In association with Diageo

Britain's best cocktail: East by North East

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Great british pub British pub awards Alcoholic beverage

Inspiration for cocktails can be close to home, as demonstrated by Pleased to Meet You’s Tom Proud with his beautiful drink East by North East

Spirits Pub of the Year finalists in the Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) were tasked with creating cocktails inspired by their local surroundings.

The facts:

  • Cost to make: ​c£2.31
  • Sell at: ​Upwards of £7
  • Prep time: ​c2 minutes
  • Units: ​1.6 (based on sake liqueur at 8% ABV)

While Tom Proud’s Newcastle upon Tyne pub Pleased to Meet You lost the coveted Spirits Pub of the Year title to a competitor, his East by North East cocktail struck gold with judges and was crowned the best in show at the Future Trends: Spirits event on 3 October. The drink was then served at the GBPA ceremony on 5 October.

Two local products are used in Proud’s drink, including Lindisfarne Mead, made on the famous Holy Island in the north east, and Fentimans’ ginger beer, which is made in Northumberland.

The cocktail is a clever twist on the Mint Julep. A notable warmth comes from the mead, while the Yuzu sake liqueur balances the whole drink with the addition of a rounded sweetness that ties all of the other ingredients together.

As with the traditional julep, East by North East is simply built in a copper julep cup before being topped with crushed ice. So it can be made in almost any pub.

Each of the five finalists in the spirits category, which was sponsored by Diageo, made a locally-inspired cocktail, which will be featured in the magazine throughout the rest of the year.


  • 25ml Tanqueray
  • 25ml Yuzu sake liqueur
  • 25ml Lindisfarne Mead (local product )
  • 20ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 5ml Gomme
  • Fentimans ginger beer to top
  • Lemon twist
  • 4–5 mint sprigs
  • Crushed ice


  • Press the mint leaves in the julep cup
  • Add the alcoholic ingredients and the lemon juice on top
  • Top with the ginger beer
  • Add the crushed ice
  • Churn with a bar spoon
  • Garnish with a lemon twist and a sprig of mint

This drinks deconstructed series is sponsored by Diageo's Bar Academy, which supported the Great British Pub Awards Spirits Pub of the Year category.

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