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What’s your favourite cocktail?

This week, we caught up with James, our bartender, as he shared everything from his cocktail training to the most popular cocktails on the menu here at Rutland Hall:

James’ Bartending Career

James has been working here at Rutland Hall for just over two years and knows our cocktail list inside-out; however, prior to coming here, James has worked behind a bar for over 23 years and received most of his training on-the-job.

One of the fundamental qualities of a good bartender is being able to establish a good rapport with guests, whilst creating a sense of familiarity as you look to enhance their experience. James told us, “My favourite part of being a bartender is interacting with different people from all walks of life.”

Popular Cocktails: James’ Favourite Cocktail Recipe

When asked about the most popular cocktails on our menu, James told us that the Mojito is a firm favourite; although he loves a Raspberry Collins. He said, “It’s a twist on the classic Tom Collins. It’s a lovely, deep red colour from the raspberries, and tastes great.”

Here, he shares the recipe with us:

Raspberry Collins

25ml Gin

25ml Chambord

Rutland Hall

15ml Lemon juice

10ml Sugar Syrup

Fresh Raspberries


Place all ingredients – except the soda – into a shaker with ice and shake well. Then, strain the mix into a tall Slim Jim glass with ice, and then top up with soda for a delicious and refreshing beverage.

Events at Rutland Hall

Here at Rutland Hall, we host a lot of events, from weddings to corporate. James said, “My favourite events to serve at are weddings, because no two are ever the same, and they’re usually a more relaxed atmosphere. In the past, I’ve also enjoyed hosting cocktail-making classes for guests as a team-building exercise at a conference meeting. They’re a fun way for people to relax after a long day of sitting in a conference.”

How to Make Your Favourite Cocktail Recipe at Home

James said, “If you’re looking for staple ingredients to have at home for cocktail making, I recommend Triple Sec (an orange-based liqueur), and Grenadine (the non-alcoholic version, so then you can use it in non-alcoholic cocktails as well).

“Also, buy the right equipment and measures because cocktails are made from precise amounts of each ingredient to complement the different flavours. Having said that, don’t be afraid to experiment – you can come up with some good mixes yourself with a bit of trial and error!”

We have some popular mocktails on our menu, including the classic Shirley Temple and Virgin Bloody Mary to more modern ones, such as a Raspberry or Strawberry Mojito; the latter proving to be the most popular by far. We also serve a selection of smoothies, with the caramel and mango recipe being particularly popular.

If you’d like to experience James’s cocktails for yourself, why not book a weekend break with us?

Alternatively, why not read our previous blog on things to do in Rutland Water to enhance your stay?

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