three glasses of gin in balloon glasses

The cocktail originated in the 1800s and was probably inspired by the humble punch (a drink containing spirits, fruit juices, and spices).

To celebrate this versatile beverage, why not release your inner mixologist with one of these fun and easy cocktail recipes!

The lovely folks at Benugo (who look after the catering at our castles), have come up with these ideas based on some of the wonderful whiskies and gins you can find in our online shop.

For the purists out there, you can of course just enjoy these wonderful single malts straight up or with just the smallest drop of water.

Please note that this is definitely one for only the adults to try…

A selection of cocktails in different glasses. Some in highball glasses, one in a champagne flue and another in a martini glass.

Whisky Sour

Ingredients: 50ml Talisker 10 year old single malt whisky, 25ml fresh lime juice, one egg white and 15ml sugar syrup. Cherry or lemon peel to garnish.

This cocktail recipe is easy to learn at home. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all your ingredients. Shake thoroughly and strain into a whisky tumbler and add your garnish.

Hint: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can use empty (and clean) soup tins! Simply add your ingredients into one tin without ice and then pour from one tin to the other with as much distance between them as possible without spilling. This will create the aeration that you’re trying to achieve by shaking. Do this several times and then add ice and roll the drink back and forth between the tins to chill it.

Elderflower Collins

Ingredients: 50ml Shetland Reel Gin, juice of half a lemon, 10ml sugar syrup, 10ml elderflower cordial and soda water. Garnish with slice of lemon, mint leaves or rosemary.

This recipe is a delicious twist on the classic Tom Collins cocktail. Fill a highball glass with ice and add all your ingredients. Stir well and top up with soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and either mint leaves or rosemary to finish the look.

Hint: If you don’t have sugar syrup, you can make it at home! All you need is 300grams of caster sugar and 150ml of water. Gather your ingredients and bring the water to boil in a pan. Dissolve the sugar in the water, stirring constantly over a low heat. Once the sugar is completely dissolved allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool and thicken, then add to a container. You can now enjoy using it in your favourite drinks!


Ingredients: 50ml Kinrara Gin, 15ml sugar syrup, 15ml crème de mûre and juice of half a lemon. Garnish with blackberries and a slice of lemon.

Because who doesn’t love a refreshing Bramble? Grab your cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Add all your ingredients and shake thoroughly. Strain into a tumbler glass filled with crushed ice and pour crème de mûre over the ice. Garnish with blackberries and a slice of lemon then enjoy!

Hint: Admittedly, crème de mûre is not the easiest liqueur to find. If you are wanting to try this recipe, you can use blackberry brandy or a raspberry liqueur instead.

a purple cocktail in a highball glass topped with a blackberry and a slice of lemon.

Gin Mojito

Ingredients: 50ml Kinrara Gin, 25ml lime juice, 25ml sugar syrup, 6 – 8 mint leaves and soda water. Garnish with mint sprig.

If you have never tried a mojito made with gin, you’re missing out! To make this king of cocktails, add your mint leaves to the bottom of a tall glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add the sugar syrup, lime juice and gin. Take a spoon with a flat bottom and use the disc to churn the mixture. Add more ice, and churn again. Cap with more ice if you need to so that the glass is full. Add soda water (if there’s room) and garnish with a mint sprig.

Hint: If you want to try different flavours, you can add a few berries to the glass before the mint (make sure to muddle these before you add the mint) for a refreshing fruity mojito. Blackberries, strawberries and raspberries work well.

A mojito cocktail in a tall glass, with crushed ice and a red and white striped straw.

Islay Old Fashioned

Ingredients: 50ml Lagavulin 16 year old single malt whisky, 15ml sugar syrup, 2 or 3 dashes angostura bitters. Garnish with an orange peel.

A smoky whisky cocktail made the old-fashioned way. Add a handful of ice cubes to a whisky tumbler and add your measure of Lagavulin 16YO. Add 15ml sugar syrup and 2 or 3 dashes of angostura bitters. Stir until the ice cubes begin to melt, and garnish with an orange peel (squeeze and run around the rim of the glass before to release the flavour). Taste and add more syrup or bitters if required. Sit back, relax, and enjoy slowly.

Hint: Stirring until the ice dilutes is important in this drink as it releases more sweetness. Add more sugar syrup or bitters if required.

Scotch Daiquiri

Ingredients: 25ml Oban 14 year old single malt whisky, 25ml Amber Rum, 15ml maple syrup, juice of one lime. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Fill a martini glass (or any glass that you are using) with ice so that it is chilled once you have finished making your drink. Add Oban 14YO, Amber Rum, the juice of one lime and maple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and remove the ice from your glass. Strain your drink into your chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Whisky Ginger

Ingredients: 50ml Highland Park 12 year old single malt, juice of half a lime and ginger beer. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Fill a highball glass with ice, and add the measurement of Highland Park 12YO and juice of half a lime. Top up with ginger beer and stir well. Complete your drink and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Classic Whisky Highball

Ingredients: 50ml Balvenie Double Wood 12 year old single malt and soda water. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon zest.

We recommend this cocktail for people who enjoy Scotch Whisky! Fill a highball glass with cubed ice and add Balvenie Double Wood 12YO and top up with soda water. Garnish the drink with 2 or 3 mint leaves and lemon zest. Sip and enjoy.

G & Ts

If you are looking for something slightly less time consuming than a cocktail, we recommend making a gin and tonic from our Kintyre Gin gift pack. For each gin included in this pack, we have highlighted their perfect serves which makes a nice contrast for tasting.

In a standard gin glass, add a handful of ice cubes and 50ml of each gin:

Kintyre Gin – Top with a Mediterranean tonic of your choice and garnish with fresh basil.

Kintyre Pink Gin – Top with a mediterranean tonic and garnish with raspberries and mint.
Hint: lemonade also works well for this one.

Kintyre Oak Aged Gin – Top with ginger ale and fresh ginger.

Thanks to Benugo for coming up with these tasty recipes!

We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your results, so don’t forget to share them with us.


About Author


Hannah Reid

Hannah is our Marketing Coordinator at Historic Environment Scotland, creating various marketing material and works closely with the Marketing Executives on campaigns.