Joe Rogers

When is a martini not a martini?

Considering its status as the canon’s most iconic cocktail, it’s remarkable that the martini doesn’t have a single agreed upon recipe. Like many great drinks it comes with more of a template than exact specifications, which basically dares us to riff on the formula. Historically, this has meant altering the garnish – swapping the olive

Where to find the best Guinness in London

London has always been dogged by the canard that the Guinness here can’t compete with what’s served across the Irish Sea. It is certainly difficult – perhaps impossible – to replicate the quality of the pints in Mulligan’s on Dublin’s Poolbeg Street, or at the Gravediggers by Glasnevin Cemetery. However, there are pubs here that

Where to eat in London in 2023

The most recent additions to London’s restaurant scene have plenty to offer – from Palestinian culinary history on a plate and a slice of the American East Coast to a tasting menu with a twist and ramen worth writing home about. Here’s Spectator Life‘s guide to the best new openings to try now – and

Where to break Dry January

Anyone who did Dry January will by now be eyeing the door and contemplating a night on the town. Because it would be a shame to break your sober streak with any old rubbish, here’s a list of the very best places in London to drink right now. Even if you did that very British

The best cocktails for Burns Night

Tomorrow evening, fans of whisky, poetry and sheep offal will come together to celebrate the birthday of the great Robert Burns. In the dog days of January there are few pleasures as great as demolishing a plate of haggis while trying to twist your tongue around Burns’s immortal verse. No Burns supper is complete without

How to master mezcal

Long before there was tequila, before there was a state of Mexico, there was mezcal. The agave plant – which is roasted, fermented and distilled to produce this traditional spirit – has been a part of life in the region for millennia. When the first stills arrived there in the 16th century they were quickly

London’s best martinis with a twist

The martini is experiencing something of a renaissance. This old standard is appearing front and centre on menus across London, reworked to showcase new flavours and techniques. Within the simple framework of clear spirit, vermouth, an optional dash of bitters and an olive or twist, bartenders are finding infinite room for creativity. Not only is

The heatwave cocktails that will keep you cool

You may have noticed it’s been a bit warm this week. There are few things the poorly insulated and generally un-airconditioned nation of Britain is less prepared for than the mercury screaming past the 30-degree mark. So really, the only sensible thing to do is park yourself in the shade with a big jug of

The best coastal pubs for a pint by the sea

There are few pints as good as the one you drink after a day on the beach. The sea air, the promise of a good fish and chips on the way, and the phantom warmth of a sunburn settling in all make that beer or cider taste even sweeter. British beach pubs can sometimes let

Why it pays to be picky about olive oil

There’s a story that foodie types like to wheel out about what a culinary backwater the British Isles used to be. ‘In the 1970s,’ they’ll begin. ‘The only way you could buy olive oil in Britain was as medicine for your blocked ears!’ While we might argue that Italian delis were importing olive oil to

How to make a White Lady

It may not be as famous as the Martini or the Daiquiri, but the White Lady is a real treasure from the golden era of cocktails. Calling for just two bottles, it’s a drink of great elegance and simplicity – filled with charm and old-school glamour. The first White Lady landed on the bar in

London’s best al fresco drinking spots

Being a city with tightly-packed buildings and frankly aggressive weather, London doesn’t immediately announce itself as a place to grab an alfresco drink. However, a renewed love of the great outdoors – something to do with being inside a lot recently, I imagine – has seen Londoners flock to the city’s terraces at the first

This year’s best Easter eggs

Here to separate the good eggs from the great eggs, we’ve tasted the Easter treats from the UKs favourite retailers. The 2022 eggs range from the innovative to the slightly baffling but the good news is there’s great options here for every taste and budget. Autore Milk Chocolate Egg with Pistachios, £19.70 – Delicaro Upper

What makes the perfect pint?

‘Always order your Guinness first in the round,’ Aaron begins ‘when you get it, let it settle before your first sip – half the pleasure is in the patience.’ He’s pouring a pint at Homeboy, his bar in Nine Elms where he and his business partner Ciarán Smith serve some of the best Guinness in

Sumptuous winter drinks to serve at home

What better way to mark the action in Beijing than a thematically appropriate Winter Olympic cocktail. These recipes feature alpine liqueurs and cold-weather flavours to keep you fortified throughout the event. Norwegian Wood With Norway set to top the medal table once again, it seems fitting that our Winter Olympic cocktail party feature a bottle of

London’s best Japanese bars

Japan’s influence on the way we drink cannot be overstated. An entrenched culture of artisanship and craft combined with a love of the good life has made Japan a force to be reckoned with in the noble field of boozing. As a fellow island nation with a similar appreciation for the hard stuff, we Brits

All the drinks you need to complete Dry January

Statistics suggest that many of us who valiantly hid our gin in the back of the wardrobe on New Year’s Day have since slid back into comfortable old habits. But whether you’ve had a dry Jan wobble or you’re just walking extra slowly past the strong lagers in the supermarket, fear not. 2022 brings with it

A cocktail lover’s guide to New Year’s Eve

As many of us are favouring small gatherings this year you’ll have lots of opportunity to break out the shaker and show what a cocktail hero you became during lockdown. The selection below contains festive recipes – read: drinks with lots of Champagne in them – a tactical low-ABV option for hosts needing to stay

Christmas cocktails to make at home

What better time to show of your cocktail making skills than this year’s rollover Christmas? The bold flavours offered by festive ingredients like Champagne, brandy, and rum offer lots of opportunities to get creative. These crowd-pleasing serves are packed with nostalgic Christmas flavours to help you celebrate straight through till Boxing Day. French 125 Because

How to beat the champagne shortage

A difficult year for imports means our nation is facing some serious Champagne problems. December usually brings deep discounting in our national retailers – allowing us to stock up on big name Champagne for Christmas – but this year we’re facing an unprecedented shortage of fizz. The grand marques are allocating stock all over Europe