Inventing new cocktails with Van Wees at the Oliver Conquest

Last Friday I was invited to Judge a cocktail competition at the Oliver Conquest (a fantastic pub near Aldgate with over 150 gins on offer) run by Amathus Drinks and Van Wees. In the end, I threw a few new cocktails into the ring as well. Here are my weird creations:

The Van Violette

This was my actual competition entry. I rarely use St Germain but wanted to give it a go, and liked the idea of something short and floral. I think it turned out pretty well!

Stir all ingredients except rose petals in a mixing glass with ice. Fine strain into martini glass and drop petals on top.

(or “The Chocolate Fish” if you don’t need your names to be appetising)

Based on the well-known chocolates “Rose & Violet Creams”, this is a sweet and syrupy mix of rose, violet and cherry chocolate liqueurs, lengthened and balanced by gin and lemon juice. The chocolate garnish really adds to the drink purely by its smell as you sip it. remarkably it tastes completely different without it.

Build in a glass over ice and stir. Garnish with lemon slice and chocolate square.