Oliver our F&B Director here at the St Regis Punta Mita and soon to be father began his career behind Bars! His passion is Bars and Cocktails and here is an example of his love for the art of Mixology! Cheers Oli!

Starwood Latin American Division

Top 15 Cocktails for 2015

The following selection is a list of popular classics, new creations and current trends that should be featured on your cocktail list this year. These drinks will also act as a guide, showing how flavors can be easily combined, the use of fresh fruits, herbs and bitters.


The popularity of the classic cocktail has been on the rise over the last 10 years with prohibition era themed bars popping up across the globe. From London to Sydney, San Francisco to Mexico City, bartenders are mixing and serving prohibition style cocktails with vintage bar tools, strong spirits, vermouths, bitters and elegant glassware. These 5 recipes offer a great variety for your customer and can be easily tweaked to create your own version of these modern day classics. They will also offer you an important insight into the importance of balance, sweet, sour & bitterness in your cocktails.


      • 30ml Sweet Vermouth
      • 30ml Premium Dry Gin
      • 30ml Campari

Method: Place all ingredients in a mixing glass with hard ice and stir well. Strain into a rocks or old fashioned glass and garnish with an orange and lemon twist. Important to spray the zest oil over the top of the drink and wipe around the rim for extra flavor.
Antica Formula is a great vermouth which is currently in fashion. You can use Martini Rosso as an alternative. It’s important to always use premium products with your cocktails. Cheaper brands will create an inferior and ugly drink. Plymouth, Citadelle, Martin Miller’s and Tanqueray Ten are perfect gin brands for a Negroni

Variations and Twists: Different brands of vermouth and gins will give you a wide variety of flavor options. Other alternatives you be to modify with favored bitters, perhaps grapefruit, orange or classic. You may also want to infuse your gin with herbs like rosemary and thyme. Make sure to garnish your drink with the same herb if doing so.

Hemingway Daiquiri

      The story says that Ernest Hemmingway walked into a bar in downtown Havana to use the bathroom and ended up having a cocktail named after him. This recipe is a great version of one of history’s best and most famous classics. Make sure to tell the story whilst you’re making it!

    • 50ml Premium Silver Rum
    • 25ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
    • 20ml Luxardo Maraschino Originale
    • 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 10ml simple syrup

Method: Place all ingredients into a mixing glass, add plenty of hard ice and shake well. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
This is a beautifully refreshing and balanced drink for a hot summer’s day. No need to play around with the recipe however you could try different brands of rum until you find the best for your taste and palate. Havana Club 3 year old or Bacardi Superior are fine.
Aviation (3)
A classic gin based cocktail dating back to 1916 in New York City when air travel was only for the rich and famous
50ml Premium Dry Gin (Plymouth, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire)
15ml fresh lemon juice
15ml Luxardo Maraschino Originale
5ml Benoit Serres créme de violette
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with lemon zest twist
Sazerac (4)
Dating back to 1870 in New Orleans, the Sazerac can be made with cognac, rye whisky or bourbon. Depending on which spirit you use the drink will obviously be different, with each spirit adding unique characteristics
50ml Cognac (Hennessey VS)
8ml sugar syrup
3 dash Peychaud’s aromatic bitters*
10ml absinth
Method: Fill an old fashion glass with ice and, pour in the absinth and stir briefly. In a mixing glass combine the cognac, sugar and bitters and stir well. Discard the ice and absinth mixture from the old fashion glass and strain in the cognac, bitters and sugar. Correct the drink is served without ice. Garnish with a lemon twist previously wiped around the rim of the glass
*Peychaud’s bitters is the key ingredient for the Sazerac and cannot be substituted. If you can’t find it through your local suppliers try and find it on the internet
Variations and Twists
Try making the Sazerac with all the spirits, testing different brands and finding out which one works best for you. Also research the history of the drink well so you can tell it to your customers
Manhattan (5)
“Sweet, dry or perfect?”
Dating back to 1891, at least in print, we don’t really know who created the Manhattan. But we can be sure that it was most likely invented in New York and made use of the popular ingredients of its time
50ml Maker’s Mark Bourbon
20ml Sweet Vermouth*
3 dash Angostura Bitters
1 bar spoon maraschino syrup
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Sray the zest of an orange twist over the top, discard, and add a maraschino cherry
Variations and Twists
Sweet, dry or perfect refers to the choice of vermouth. Perfect is made combining half dry and half sweet. Sweet and dry are self-explanatory. You can play around with different brands of vermouth, bourbons, rye whisky and bitters to achieve unique flavor combinations. If you opt for the dry version make sure you garnish your drink with a lemon twist and omit the maraschino syrup (sweet only)
The following recipes are a combination of new age classics with a twist, original creations and classic cocktail families that can be played around with according to your style of bar, customer preference and clientele. All should be made with the freshest local ingredients possible, premium spirits and freshly squeezed juice
Pineapple & Basil Smash (6)
A lovely long and refreshing drink made with fresh fruit and herbs. The term smash refers to muddling fresh fruits and can be applied to any ingredient combination. Vodka, tequila, rum and gin all make a great smash
5 chunks fresh pineapple
6 basil leaves
20ml lime juice
15ml home-made vanilla syrup
50ml silver tequila (Don Julio, Maestro Tequilero, Gran Centenario)
Dash soda water (optional)
Method: smash or muddle the pineapple and basil in a mixing glass, add the lime juice, vanilla syrup, tequila and cubed ice. Shake well and pour all ingredients into a tall glass. Add the soda water, mix in with a bar spoon and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a basil sprig
Variations and Twists
Orange & Mint
Cucumber & Mint
Fresh Berries
Basil, Lemon & Gin
Home-made syrups such as cinnamon, vanilla and all spice add great flavor combinations and an extra element that sugar syrup wont
Watermelon Martini (7)
Made popular by the Eclipse bars in London and more recently at the W Barcelona where Eclipse launched one of their most successful club and bar venture outside of the United Kingdom. An incredibly simple drink that will never go out of fashion and will have your profits souring!
50ml Premium vodka
20ml sugar syrup
6 large chunks fresh watermelon
Method: Fill your mixing glass with the watermelon and add the vodka and sugar. In the metal half of your boston shaker add good quality ice cubes. They should be hard and not watery. Close the mixing glass and the boston shaker together and shake very hard and long. Double strain into a chilled martini glass or Collins glass with ice. There should be a healthy pink foam on top. Garnish with a watermelon flag
Variations and Twists
You can add some orange zest and cardamom to your sugar syrup for a bit of spice. Fresh kaffir lime leaves also add some extra flavor. Some bartenders also add a splash of lime juice to the mix.
However the best results will always come from the original recipe. Try it out and see.
Mr. Pink (8)
50ml Premium Gin (Martin Millers or Plymouth work well)
20ml simple syrup
Half a lemon (yellow) cut into 4
1 10cm sprig of rosemary
10 blueberries
Method: Muddle the lemon, blueberries and rosemary in a mixing glass, add gin, simple syrup and shake well with cubed ice. Strain over cubed ice in an old fashion glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a rosemary sprig and a few more blueberries. Simple yet complex, delicious and citrusy. Great for any time of the year. It helps to have a big bunch of fresh rosemary on your bar top
Roman Holiday (9)
50ml Gin Mare Gin
20ml honey syrup*
15ml freshly squeezed orange juice
20ml freshly squeezed lime juice
3 large chunks pink grapefruit juice
1 10cm sprig of rosemary
Method: Muddle the pink grapefruit and rosemary, add the other ingredients and shake with cubed ice. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a flamed grapefruit twist. You can also serve this cocktail on the rocks with crushed ice. In this case garnish with a flamed rosemary sprig. It’s a nice touch to flame in front of the guest
*Monin is a great brand if you want to buy honey for cocktails. Pours easily and works with a speed pourer. However you can make your own by heating honey and water. Equal parts. Less sweet and easier to work with than regular honey
Place your bets (10)
50ml Makers Mark Bourbon
20ml vanilla syrup
20ml fresh lemon juice (yellow)
30ml white peach purée
10ml apple juice
Dash of soda
Method: Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and strain into a high ball glass filled with crushed ice. Add a dash of soda, stir and top with more crushed ice. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
You will need good quality purée. The French brand Boiron is perfect for this recipe. Your pastry chef will most likely have it if you don’t
Agave Sour (11)
The Sour family of cocktails is extremely versatile and offers a wide variety of flavor combinations. Remember to have a good balance between sweet, sour, strong and soft. Best to use pasteurized egg white or crack eggs fresh to order
50ml tequila reposado
20ml agave nectar (miel de agave)
30ml passion fruit purée (boiron)
15ml fresh lemon juice (yellow)
10ml egg white
Method: Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and double strain over crushed ice in an old fashion glass. Garnish with edible flours. Half a fresh passion fruit if you don’t have flowers
Amalfi Mia (12)
45ml premium vodka
20ml limoncello
15ml honey syrup
20ml fresh lemon juice (yellow)
4 strawberries
15ml egg white
5ml Monin strawberry syrup
Black pepper
Method: Muddle the strawberries, add the rest of the ingredients except black pepper and shake hard with cubed ice. Double strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with half a strawberry and sprinkle of black pepper
Spice Trade (13)
50ml premium vodka
30ml passion fruit purée (Boiron)
20ml honey syrup
1 knob fresh ginger (2cm)
3 kaffir lime leaves
Method: Muddle the ginger, add the rest of the ingredients and shake hard with cubed ice. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cinnamon sugar rim and half a passion fruit. The end result should be sharp, tangy and a little sweet. Remember to account for the cinnamon sugar rim when checking sweetness before staining
Caribbean Spring Punch (14)
30ml Golden rum
30ml XO aged rum
30ml freshly squeezed orange juice
20ml hazelnut syrup (Monin)
20ml lime juice (green)
4 chunks of pineapple
2 dashes fee brother orange bitters
Method: Muddle the pineapple, add the rest of the ingredients and shake with cubed ice. Strain into a Collins glass with cubed ice and top with crushed. Garnish with 2 pineapple fronds and a lime wedge
Note: Different rums will make a big difference to the flavor combinations and outcome. Try Mount Gay Eclipse Golden Rum and Pyrat XO aged rum to start. Pyrat has a great orange-sweet flavor to it
Wonderland (15)
30ml Belvedere black-raspberry vodka
50ml white peach purée
20ml lemon juice (yellow)
15ml honey syrup
10ml crème de cassis
3 blackberries
Cava top (50ml aprox)
Method: Pour the cava into a tall pilsner glass, shake and strain the rest of the ingredients separately, top with crushed ice and garnish with a blackberry and lemon twist