Top tipple tips from world-class mixologist Jamie Jones

Words by
Daisy Palmer

20th December 2017

As the season of merriment is upon us, we discover from a master mixologist what, how and where to drink for the perfect party vibe

This year’s Diageo World Class cocktail competition saw the globe’s top mixologists meddle, mix and meld their way through gruelling stages. The UK winner was the talented Jamie Jones. Here he gives us his top three winter cocktails and we grill him on the new cocktail rules. 

What are the three ingredients everyone needs in their cocktail cabinets?

Sugar syrup, a good  gin and Johnnie Walker whisky.

How should you drink the perfect martini?

In three sips, and don’t let it go warm, ever.

What are the mistakes people make when stocking their cocktail cabinet?

It depends what they like to drink, but avoid the random holiday liqueurs, as they’ll rarely get used.

What is the best sequence of drinks: early evening, dinner and post prandial?

Before dinner, mix up a Negroni (vermouth rosso, gin and Campari) or a Spritz. During dinner, wine or low abv drinks like vermouth and tonic. Once the plates have been cleared, go for something deep and rich like a Sazerac or an Old Fashioned.

The right to free peach

The Right To Free Peach: A subtle variation on the Bellini, this uses bourbon, which pairs naturally well with peach and the Prosecco gives a wonderful effervescence.

• 35ml bulleit bourbon
• 15ml peach liqueur
• 10ml lemon
• 5ml sugar syrup
• Shake and top with Prosecco
• Fill wine glass with ice
• Add a lemon twist to garnish
What is the hardest cocktail to make?

Anything with sherry in it, as the temptation to drink it myself is the hardest thing to overcome.

And the easiest for an aspiring mixologist?

Master the balance of a daiquiri (rum, citrus juice, and sugar). Keep making them and drinking them.

What has been the best era for cocktails?

The current era of drinks and what products and ingredients are available is the most exciting.

Fleur Punch

Fleur Punch: Great for parties and get- togethers, the gin’s grapefruit notes come to life against the soft floral notes in the Jasmine tea and elderflower. The sherry adds a slightly nutty and salty note.

• Multiply the quantity of
each ingredient needed for a single cocktail by the number of servings required
• 40ml Tanqueray No TEN
• 10ml elderflower cordial
• 10ml oloroso sherry
• 100ml cold Jasmine tea
• Mix in to bowl with ice and serve
• Sliced lemons and edible flowers to garnish
Which spirits and mixers don’t ever go together?

Bailey’s and lemonade.

What is the best cocktail to make for a big party?

Punch! A spirit of your choice, cold tea, lemon and sugar. Easy.

What are your favourite international spots for a drink?

Licoreria Limantour in Mexico City and The Clumsies in Athens. 

Black to the Future

Black to the Future: A drink I created to bind the infamous espresso Martini with the dirty Martini. The smallest amount of soy brings out the big rich chocolate notes in the coffee, making for a delicious and elegant drink.

• 35ml Ketel One vodka
• 20ml Mr Black
• 5ml sugar syrup
• 1 dash soy sauce
• Stir and serve straight up

My five favourite London bars 

Three Sheets, Dalston It is simple and elegant with great service and drinks. I have known
Max and Noel Venning since our Manchester days, and they have created something really special.

Happiness Forgets, Shoreditch  A staple on any list. They always give a warm welcome and really well-made drinks.

Nine Lives, Bermondsey The team here is
one of the best,  friendliest and most hospitable
I have come across in London. It is an amazing hidden gem, and you may even find me behind the bar here at weekends. 

Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London, Holborn Greg Almeida and the team have created a wonderful menu and setting. It’s always a pleasure to be sat at the bar.

Sack, Shoreditch Located on the ground floor of The Napoleon Hotel, this offers sherry and disco. What else do you need? I love this place.