I’m Leon Wilkes Back, Head of Mixology at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh Link opens in a new window and I work between our two bars, Commons Club and Eve. I’ve partnered up with Virgin Money to help you glam up your Saturday night and get more bang for your buck at the weekend by making your leftover ingredients go further – ultimately, saving money and reducing waste!
Before I create any cocktail, I like to simplify the process by following 3 key principles:
Locality: choosing products that are made locally. Support your local heroes (brands, producers, distillers)
Sourcing: knowing exactly where your ingredients come from
Maximising your ingredients: find out exactly what your ingredients can do for you
Making cocktails at home is something I love doing, not because I am a bartender by profession but because exploring different flavours is very exciting to discover. Ready to put your mixology skills to the test?! Let’s go…
Please remember to drink responsibly.
First up: ‘The Bees Knees’
Bright, tart, and crispy. The Bees Knees is full of elegance and glam – it’s a real classic cocktail.
- 60ml London Dry Gin OR 60ml Non-Alcoholic Spirit
- 20ml fresh lemon juice
- 20ml honey syrup
- Shake well and serve in a cocktail glass with no ice
- No garnish is needed for this tasty and refreshing drink
Top tip: combine local runny honey with water in a ratio of 3:1 to create your own honey syrup!
Ready for your second serve? How about a ‘Whisky & Apple’?
Juicy, zippy and fresh - this cocktail is perfect for sharing drinks in the sunshine.
- 40ml Whisky (any spirit would work well here)
- Juice of 1-2 green apples, freshly juiced
- Build in a highball glass over ice and enjoy!
Top tip: rhubarb juice would work very well here but it would need some sweetness to balance it, so adding a small 5ml of honey syrup would be a great way to spin a twist on this cocktail!
Next up, a nod to Scotland and Virgin Hotels Edinburgh: A ‘Whisky Treacle’!
Strong, elegant, and rich – a sipping style of drink with subtle elements of freshness from the apple. This cocktail draws on the fruity tones of Scotch whisky and is a brilliant gateway drink into an old-fashioned style of cocktail.
- 50ml Scotch whisky
- 10ml honey syrup
- 10ml fresh apple juice
- Stir the cocktail down in a rocks glass over lots of ice
Top tip: garnish with an apple and cinnamon crisp and enjoy! (Recipe below)
How to maximize your ingredients
The fruit pulp left over from juicing your apples or rhubarb can turn into fruit leather or crisps by using your oven at home. These can then be used as an edible garnish on your cocktails to add some flare to your drinks at home. Here’s how to make them:
- You can take leftover fruit pulp from your juicer and add some flavours like cinnamon or dried spices that you may have in your cupboards
- Then spread it thinly on a sheet pan on grease-proof paper
- Place in an oven at a low temperature of no more than 80°C and slowly bake this until it turns nice and crisp
So there you have it! Three bougie zero-waste cocktails you can make with leftover ingredients and tons of top tips to impress your friends and family. Remember to share your cocktails with us at @VirginMoney Link opens in a new window and @VirginHotelsEdi Link opens in a new window!
A trip to Edinburgh on the cards?
Your Virgin Money Card can unlock a saving of up to 30% on stays at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh!
Just click ‘Book now’, enter promo code VMFriends and show your Virgin Money Card on arrival to grab this sweet deal. Terms apply. Flexible cancellation up to 24 hours prior to arrival, a credit card is required to secure the booking. Subject to availability. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Guests will need to show their Virgin Money card on arrival. This is valid on stays up to 31st March 2024. Offer open to Personal and Business customers.
Find out more
You might also like...
How to give your garden patio a mega makeover for less than £80
Transforming your garden can be pricey, but fear not, Alex Lawson from Casa Lawson shares exactly how you can give your garden an incredible makeover on a budget.
Six ways to cut holiday costs that you might not have thought of
Many of us could do with some fun in the sun, but as living costs rocket, cutting the cost of a getaway is more important than ever before - here’s exactly how to do it.
You won’t believe how cheap these Europe holiday destinations are for the family
The price of summer holidays in 2023 has literally gone through the roof. But not to worry, the Mini Travellers are on hand with their top five cheap European destinations that the whole family can enjoy.
Three bougie zero-waste cocktails you can make at home
Looking for some fabulous cocktail recipes? Leon Wilkes Back, Head of Mixology at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh is shaking things up and showing us how to make some extra fancy cocktails using some cupboard staples that you may already have.
Seven incredible cleaning hacks that’ll save you time, effort, and a ton of money
The Queen of Clean, Lynsey Crombie reveals how we can keep our homes looking sparkling with unexpected items that we already have lying about our homes.
Five under £100 hacks that will make your home look more expensive
Making your room look expensive doesn’t need to break the bank. From bathrooms to kids’ rooms – here’s how you can make your home look luxe for less.