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The good, the bad and the ugly of cocktails

We all love a cocktail.  On a night out, when you’re in a snazzy bar in town with a bunch of friends sometimes only a sugary, colourful, slightly more expensive drink will do.  There are classic cocktails, bright green cocktails and cocktails you’ve made with whatever you’ve had left in your kitchen.

Sometimes they’re good.  Sometimes they’re bad.  Sometimes they’re downright ugly.



These are the cocktails that make you go ‘ooh’ and smile when you see their name on the drinks menu.  The drink you watch being made behind the bar, and makes you leave a well earned tip for the bartender.


Old Fashioned

The Godfather of all cocktails.  To be enjoyed by anyone and everyone (age dependent).  Simple, elegant and easy to drink.  Asking for an Old Fashioned at a bar gives you instant respect from a bartender and all your peers.  Do it for your reputation.  To make an Old fashioned you mix whiskey, bitters and a spoonful of refined sugar.  There have been instances of people not using whiskey, and instead using a replacement like tequila.  But as the old fashioned saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘.

old fashioned jalou

Getting a good Old Fashioned is paramount and we had only one bar in mind when it comes to mastering this cocktail, one of our favourite bars, Jalou.



Throw your gender stereotypes out the window and order a cosmopolitan.  This pink drink in a martini glass is probably the most popular of all the cocktails.  At least within the sour category.  It may look sweet but this ‘lady drink’ has a kick that’ll leave you wincing- in a good way.  Madonna had one once and now it’s famous.  A Cosmo is the cliché that every vodka based drink wishes it could be.  To make it you mix citrus flavoured vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. It always looks good in photos.  Has its own glass.  What more do you need?



margarita all seeing eyeAnother classic.  A fresh, crisp, thirst quenching classic of a cocktail, straight out of Mexico.  Salt rimmed glass and a lime wedge is an instant hit with any experienced cocktail drinker.  

Tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice is all you need to get this party in your mouth made.  A margarita can be bought pre made, but with only three ingredients you or your bartender should just make it from scratch.  

This is a delicious cocktail full of flavour and perfect during those Mexican feasts.

There are a lot of places in Newcastle offering this crisp, clean classic but for us there was one clear winner with our favourite Margarita from All Seeing Eye, complete with Himalayan pink sea salt rim.



bro mojito box tiger tigerMexican for ‘alcopop’ (just kidding), the Mojito is as refreshing as a the morning dew on a camping trip; it’s the lime and mint that does it!

 This cheeky little favourite was included in our list of 10 weird and wonderful cocktails, not because there’s anything weird about it, but because Tiger Tiger serve a ‘make your own’ version which they call BYO Mojito.

It is a great way to let your imagination go wild and make your own version of this classic drink with whatever you choose!  It makes a great talking point and for some hilarious (if sometime scary) outcomes!




You drink them because they’re probably cheap or have a witty name.  It’s nearly always a mistake.


Fat Frog

Only a handful of places may have these, and they make come under several names but this is the one we’ll go for here.  Being bright green may make it look appealing.  But don’t fall for its colourful aesthetics.  This is the laziest cocktail out of all the cocktails.  A blue, green and orange bottle of VK poured into one glass.  It’s probably not even stirred.  It tastes like a nightclub and that’s exactly where it should stay.  In a nightclub full of students.


Pina Colada

Okay, this is a controversial pick because some people may like it.  But if we really delve into what it’s like to drink a Pina Colada it’s a bad one.  Sure, it may taste tropical.  Yes, coconut is nice.  But why are you drinking it?  Who drinks these?  People on holiday.  By the pool, while sunbathing on a deck chair.  Are you on holiday?  No.  You’re at home reading this and wishing you were on holiday.  A Pina Colada is a drink that makes us sad.  Plus no one has time for little umbrellas.  Grow up.


Zombie Apocalypse

zombie apocalypse empress barIt sounds like something you should be running for your life away from, but it can be found on the cocktail menu at The Empress Bar.  

It’s a blend of spiced rum, cherry liqueur, grenadine and fruit juices.  

Sounds nice your thinking.  Why is this not on THE GOOD list?

Well as somewhat of a guilty pleasure this cocktail made THE BAD list because it really does live up to it’s name, have too many of these and they will leave you staggering around, moaning and groaning like a zombie!



In any form, punch is an awful excuse for a cocktail. One big bowl, a ladle and a very good chance it’s spiked.  Punch should be avoided at all costs.  Punch can come in many forms but will most likely have a fruit juice base and a dash of Rohypnol.  A good thing about Punch is that you can really go to town on its ‘look’ adding fruit and floating trinkets.  But it should stay looked at and never touched.



The ones you dare your friends to drink!!!


Smokers Cough

Let’s be honest.  You could only ever pick a cocktail named this as a dare or as punishment.  And you must have something really bad. Combining jaeger and a dollop of mayonnaise, it’s hard to envision how this ever came to be.  You’d only ever have one and regret it instantly.  Especially after you have to taste it again and again later on as you throw it back up.


Alligator Sperm

Even if this doesn’t taste too bad would you ever walk up to a bar and order this?  Melon liqueur, lime juice and heavy cream make this monstrosity.  That may sound like quite a nice combo but please remember someone made this and decided to name it sperm.  What do you think it’s going to be like?  Nothing good can come from this cocktail.  Even the idea of it is pretty hard to swallow (Oh grow up…)


Infected Whitehead

Who names these?!  But yes, this exists and it tastes just as bad as it sounds.  You take a perfectly good Bloody Mary and ruin it with cottage cheese and vodka.  Giving it a horribly apt name.  It tastes like vomit and will probably end up as such.  Cottage cheese doesn’t liquefy in alcohol, so it just swims in it.  Ready for your teeth.


About the author

This post was written by Matt Wilson on behalf of Geordie Crawl

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