and macerated in a blend of distilled water and alcohol for a couple of weeks.

In Italy, they serve Campari in a frozen glass, without ice and with a splash of soda, so that when you add the soda, you release the flavours.

Several years on and it’s still difficult to decide if the Campari commercial (nicknamed “The Secret”) was a step forward or backward for the gender-queer movement. Yes - a man whom we perceive as a woman being seduced by a woman we perceive as a man might prompt us to question gender-related assumptions, but the commercial concluded by plumping for heteronormativity as a means to a happy ending.

Discuss it yourself, over this ultra-bitter cocktail recipe, developed as an antidote to the over-macho Americano.

YOU WILL NEED:  25ml. Campari / 50ml. Grapefruit Juice / 25ml. Pineapple Juice /
10ml. Grenadine / 75ml. 7UP / Maraschino Cherry Garnish Lowball glass

Preparation: Simply build this marvellous drink in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds, garnish and serve.

 

4. THE BUBBLY BAHAMA

The Bubbly Bahama is a drink for celebrations, and is one of an almost endless amount of possibilities that fall beneath the alluring subject heading – champagne cocktails. And if you’re having a party or are on a budget, don’t worry about whether you’ve got real champagne or not, because Spain’s Cava, Alsace’s Cremont and Napa’s sparkling wine are all good for this type of cocktail, which soups up the fizz with some turbo-charged fruit. Let's go for it.

I'm sorry about my excitement, but this is a proper champagne cocktail - the real deal – as opposed to merely throwing a nip of Cointreau into a glass of bubbly. This one has a tasty, initial sweetness that rounds out the dry of the champagne with the peach and apple playing well together. And the more of them I drink, the more pontificating I do about the flavour.

The other thing I enjoy is the quieter pop or "sigh" made while opening the bottle with a twist, as opposed to letting the cork fly in a stream of spray - it is sometimes named "le soupir amoureux" (loving whisper) – try it and enjoy the moment.

YOU'LL NEED: Half a glass of Champagne / 25ml. Peach Schnapps / 10ml. Apple Schnapps / Top with 7-UP / Grenadine / Lime to garnish - or maybe peach, or apple / Rimming Sugar / A highball glass.

Preparation: Rim the highball glass with sugar and add the ice. Pour the champagne half-way down the glass, then pour in the apple and peach schnapps and top with 7-UP. For the final effect, drizzle the grenadine down the edge. Serve.

 

5. THE FLAMING COCKSMACK

The Flaming Cocksmack, a cocktail also known as The Flaming Pudwhacker, is a fruity pineapple creation, with peach and banana liqueur and a generous taste of rum.

There are a few good video tutorials on the net demonstrating the manufacture of this very important drink, hosted by characters both colourful and sanguine. Caution is advised for anyone embarking on the preparation of any drink in the ‘Flaming’ category of cocktails – for obvious reasons.

And that’s why this is a great way to start an evening, but never a good way to end one.

Another pitfall of burning drinks in your living room is that this drink doesn’t taste in the slightest of alcohol – it could only be described in terms of taste as a slightly sweet, total fruit bomb. A fruit bomb on fire, in fact.

The over-proof rum (or ‘151’) used in this drink has an alcohol content of around 75.5%, compared to the usual 35%-40%, and so folks don’t tend to drink it outside of cocktails, such as the B-52 and the Backdraft, both of which use the rum’s flammability to great effect.

The flames are decorative and do not change the flavour of the drinks noticeably, but can help achieve a good final mix. Remember two things: Flaming cocktails are more spectacular in dimly lit surroundings where the flames are more visible; and drinkers should be aware that the glass may remain quite hot for a while after the flames are extinguished, which could result in sore fingertips!

YOU'LL NEED: 25ml. Dark Rum / 25ml. Banana Liqueur / 5ml. Peach Schnapps / 5ml. High Proof Rum (sometimes branded as ‘151’) / 330ml. Pineapple Juice / A Collins glass / a handy fire extinguisher.

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients except the 151 into an iced shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Next try layering the 151 on top, and once you’ve achieved this, ignite it. Serve alight.

 

6. THE ICEWINE MARTINI

Despite the fuss among the experts, the only real evolution that has taken place in the world of the martini occurred with the launch of the novel Casino Royale in 1954 and the resultant catchphrase has become synonymous with the most hetero of all the great film franchises: Bond.

So in the name of balance, the icewine martini, shaken or stirred, is to our intents and purposes, the LGBT variation on this common theme.

Icewine, in case you didn’t know, is a type of dessert wine made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape juice to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine. Canada and Germany are the world’s two greatest producers of this marvellous drink. From the cocktail, expect a sweet up-front attack followed by the typical back-end dryness from the alcohol. It’s got both grace and potency, a good combination I’m sure you’ll agree.

YOU'LL NEED: 1 part Icewine / 2 parts vodka / Garnish with frozen green grape / a cocktail glass

Preparation: Stir the ingredients in a bar glass for 30 seconds and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with frozen grape and serve.

 

7. THE GAY RUSSIAN

The Gay Russian is a slightly sweet cocktail based on the original Black Russian formula, a recipe which has infinite modern variations – including this one.  The Black Russian first appeared in 1949, in the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. 

Keeping things Belgian, the Gay Russian has been launched to honour the possibility that Elio de Rupo could be the first openly gay man to become a head of government (Iceland has had a lesbian prime minister) if elected.

It’s fortunate that in Belgium, a politician’s sexuality isn’t of the same interest it would be in the UK, with few Belgians appearing fussed by the notion that a gay man is the most likely contender to become the leader of their country. Despite the country's rather staid and conservative image abroad, Belgium is sexually more tolerant than most of the rest of the world and became the second country to legalise gay marriages – so we should drink to that straight away.

Ingredients:  25ml. Vanilla Vodka (or normal vodka if you can’t find it) /  25ml. Irish Cream  / 25ml. Milk (or Cream) /  A lowball glass.

Preparation:  Pour the vanilla vodka over ice in the lowball glass, followed by the Irish Cream.  Then stir the cream or milk into the glass, with a good vigorous whisk of the hand. Serve.

 

8. THE GAY PRIDE COCKTAIL

This is something of an unofficial Pride drink.  An internet search of the terms Pride and Cocktails tends to throw up news items concerning Lithuania’s first Pride march in Vilnius in 2010 – when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the organiser’s building – even though it failed to ignite.

But this drink is a bit more pleasant. And you will only have to throw bottles about the place if you're feeling abit Tom Cruisy about things...

To be fair, if one were devising a Pride cocktail, you’d be ideally looking for something that offered a rainbow theme, and this doesn’t do too badly, at least up until you start mixing it. The resulting colour can be anything from pink to purple, with some murky oranges in between

Once the popping candy get going this drink really livens up though, and in a busy room full of excited celebrants, this is a major league hit – particularly because it’s fun and doesn’t get you very drunk like some cocktails we could mention.

YOU'LL NEED: 1 part Apple Liqueur / 1 part Blueberry Liqueur / 1 part Cranberry Juice / 2 parts Tropical Fruit Juice / Popping Candy

Preparation: Put the cranberry juice and the tropical juice into a tumbler. Pour the liqueurs into a shaker over ice and shake well. Pour into tumbler and add a pink umbrella, then sprinkle with pop rocks. Serve with pride.

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