presents Dino Martini's “Cocktail Capers”
Your guide to the Fine Art of Cocktail Making!

"Hurricane Vegas"?

Get yer shaker out, and add:

1 shot of Malibu
1 shot of Captain Morgan's Rum
1 shot of light rum (Bacardi is good!)
2 shots of orange juice
2 shots of cranberry juice

Add some ice. and shake really well.

Strain and serve on the rocks with an orange wheel, a cherry, and float a
little Bacardi 151 or Bundaberg Over Proof rum on top.

Batten down the hatches, board-up the windows and rope yourself to the
foundations before consuming. And watch out for the wreckage!

Dino's Cocktail Guide!

Greetings to all you swingin’ cats and kittens out there in cyberland. Being VEGAS aficionados and (like myself) connoisseurs of the finer things in life, you may well find the following information an essential element in your endless efforts to improve your; quality of life; private parties; social standing; stylish consumption of alcohol; or, perhaps, opportunities to ‘bag-off’…

For many years, with my international team of scientists, doctors and bio-chemists, I’ve been conducting experiments in my privately funded research institute – or, as a ‘lay person’ might describe it, my cocktail bar… And, as a service to the community, I’m delighted to pass-on the (up till now) highly guarded secrets of how to produce perfect cocktails.

To begin with, and to fully understand the whole concept of cocktails, I think it’s important to give you some ‘background’ information; if you were to search through the thousands of cocktail recipes that exist, you’d find that they can all be broken down into eight categories, or drink types. There are, in fact, only eight basic drinks in the world – and every drink ever invented is merely a simple variation of one of the eight - Cream drinks, Sours, Martinis and Manhattans, Liquor & mix drinks, Two-liquor drinks, Wine drinks & Punches, Hot drinks, Liqueur drinks.

Once you’ve read through the following instructions, you’ll not only know how to make hundreds of fantastic drinks, but you will also be able to create hundreds of your own and will become a true expert in the art of ‘mixology’…

Firstly, you’ll need to equip your own personal laboratory with some basic, yet essential, items…

Bar spoon – a very long teaspoon used for stirring drinks made in a glass mixing cup (such as Martinis and Manhattans).

Waiter’s friend – incorporates a corkscrew, foil cutter, bottle opener and can opener.

Blender – for blending Margaritas, Brandy Alexanders, Frozen Daiquiris etc. Buy the one with the most powerful motor you can get your hands on – mine was custom-made for me, by Ferrari.

Ice, ice bucket, tongs, ice scoop
– do I really need to explain? OK, there’s 3 kinds of ice; cubed, crushed, and shaved. Cubes, or ‘rocks’, are used most often. Crushed and shaved ice is sometimes used to make drinks like Margaritas (to achieve the frozen effect). If you enjoy trawling around car boot sales and second-hand shops, you might find a nice old ice crusher to add to your cocktail bar. Mmmmm, NICE! Oh, and by the way, never EVER scoop ice with the glass you’re using – you’ll risk breaking the glass in the ice.

Measuring device – absolutely crucial, if you want to ensure top results every time – many drinks can be spoiled by being too strong or too weak. There are various ones on the market, but it’s your own decision as to which one suits you best. I’ve got a rather nice ‘double-sided’ one – single measure on one side, double on the other – hand-made for me by Tiffany’s, in platinum, with diamonds set around both rims. Classy!

Mixing cup – the glass ones are similar in size and shape to a straight-sided pint glass, and used for mixing Martinis etc. The metal ones look much the same, and the lower part of some metal cocktail shakers can often be used.

Cutting board & paring knife – essential for cutting fruit. Make sure that you keep ‘em clean, and keep the knife sharp!

Picks, Sticks, Straws & Napkins – picks make handling garnishes like olives & onions a lot easier. Swizzle sticks & straws are stirring devices and should go in any drink that’s served over ice. Cocktail napkins should be placed under the glass to absorb moisture that forms due to condensation.

Umbrellas – puh-leese! These tiny, multi-coloured paper parasols are often seen adorning ‘tropical’ cocktails. The ultimate in tacky kitsch – I love ‘em!

Salt & sugar – you’ll need a small saucer for salt & another one for sugar, for swift ‘frosting’ of Margarita glasses (salt) & for Vodka or Whisky Sours (sugar).

Speed pourers – easily the best way to control how fast (or slow) the liquor flows from the bottle.

Strainer – prevents ice from being poured into certain finished drinks.

Towels – always handy to keep your bar area clean & dry. For drying and polishing glasses, always use a linen towel.

The next step is to stock your cocktail bar/laboratory/fridge with the liquids you want to experiment with. The following ‘starter’ list will easily provide you with enough ingredients for hours of liquid entertainment, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Vodka – if you’re mixing it, you can get away with any old stuff. If you like it straight, buy a premium brand. I have my own personal favourites for specific recipes.

Whisky – again, if you’re mixing, a bottle of cheapo ‘rot-gut’ will do nicely. However, for some recipes, you’ll need to use a malt or, perhaps, a top quality blend.

Bourbon – can be used as an alternative to whisky in some recipes.

Gin – different ones have different flavours. I know what I like, but just you go ahead and pick the one you want.

Rum – there are 3 types of rum, but ‘white’ rum has the lightest taste. If you prefer a ‘heavier’ drink, turn to the dark side…

Tequila – for mixing purposes, the ‘white’ stuff is the right stuff.

Brandy – unless you want to spend a fortune drinking fine cognac, buy the ‘cooking’ variety.

Cointreau – Nice on ice, and also an ingredient in some mixed cocktails. If you want to save some money, buy a bottle of Triple Sec for the mixed ones.

Crème De Menthe - Mmmmm, mint leaves and methanol – lovely, but lethal!

Crème De Cacao – Mmmmm, chocolate and vanilla beans - yum!

Kahlua – Mmmmm, coffee and vanilla beans – Mexican madness!

Amaretto – Mmmmm, almond flavoured, made from apricot pips. Go ‘Italiano’ and get the best, Amaretto Di Saronno.

Drambuie – Whisky based, with heather, honey & herbs – Prince Charlie’s favourite, and essential for getting hammered on Rusty Nails…

Irish Mist – Irish whiskey, flavoured with honey and orange.

Benedictine – Brandy based, combined with sugar, plants and herbs (such as hyssop, mint & melissa) – 27 altogether! The letters D.O.M. on the label stand for “Dino, Our Messiah” or, as some of you believe – “Deo Optimo Maximo” (“to God, most good, most great”). Whatever!

Galliano – Italian gold - aniseed and vanilla flavoured liqueur. Bella!

Vermouth – dry, sweet or rosso. You’ll need ‘em.

Bailey’s Irish Cream/Heather Cream – Irish whiskey/Scottish whisky blended with cream etc. Perfectly nice over ice, and popular in some modern cocktails. If you can find it, buy the Heather Cream – vastly superior, and made completely (and independently) in Scotland.

Although there’s, literally, hundreds of other alcohol-filled bottles you can buy to add to your choice of ingredients, you’ll also need some non-alcoholic stuff;

Gommé – sugar syrup, to you. Used in a surprisingly large number of tasty recipes. Make it yourself – grab a saucepan, empty a bag of granulated white sugar into it, and boil a kettle of water. If the sugar comes up to, say, 2 inches in the saucepan, then pour enough of the boiled water into the pan to bring it up to the 4 inch mark – double the volume of the sugar, in other words. Gently heat-up the mixture, without boiling it, until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool, and pour it into (thouroughly) clean bottles – screw-top lemonade bottles are ideal. If you’ve got the space, keep it chilled in the fridge.

Tomato Juice – main ingredient in a Virgin or Bloody Mary (or Maria). A really nice alternative, if you can find it, is Clamato Juice.

Orange Juice – with a really good electric juicer, I prefer to squeeze my own. If you don’t have one, or if you’re just too damn lazy, buy the freshest ‘whole orange juice’ you can find. Whatever you do, don’t ever use the ‘re-constituted’ stuff.

Grapefruit Juice – if you like a Salty Dog, or a Greyhound, remember - “fresh is best”.

Lemon Juice – really, you absolutely must squeeze your own. Same for Lime Juice. Here’s a tip – cover your lemons/limes/oranges/grapefruit with hot (not boiling) water for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start squeezing them, and you’ll get twice as much juice out of them. If you’re in a real hurry, you can ‘nuke’ them in a microwave for a few seconds to ‘soften them up’, but be very careful not to let them get too hot or they go horribly mushy! And when you’re buying your citrus fruits, pick the heaviest ones – they’ll produce the most juice!

Passion Fruit Juice – fabulous when fresh, but you can also use the ‘tropical’ fruit juice mixes available at your local corner shop. Fantastico in rum-based drinks…

Pineapple Juice – you wanna Colada? Spectacular results if you have the equipment to juice them yourself. If not, buy the best you can find.

Coconut Syrup – I like to fly straight to the West Indies and make it myself. Cheapskates can buy it from a supermarket.

Cream – single cream, and keep it in the fridge until you need to add it to your recipe.

Grenadine – sweet, cherry coloured, syrup (made from pomegranates). Used in a Tequila Sunrise, a bottle will last you a long, long time.

We’re almost ready to start, but first, here’s a few ‘extras’ that you’ll need;

Angostura Bitters – aromatic (and highly alcoholic) bitters - flavoured with roots, barks and herbs. Originally from Venezuela, Dr. J. G. S. Siegert first started dispensing this in 1830. Crucial element in old-stylee Manhattans, and still necessary for a good Old Fashioned.

Worcestershire Sauce – vinegar, molasses, anchovies, tamarinds and spices are just some of the ingredients that make this sauce vital to any Virgin or Bloody Mary (or Maria). Accept no substitute, it absolutely, positively has to be “Lea & Perrins”. ‘Nuff said.

Maraschino Cherries – a ‘sour’ just ain’t a ‘sour’ without one. Also used in Manhattans and ‘tropical’ cocktails.

Olives – like humans, they come in many different types and sizes. Small green pitted ones are the most popular, but I like the ones that are stuffed with pimentos. If you see any small green pitted humans, you’ve had one drink too many.

Onions – popular garnish for Martini drinkers who like something different. A Martini with a pearled onion is, in fact, a Gibson.

Tabasco Sauce – hot chilli pepper sauce, another essential ingredient in a Virgin or Bloody Mary or Maria. My favourite brand, “Kaya”, comes from Jamaica and you should never, ever, allow it to make contact with naked flesh. Just in case, scrub your hands with surgical quality soap before you go to the bathroom, or bed. I can’t begin to tell you how excrutiatingly painful things can become if you fail to observe this rule (it once completely ruined a night of passion for me!).

OK, groovers, just a few final tips for you to ‘take on board’ before you start;

Glasses – the basic rule is; use a stemmed glass for cocktails served without ice, so that hands won’t warm-up the drink.

Chilling – no, not sitting around in someone’s house, getting wasted. Cocktails are always best when served in chilled glasses. The easiest way is to stick ‘em in the fridge for an hour before use. If you don’t have the time, you can simply fill the glasses with ice whilst you’re making the cocktail and, when you’ve finished, empty the ice out before pouring.

– no, not the stuff you get on Christmas cakes, dummy! Some drinks benefit from being served in frosted glasses, and there are two methods. To frost beer or cocktail glasses, dip them in water and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll come out with a white, frosted, ice-cold look and feel. The other method is to use salt or sugar to ‘frost’ the rim of the glass. For this, you first need to have your glasses ‘chilled’ (see above). Moisten the rim of the pre-chilled glass with a slice of lemon or lime, and then invert the glass and dip the rim into the salt (for, say, a Margarita) or sugar (for a ‘sour’).

Floaters – no, not the disgusting thing that you’re thinking. If you’re making a cocktail that uses two or more different liqueurs, pour them into the glasses you want to serve them in, and stick ‘em in the fridge. Within an hour, each liqueur will find its own ‘weight level’, and will form distinct layers. If you haven’t got time for that, you can either try using well-chilled liqueurs and glasses, or hold a bar spoon upside-down and gently pour the liqueurs over the back part of the spoon.

And now, it’s time to start shakin’ and makin’ COCKTAILS !!!

If you’ve read this far, you’ll recall that I mentioned that there are only eight basic drink categories in the world, so I thought that it might be a good idea to start you off with one recipe from each of them, and every month I’ll give you another recipe, which you can practise and add to your repertoire…

Brandy Alexander – blended, and served in chilled, stemmed glasses.
¼ mixing cup of ice in the blender, then add;
1 measure of Brandy
1 measure of Crème De Cacao
4 measures of cream
Blend, and strain into the glass
Garnish with a little ground nutmeg.

Italian Delight – blended, and served in chilled, stemmed glasses.
¼ mixing cup of ice in the blender, then add;
1 measure of Amaretto
½ measure of orange juice
1½ measures of cream
Blend and strain into the glass
Garnish with a cherry on top.

Vodka Sour – shaken, and served in chilled, sugar frosted, champagne flutes.
¼ cup of ice in shaker, then add;
2 measures of Vodka
1 measure of Gommé
1 measure of Lemon juice
2 or 3 drops of egg white
Shake very well, before placing
1 Maraschino Cherry in the bottom of the glass
Strain the drink into the glass, and
Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime on the side of the glass

Side Car
– blended, and served in sugar-frosted stemmed glasses.
¼ mixing cup of ice in the blender, then add;
1 measure of Brandy
½ measure of Triple Sec
¾ measure of sugar syrup
1 measure of lemon juice
Blend, and strain into the glass.

Manhattan – served ‘on-the-rocks’ (in tumblers), or in chilled, stemmed glasses.
¼ measure of Sweet Vermouth
1½ measures of Whisky, and garnish with
1 Maraschino Cherry in the glass

Rob Roy (aka Scotch Manhattan) – served ‘on-the-rocks’ (in tumblers) or in chilled, stemmed glasses.
¼ measure of Sweet Vermouth
1½ measures Whisky
Stir & drop a cherry into the glass for garnish.

Gin Gimlet – served ‘on-the-rocks’ in tumblers.
1½ measures of Gin
½ measure of Lime Juice
Stir well, and garnish with a slice of Lime

Cuba Libré – served in highball glasses.
½ fill glass with ice
1 measure of Bacardi
½ measure of lemon juice
3 drops of Angustora Bitters
Fill with cola
Stir and garnish with slice of lemon.

Horse’s Neck – served ‘on-the-rocks’ in tumblers.
1¼ measures Brandy
2 drops of Angustora Bitters
Fill with Dry Ginger
Garnish with thin slice of orange peel.

Morning Glory – shaken, and served in tumblers.
I cup of ice in a cocktail shaker, then add;
1¼ measures of Whisky
¼ measure of sugar syrup
2 or 3 drops of egg white
Shake well and strain into glass
Top with soda water
Garnish with slice of lemon.

Sidewinder – served in highball glasses.
½ fill glass with ice and add;
1¼ measures Vodka
½ measure of lemon juice
Fill with Dry Ginger
Garnish with slice of lemon.
Old Fashioned – served in a tumbler.
2 teaspoons of sugar syrup
2 dashes of Angustora Bitters
Dash of Soda Water
Mix together
Fill glass with ice
1 measure of Bourbon
Stir, and add cherry garnish.

Rusty Nail – served ‘on-the-rocks’ in tumblers.
1½ measures of Whisky (Malt, optional)
½ measure of Drambuie
Stir gently

Freddy Fudpucker – served in highball glasses.
½ fill glass with ice
1 measure of Tequila
Almost fill with orange juice
Float ½ measure of Galliano on top
Garnish with slice of orange.

Godfather – served in a tumbler, filled with ice.
1½ measures of Whisky
½ measure of Amaretto
Stir and serve.
Spinnaker – served in highball glasses.
½ fill glass with ice, then add;
1¼ measures Benedictine
1¼ measures Gin
Fill with orange juice
Garnish with a slice of orange.

Champagne Cocktail – served in chilled champagne flutes.
1 sugar cube in the glass
1 drop of Angustora Bitters
1 twist of Lemon
Fill with chilled Champagne
1 sugar cube in the glass
2 dashes of Brandy
1 twist of Lemon
Fill with chilled Champagne

Black Tie
– served in chilled champagne flutes.
1 measure of Cremé De Cacao
Fill with Champagne
Garnish with cherry on rim of glass.

Wine Cooler – served in a highball glass, ½ filled with ice.
½ fill glass with Burgundy wine, or Rosé (depending on your preference)
Fill with Lemonade or 7 Up
Stir gently
Garnish with a cherry.

Hot Buttered Rum – served in mugs.
2 whole cloves
2 whole allspice
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of sugar (brown or white – your choice)
Put the above ingredients in a mug, add ½ a measure of boiling water, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add;
½ measure of Jamaican Rum, or Australian (Bundaberg) Rum (“Over Proof”, if you can get it!)
1 measure of light rum
2 measures of boiling water
1 teaspoon of un-salted butter
Stir until the butter dissolves.
Add more sugar if desired

Cappuccino Vivace – served in large stemed glass or mug.
In a saucepan, mix 4 measures of hot coffee, 1½ teaspoons of chocolate powder and 4 measures of cream.
In the glass or mug, add;
¼ measure of Brandy
¼ measure of Light Rum
¼ measure of Gin
¼ measure of Galliano
¼ measure of white Cremé De Cacao
Add the hot (but not boiling!) coffee mixture
Top with whipped cream.
(NOTE: if using a glass, avoid breaking/cracking it by placing a metal teaspoon in the glass first, as that absorbs the heat!).

Kamakazi served in chilled shot or liqueur glasses.
¼ fill a glass mixing cup with ice &
¾ measure of Vodka
¼ measure of Lime Juice
½ measure of Vodka
¼ measure of Triple Sec
¼ measure of Lime Juice
Stir well and strain into glass

B & B – served in a liqueur glass or brandy snifter.
½ measure of Brandy
½ measure of Benedictine
Stir and serve.

Black Nipple – served in shot glasses.
½ measure Black Sambuca
½ measure of Bailey’s Irish Cream
Swallow in one gulp.

Lim-Sam Gargleblaster – served in shot glasses.
¾ measure Sambuca
¼ measure of lime juice gently floated on top
Swallow in one gulp.

Well, folks, now that you have the equipment, the ingredients and the recipes, I hope that you’ll try some (if not all) of ‘em out. If you have got a favourite recipe of your own, either invite me round to your penthouse pad or e-mail it to me at and I’ll be delighted to personally ‘test-taste’ it. If it comes up to the exceptionally high standard we expect at VEGAS, I’ll be delighted to send you a free double-pass to the club, add it to the list on this website, and credit you for it!

Happy shakin’,

Your buddy,

Want more cocktails? Dino recommends The Craft of the Cocktail: UK Edition available from Amazon, and receiving a superb five star rating from all customers....Click Here for more info.


Cocktail of (Previous) Months! --> "STUDIO 54"

This is the drink the stars may very well have enjoyed in the famous New York nightclub. Try it for yourself when you're at VEGAS! It's easy to make, and even easier to drink…

1 - Take a nicely chilled 'Collins' glass, and then add plenty of ice.
2 - Pour in 1 measure of your favourite Gin.
3 - Then pour in one measure of Midori Melon Liqueur.
4 - Add tonic water to whatever level you like, and slide in a slice of lemon.

Want more cocktails? Check out Dino's cocktails page on the Vegas website or invest in a book truly worthy of an expert such as The Craft of the Cocktail: UK Edition available from Amazon, and receiving a superb five star rating from all customers....


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