Vintage Cellars

Cocktail Hour is Back. Here’s How To Do It Right

Big news: cocktail hour is back. So, take a little inspiration from the ever-stylish Stanley Tucci and lean all the way in on the pre-dinner drink to impress at your next dinner party.

Sure, classics like the negroni and martini are solid choices, but why not impress your crew with something totally new? We’ve got you covered with two delightful pre-dinner drink recipes that your guests probably haven’t tried before. And, of course, we’ve got the perfect snacks to go along with them.

Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet Cocktail

Ingredients (serves 2)

90 mL Hoshi Japanese Vodka 
60 mL lemonade
Juice from one small lime
4 slices cucumber 
6 fresh basil leaves
Lime and basil to garnish


1. Muddle the cucumber and most of the basil in a shaker.

2. Add the vodka, lemonade, lime juice and ice, and shake until chilled.

3. Strain into cocktail glass over fresh ice and garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of basil. 

Serve with: Cucumber and smoked salmon rolls with cream cheese – fresh, light and delicate, this  is your more-ish go-to.

Fig & Ginger Gin Cocktail

Cocktail Ingredients (serves 2)

120mL Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
45mL ginger syrup 
15mL fresh lime juice
3-4 fresh figs
120mL Sodasmith Tasmanian Lime Soda Water Can 
2 cups Crushed ice
4-5 ice cubes
Fig and thyme to garnish

Ginger Syrup Ingredients

½ cup sugar 
½ cup peeled and diced ginger root
½ cup water

Ginger Syrup Method

1. Combine sugar, diced ginger root and water in a blender.

2. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a storage jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Cocktail Method

1. Muddle the figs in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes, ginger syrup, lime and gin and shake well for 5-8 seconds.

2. Pour the mix over a tea strainer into cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice, ensuring a double strain.

3. Top it off with soda, and garnish with a fig and a sprig of thyme.

Serve with: Roasted figs with goats cheese & honey, a light salty-sweet snack that you can sprinkle with pistachios or walnuts for a bit of crunch.