Drinks Masterclass

How to make a Lady in Red cocktail

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks Masterclass: how to make Milk Thistle bar's Lady in Red cocktail (Credit: Getty/SolStock)
Drinks Masterclass: how to make Milk Thistle bar's Lady in Red cocktail (Credit: Getty/SolStock)

Related tags Spirits Cocktails Top 50 Cocktail Bars

This week’s Drinks Masterclass showcases a Lady In Red cocktail (22% ABV) from Bristol-based cocktail bar the Milk Thistle.

Assistant manager of the Milk Thistle​, which is number 43 on the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list​, Sebastiano Fileccia, explained once the homemade ingredients are prepared, the serve is easy to master as well as being a convenient drink to offer when prepared and stored in batches.

He said: “Having a full batchable cocktail with a long shelf-life increases ease of service and minimises wastage, and the batch can also be applied to other drinks to give a fruity, bittering lift.

“[Lady in Red] is very easy and quick to make during service. As a full batch, 75ml can then be added to a mixing glass, together with the angostura and rosehip essence then stirred over ice and poured over our large cut ice block.”

Each week the Milk Thistle sells between 60 and 70 Lady in Red cocktails​, allowing for a GP of 74.52% with a production cost of around £3.06 with a retail value of at £12 per serve.

More accessible 

In addition, the serve is “most popular amongst guests that usually enjoy Negronis or bitter led drinks”, according to Fileccia.

He continued: “The Lady in Red is slightly more fruit led and sweeter than the original Negroni and can be considered more accessible but would still be enjoyed by fans of the original.

“The wonderful dark fruit notes of the bean pair wonderfully with the bloody shiraz gin which we build upon by adding rosehip to the mix.

“It also opens up wonderfully with some tonic for a longer, spritz type serve on those warm summer evenings before dinner.”

Fileccia explained using the specific brands detailed in the recipe was important to enhance all the flavours.

In addition, the bar's usage of Cafe Feminino coffee​, which was founded in 2004 by female coffee producers to create a more equitable trading platform in the coffee growing industry, is something Filecca is "proud of".

He added: "Aside from being an amazingly full bodied and luxurious rendition of a Negroni style serve, this drink has a story to tell. 

"It is important to craft cocktails ​that tell a story the guest can connect with and share common values with.

Reduction targets 

"We’re so proud to be involved in such an incredible movement, and be supporting this entirely female enterprise."

Moreover, the venues focus on sustainability is clearly communicated through the serve.

The coffee beans are repurposed to infuse both the Campari and cherry garnish as well as any leftovers ground up, while the wastage from the blackberry cordial is dehydrated and blitzed into a powder, all to be used in other drinks at the bar.

Fileccia said: “Our ever-developing sustainability ​program aims to create increasingly more zero waste drinks such as this one.  

“Sustainability and the lessening of our impact is something we always bear in mind at the Milk Thistle as we continue to move towards our waste reduction targets with every new menu.”

Let's get into it...

Collage Maker-03-May-2023-04-28-PM-8329

Equipment required:
  • Sous Vide 
  • Vac Pack Bags 
  • Pot
  • Multiple Strainers 
  • Funnel 
  • Airtight container
  • Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin 35ml 
  • Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin 15ml 
  • Cafe Feminino coffee washed Campari 15ml (recipe below)
  • Blackberry jam syrup 15ml (recipe below)
  • Angostura 2 Dash 
  • Rosehip essence 4 drops 
  • Cafe Feminino coffee infused cherries to garnish (recipe below)
Blackberry Jam Syrup:
  • Combine 1kg frozen blackberries with filtered water in a large pot Simmer on a medium heat for one hour
  • Fine strain using multiple strainers until all pulp and seeds are removed
  • Weigh the quantity that remains, add an equal measure of demerara sugar, and dissolve
  • Add 5g of Maldern Sea Salt per kg of syrup, dissolve and set aside for two hours
  • Skim any foam and any other particulates that arise out of the syrup, then keep refrigerated
  • in an airtight container for one month
Coffee infused Campari:
  • Pour 70ml Campari into a sous vide bag
  • Seal with 70g of whole Cafe Feminino coffee beans
  • Infuse at 55 degrees for one hour
  • Strain out coffee beans and use a funnel to put the coffee Campari back into the bottle
  • Store indefinitely
Coffee infused Maraschino Cherries:
  • Reuse 35g of the Cafe Feminino coffee beans after they have infused the Campari
  • Combine with a jar of cherries for one month
  • After one month remove from the jar and use
The cocktail:
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Stir in a mixing glass with ice 
  • Strain and serve over a large block of ice in a rocks glass with infused cherry garnish 

If you have any drinks recipes or top tips to share as part of The Morning Advertiser's Drinks Masterclass series please contact rebecca.weller@wrbm.com​​​​​​​​.

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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