Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cocktail Hour: The Diner's Southern Iced Tea

One evening my dinner date and I squashed into two seats at the bar at The Diner in Soho for a late supper, because we fancied burgers but had already decided against queuing at Tommi's Burger Joint (okay, he decided. I bloody love their burgers and think they are worth the wait), and had both made the decision to walk straight past Meat Liquor. I find the idea that you still have to queue to eat there two years after it opened crazy. Once I had decided that I was going for my usual (the Californian Burger, sans the cheese and with added pulled pork), I flipped over to browse the cocktail menu, even though I was pretty sure that I knew what I was going to be having. Except for that my usual Southern Iced Tea had vanished from the menu.
Southern Iced Tea
I told myself that maybe they had just moved the cocktail menu around a bit to make room for their new hard teas, so I decided that I might try one of those instead. The bartender came back a few minutes later to say that they were out of something so, could he make me something else instead. I asked for a Southern Iced Tea without thinking, but when he gave it to me he told me that I was lucky that he both knew how to make it and that he'd taken pity on me that he could not make the drink I'd originally requested for me. The Southern Iced Tea had been discontinued because it was not popular enough. Naturally, I was heartbroken at the demise of my favourite dinnertime drink, so I cheekily asked the kind bartender how to make them. 

  • 10ml Vodka
  • 10ml Martin Millers Gin
  • 10ml White Rum
  • 10ml Tequila 
  • 10ml Triple Sec
  • Ginger Beer
  • Ice
  • Mint Sprig, to garnish

For me, this drink is pretty simple. No cocktail shaker involved! However, it has given me the chance to try out my shiny new jigger to measure out the spirits that I picked up in Divermenti in Knightsbridge the other weekend. 10ml is half of the 25ml side of the jigger, because of the fluted shape. Fill your glass up with the mint sprig, ice and paper straws, pour over the spirits and top up with ginger beer. Use a good brand like Fentmans rather than a cheap one, because the cheaper ginger beers will make something that is too sweet. 
What is your favourite cocktail of choice when you go out, or do you have a favourite off of a menu somewhere that has been since discontinued? At some stage I'm going to work to recreate the Raspberry Mule I used to get at Circus in Covent Garden, because it is absolutely perfect. 


  1. I loved the diner when I went a few weeks ago. Meatliquor is incredible but I agree the wait is ridiculous last time we started queueing before 7 and got seated at 9.30. This cocktail sounds amazing, it was so sweet of the bartender to share the recipe with you!

  2. Margarita. It's a classic, but when made correctly, it is unbeatable in my book!