The Drumshanbo Jackalope - the symbol of March's Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin - isn’t the only mythical creature to inspire a fine spirit. These gin cocktails are as unusual as their namesakes – but lucky for gin lovers, they’re infinitely easier to find!
1. The Chupacabra
This blood-sucking beast, with its row of spikes reaching from its neck to the base of its tale, was first spotted in Puerto Rico. Since then it’s loomed large in American folklore, most often in the US south and Mexico. Are these bear-sized vampires really roaming the deserts of New Mexico and California, or have the people seeing them just had one too many of its namesake cocktail?
3 chilli slices
15ml agave nectar
20ml elderflower liqueur
15ml fresh lemon juice
15ml fresh lime juice
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Muddle two of the chilli slices and the agave nectar in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and lime juice. Shake and strain into your waiting glass. Garnish with your remaining chilli slice.
2. Red Dragon
From the serpent-like Chinese dragon with rain-summoning powers to the rather more fiery European version, red dragons are one of the most popular and enduring mythical beasts – and have even earned an exalted place on the Welsh flag. Raise a glass of this red-hued wonder in respect.
30ml Grand Marnier
25ml blood orange juice
25ml lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail coupe.
3. Unicorn Tears
Think unicorns are a myth? The ancient Greeks would disagree with you – they wrote widely about these horned horses, but always in the context of natural history. Real unicorn tears can heal physical wounds and broken hearts alike, but if you’re having trouble making your local unicorn cry, give this effervescent concoction a try instead.
15ml raspberry liqueur
15ml elderflower liqueur
15ml peach schnapps (optional)
raspberries, to garnish
Place a raspberry at the bottom of each of two flutes. Combine the gin, liqueurs and schnapps (if using) in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into your flutes. Top up with chilled sparkling wine.
4. Loch Ness
What lurks beneath the opaque waters of this famous Scottish lake? As you’re squinting across the surface, trying to spot the sea monster Nessie, pass the time with one (or a few) of the Loch Ness Monster’s namesake cocktails.
15ml sweet vermouth
15ml dry vermouth
mint and orange peel, to garnish
Shake your ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with mint and orange peel.
At 6,400 metres above the snow-swept Himalayas, Her Majesty’s 1921 Everest expedition team made a chilling discovery: a set of large prints in the snow. They wrote them off as the tracks of a ‘loping grey wolf’, but their Sherpa guides set them straight. These were the footprints of the metoh-kangmi, the snow man. Or, as we’ve come to call it, the Yeti. Pay tribute to this icy legend with an abominably blue gin drink.
15ml blue Curaçao
Lemon, to garnish
Combine the gin and lemonade in a highball glass, mix well and add ice. Drizzle the citrus liqueur over the drink and top up with soda water. Give the mixture a little stir with a bar spoon and garnish with a lemon wedge.