How to Make 'Vintage' Cocktails at Home

Ploughing the Fields is one of the signature cocktails at Cahoots that you can now make at home
Ploughing the Fields is one of the signature cocktails at Cahoots that you can now make at home | © Cahoots
Photo of Cassam Looch
Film Editor9 April 2020

Cahoots is a 1940s-themed bar in central London offering virtual masterclasses called Cocktails from the Captain’s Larder. The aim? To help you mix some of the capital’s finest cocktails, whatever you have lurking in the drinks cabinet.

Ever wondered how to make a Vera Lynn, or been desperate to sample a Judy Garland? Well, wonder no more as one of London‘s top bars has released a series of videos to show you exactly how to make the signature cocktails.

As people continue to experiment with food and drink during lockdown, Cahoots, a 1940s-inspired bar set in a disused Tube station, is sharing the secret recipes behind four of its most popular tipples. Some of the ingredients have been swapped for items you can find at home and if it all looks too complicated, tune in to @CahootsLondon to follow along with an expert.

A new video will be available every week in April.

Vera Lynn

The Vera Lynn is the most popular cocktail at Cahoots, named after the iconic 1940s entertainer who recently celebrated her 103rd birthday | © Cahoots

– 40ml gin
– 15ml elderflower cordial
– 15ml lemon or lime juice
– 50ml apple juice
– 40ml pear and ginger purée*
Alternatively this can be substituted with 1 tbsp marmalade and 10ml simple syrup**

*For the purée: peel and core two to three ripe pears, chuck in a blender with two peeled slices of ginger and 10ml of simple syrup. Blitz until smooth.
**For the simple syrup: bring equal parts sugar to water (100g sugar and 100ml water) to the boil in a saucepan, then simmer for roughly 3 minutes, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Allow to cool completely before use.

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker filled with cubed ice and shake well for 10 seconds. If you don’t have a shaker, pour into a jug and stir with a spoon vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain the liquid into a highball glass full of ice cubes. Garnish with a mint sprig and apple slice and serve.

Keep Marm & Carry On

Cahoots was one of the first bars to serve cocktails in bone china, making this cocktail one of the tastiest cuppas in town | © Cahoots

– 35ml any vodka – we use Smirnoff Black
– 15ml lemon juice
– 40ml passion fruit juice (can be substituted with 20ml orange juice and 20ml pineapple juice)
– 1 tbsp lemon curd (or marmalade)
– 10ml simple syrup

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker filled with cubed ice and shake well for 10 seconds, or if using a jug, stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain the liquid and serve in your finest teacup, with a couple of ice cubes, and a trusty digestive biscuit topped with 1 tsp lemon curd.

Judy Garland

This spritz-style cocktail is the bar’s most popular sparkling drink and tastes as dazzling as the beloved Judy sounds | © Cahoots

– 30ml gin – we use Bombay Sapphire
– 15ml jasmine or fruit tea syrup*
– 15ml lemon juice
– 15ml sweet fruit liqueur, eg peach or orange, or peach schnapps or Cointreau
– Top with sparkling wine

*Jasmine or fruit tea syrup: take a few bags of jasmine tea, or whatever fruity tea you have (camomile is also great), add 100ml boiling water, then add 100g sugar. Mix until completely dissolved, remove tea bags and let it cool completely.

Mix all the ingredients in a chilled glass, three-quarters filled with cubed ice, and stir for 15 seconds. Strain the liquid into a flute or wine glass with ice. Top up with a sparkling wine of your choice. Mix gently and garnish with a thinly sliced piece of lemon peel.

Ploughing the Fields

A nod to the nation’s farmers, who tend the green and pleasant land, whatever the weather | © Cahoots

– 40ml gin – we use Hendrick’s
– 15ml elderflower cordial
– 50ml any green fruit/vegetable juice, eg apple, celery & cucumber
– 15ml lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker filled with cubed ice and shake gently for 6 seconds, or stir gently in a jug for 20 seconds. Strain the liquid in a highball glass full of cubed ice. Garnish with a thin cucumber slice and serve.

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