Celebrate World Cocktail Day with these Delectable Drinks

14 May 2020
3 min read
The cocktail maestro himself, Salvatore Calabrese, along with the barmen at a host of our favorite hotels have shared the secrets to their most tantalizing tipples in honor of World Cocktail Day on 13 May. Grab some glasses, raid your liquor cabinet and let’s celebrate in style with a toast from home… 

Brown’s Hotel London – Calabrese’s Trio of Classics

Salvatore Calabrese gives his recipes to three classic cocktails that can be mastered at home. Created exclusively by ‘the Maestro’, and his team, Maurizio Palermo, and Federico Pavan, these lip-smacking concoctions will transport you straight back to The Donovan Bar at Rocco Forte Hotels’ London outpost, Brown’s Hotel.

The Breakfast Martini

As Calabrese says, “‘The dream for any bartender is to immortalize themselves with a drink. More than any of my other creations, the Breakfast Martini is the cocktail that has become known throughout the world, making it a modern classic”.

This martini is dry with a hint of citrus and gets its name from the lingering bittersweet flavour left on the palate from the added secret ingredient: marmalade. This work of mixology art uses a method developed by Salvatore in 1996, and takes inspiration from a fond memory with his wife who encouraged him to eat breakfast by serving a slice of marmalade toast, without realizing that for most Italians, an espresso is all the breakfast needed.


  • 50ml London dry gin or vodka (depending on personal preference)
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 full bar spoon of thin cut orange marmalade


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Shred some orange peel on the top of the drink as garnish.

Spicy Fifty

An exciting adventure of flavour for the palate, this cocktail is sweet and sour with an unforgettable warm and spicy finish. A best-seller at The Donovan Bar, this drink is one of Salvatore’s most famous inventions – most certainly a modern classic in its own right.


  • 50ml Stolichnaya vanilla vodka
  • 15ml elderflower cordial
  • 15ml fresh lime juice
  • 10ml honey syrup
  • 2 thin slices red chili pepper


  1. Place all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake sharply and then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a red eye chili sitting on the edge of the glass.

The Perfect Negroni

The perfect Negroni is about creating a fine balance of gin and sweet vermouth, says Calabrese: “I always use Martini Rosso – and Campari. Those two ingredients combined are the most wonderful marriage.”

The cocktail master admits to making his first Negroni at the age of 12, so it’s fair to say that Calabrese and this Italian tipple go way back. Now regarded as one of the world’s most popular cocktails, the Negroni’s origins can be traced back to the 1920s when it was linked to Count Camillo Negroni of Florence.


  • 30ml Martini Rosso
  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml Beafeater gin
  • 1 orange peel


  1. Combine the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice and stir.
  2. Garnish with a slice of orange placed in the drink.
  3. Add a stirrer and serve immediately.

Or in Salvatore’s words: “To an old-fashioned glass, add first one shot of sweet vermouth, then one shot of Campari, and finally one shot of gin. The secret to the perfect Negroni is all about the stir, do not simply mix the ingredients together, but using the mixer stir and lift the ingredients at the same time. My personal touch to the Negroni is when I add the curl of orange peel, I always give it a little squeeze before adding it to the drink in order to release some of the citrus juice which gives added freshness and lifts the drink.”

Nobu at Four Seasons Hotel Doha – Lychee Martini

After an extensive renovation, the chic Four Seasons Hotel Doha reopened in March 2020, bringing a sophisticated edge to Doha’s city centre. Situated adjacent to the sea, the hotel boasts striking views of the Arabian gulf – the perfect backdrop to enjoy the Nobu Lychee Martini to.


  • 50ml vodka
  • 90ml lychee puree
  • 10ml elderflower syrup


  1. Add the vodka, lychee puree, syrup and some ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well and then pour over ice into a martini glass.

Miss Olive Oyl, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton – White Wine Sangria

Located on the Emboodhoo Lagoon, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton is a paradisaical island escape encircled by crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand beaches.


  • 200ml sauvignon blanc
  • 30ml sugar syrup
  • 100ml prosecco
  • 40ml peach Absolut vodka
  • 100ml sprite


  1. Fill three-quarters of a jug with ice cubes.
  2. Add all the ingredients except prosecco and stir.
  3. Add more ice and top with prosecco.
  4. Garnish with apple or lemon skin twist.
  5. Serve in a carafe, with wine glasses, poured over ice.

The Waldorf Astoria, New York – Rob Roy Cocktail

The Rob Roy is a direct offspring of the famed Manhattan cocktail whose origin is often attributed to The Waldorf Astoria. This recipe is courtesy of Frank Caiafa, former bar manager of The Waldorf’s Peacock Alley Bar and the author of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book.


  • 60ml blended scotch (such as Chivas)
  • 30ml sweet vermouth (such as Dolin or Martini & Rossi)
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
  • Lemon peel for garnish


  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir well.
  2. Strain into a cocktail, coupe or Nick & Nora glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon peel.


Images © Charlie McKay, Victoria Metaxas and PEDEN+MUNK