For now, London’s best budget cocktail bars are decidedly closed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t shake things up a little from the comfort of your own home. Here’s five classic working from home cocktails that don’t require you to fill your London kitchen with a mess of gadgets.

Don’t have the right kind of glass for the occasion? Drink from your World’s Best Employee coffee mug. Or a tumbler over ice. Or an Art Deco vase. In your own home there’s nobody to judge you.

Negroni

Working from home cocktails negroni
Photo by iStock.com/MarianVejcik

This distinctly Italian apértif has been at the top of London’s cocktail lists for the best part of a decade now—we’ve visited at least one bar that even has it on tap. As far as flavour goes, Campari and vermouth do the heavy lifting, with a strong bitter taste that’s curiously refreshing all year round. Some folks will shake a negroni, while others insist the drink should be gently stirred. One less piece of washing up makes stirring a clear winner.

How to make

  • Mix 30ml gin, 30ml Campari and 30ml sweet vermouth, such as Martini Rosso or Cinzano Rosso
  • Serve over ice in a rocks glass, with an orange for garnish
  • Best enjoyed:

    When you’ve just closed an important deal over a round of (virtual) golf. At this rate, The Firm is gonna make you a partner!

    Cuba Libre

    Working from home cocktails Cuba Libre
    Photo by iStock.com/Gresei

    Cold, sweet and zesty, the Cuba Libre is as simple to make as it is refreshing. In fact, it’s considerably faster to prepare than waiting for the kettle to boil. As far as we’re concerned, that makes it a better late afternoon pick-me-up than your usual cup of tea. It’ll cure your scurvy too!

    How to make

    • Fill a tumbler most of the way with ice
    • Squeeze in the juice of two lime quarters (to taste) and add them to the glass
    • Add 50ml light rum
    • Top off with your cola of choice

    Best enjoyed:

    Stick on some Cuban jazz, and get the folding chair out of that weird cupboard rammed with old boxes and Christmas decorations.

    Recommended London Accommodation

    Gimlet

    Gimlet cocktail
    A gimlet, garnished maniacially with basil leaves | Photo by iStock.com/Fortyforks

    This zippy little number is perhaps best known as a favourite of detective writer Raymond Chandler—but it’s made a comeback in recent years. At its simplest, a gimlet only has two ingredients; gin and lime cordial. When it comes to gin, we wouldn’t recommend anything especially fancy. The lime can overpower anything too subtle.

    That said, you’re best off spending a little extra on Rose’s lime cordial and avoiding the own brand (or sugar free) versions. Perversely, the cheaper versions often have more real lime in them, which seems to throw off the sweet-sour balance.

    How to make

    • Mix 50ml Gin with 50ml Lime Cordial
    • Serve in a chilled martini or coupe glass

    Best enjoyed

    While pretending your laptop is a typewriter and talking in a phoney 1930s Mid-Atlantic accent

    Moscow Mule

    moscow mule
    Photo by iStock.com/wmaster890

    This iconic vodka-based tipple is actually an American invention—hailing from the cellars of 1940s Manhattan. While the immunity-boosting effects of ginger and citrus fruits are overblown to say the least, we’ll concede that in this case, it’s better safe than sorry.

    Don’t have a fancy copper cup? Nothing screams class around the home office like drinking from a Heinz Beans tin can.

    How to make

    • Fill your receptacle with ice
    • Add 50ml vodka and the juice of half a lime (add the squeezed lime wedges if you like it limey)
    • Top off with ginger beer—and a sprig of mint if you’re feeling super fancy

    Best enjoyed:

    Russia long has been known for classical composers and bureaucracy. So combine the two by sticking on some Tchaikovsky, firing up Excel and smashing through your most boring grunt work. Will booze and ballet improve your input accuracy? Absolutely.

    Bramble

    Working from home cocktails Bramble
    Photo by iStock.com/Mindstyle

    Apparently a true Londoner, the bramble was born and raised in Soho back in the 1980s. The only trickier ingredient to snag is crème de mure—blackberry liqueur. You’ll find it in most specialty off licenses though. Failing that you can buy it online. If you’ve a tub of blackberries burning a hole in your freezer, you can even make it yourself. It makes for a great splash of flavour with experimenting with dozens of other cocktails.

    Ideally a bramble is best shaken. But with that annoying 5:45 pm call in 10 minutes, nobody will blame you for giving it a quick jostle with a chopstick and rushing back to your desk. Serve in a rocks glass.

    How to make

    • Pour 50ml gin, 25ml Lemon Juice and 15ml simple syrup over crushed ice and mix
    • Gently swirl 15ml crème de mure over the top

    Best enjoyed

    during a conference call you’re not sure why you were invited to. Use this time to fantasise about your blackberry picking expeditions when autumn rolls around.

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