Political cocktails: Hackquiri, anyone?

Written by 14 Nov 2013 on 14 November 2013 in Culture
Total Politics' menu of political cocktails

“Specialise. And stay out of the bars.”

This was post-war Labour prime minister Clement Attlee’s sage advice to new MPs. But in times of coalition, not all members get the chance to specialise, and while parliamentarians don’t drink with quite the same enthusiam of previous eras a trip to the bar still plays a part in Westminster life.

So think twice about the usual sticky lager at an SW1 boozer, avoid a glass of tepid parliamentary reception wine, and instead take the strain off a busy day by ordering a responsible and sophisticated tipple with the help of some new political concoctions suggested by Total Politics.

Photos by Louise Haywood-Schiefer.

Peach schnapps
Dried apricots

Serve in a liqueur glass with salted nuts and dried apricots on the side. Can also be served Green.

Boris Island Iced Tea

15 ml vodka
15 ml light rum
15 ml gin
15 ml 100% agave tequila
15 ml triple sec
10 ml lime juice
10 ml lemon juice
Dash of sugar syrup
Splash of Coca-Cola

While taking care to minimise noise pollution, shake all ingredients with ice except the cola, strain into a long tumbler glass over ice cubes, then top it up with the cola and garnish with a slice of lemon. An estuary of flavour.

Blue Swivel-Eyed Lagoon

Harry's Bar formula

50 ml vodka
25 ml Blue Curaçao
25 ml grapefruit juice

Shake all ingredients with ice vigorously to crack the ice, pour into a long glass, serve with straws and some lemon zest – to leave a particularly sour taste. Check who’s sitting at your table before ordering.


50 ml rum
20 ml lime juice
15 ml sugar syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice then fine strain it with an additional tea-strainer into a chilled coupe glass, no garnish, but use a lime peel if desired. To be imbibed before a Public Inquiri – a very different drink.


50 ml rye whiskey
15 ml sweet vermouth
10 ml dry vermouth
Dash of Angostura bitters

Add all the ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass, stir then strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel. Not as dry as you’d imagine.


50 ml vodka
Fresh orange juice

Pour the vodka into a long glass filled with ice, top it up with orange juice, garnish with an orange slice, then drink hard and get on in life.

Vince Julep

60 ml bourbon
10 ml sugar syrup
12 mint leaves
Dash of Angostura bitters  

Place the mint leaves into a fedora hat, gently muddle them, fill the hat half with crushed ice, add the bourbon and bitters, churn gently with a long spoon, top up with ice and churn again, garnish with a small bunch of mint on top. Going off-recipe is a danger.

Tequila Compromise

50 ml 100% agave tequila
Dash of grenadine syrup
Fresh orange juice

Fill up a long glass – or maybe a short one, or it could be a mug if necessary – with ice (melted or frozen, either will do), pour in the tequila, the orange juice (or it could be apple, tropical or grapefruit), and add a dash, or loads, of grenadine syrup, then garnish with a slice of orange. Or don’t.

Spending Cap-irinha

50 ml Cachaça 
Half a lime
15 ml sugar syrup

Cut the lime into wedges – but not too far, too fast – muddle them with the sugar syrup in the glass, add the cachaça and the ice, then stir. Garnish with a lime, salami-sliced.

Exchequer on the Beach

35 ml vodka
25 ml peach schnapps
50 ml cranberry juice
50 ml orange juice

Shake all the ingredients with ice then strain into an ice-filled glass, and garnish with an orange slice – just don’t triple-dip it. The alternative beverage is a Plan B-52.

All cocktails pictured in the shoot made by the Cinnamon Club’s head bartender Gabor Onufer and photographed in the Library Bar by Louise Haywood-Schiefer.

Cocktails chosen and renamed by the Total Politics team.

The Cinnamon Club, Westminster, hosts both the Library Bar and Club Bar, which can be booked out for private events. The Club Bar is ideal for hosting a standing reception of up to 70 guests and/or post and pre-dinner drinks before moving to the main restaurant or one of the private dining spaces.

The Cinnamon Club, The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU, 020 7222 2555

Tags: Issue 63

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