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5 Shakespeare-themed cocktails to celebrate the Bard's birthday

The guys from Sh*tfaced Shakespeare impart their alcohol-based wisdom to help you with your celebrations

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare
© Rah Petherbridge

They're renowned the world over for their unique take on William Shakespeare, namely for getting blind drunk while attempting to perform his plays.

Now Sh*tfaced Shakespeare is back in the West End with two new productions, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet, running at the Leicester Square Theatre.

To help you celebrate Will's 454th birthday, Magnificent Bastard Theatre's James Murfitt and Dave Thorn have developed five Shakespeare-themed cocktails.



1. Macbeth – Bellona's Bridegroom

Just committed a casual act of regicide? Done away with your best friend? Sanctioned the unholy extermination of an entire household in Fife whilst hallucinating floating daggers and moving trees? Times are hard, my friend: take the edge off with a Scottish spin on the Aulde Fashioned – substitute bourbon for a belting Scotch and add a dash of Peychaud for a colour so bloody great Neptune's ocean couldn't wash it clean.

Glass: Whiskey

Garnish: Blood Orange Peel

Ingredients: Tsp brown sugar, dash Angostura bitters, 50 ml Scotch whiskey, dash of Peychaud bitters.

Instructions: Muddle brown sugar, gradually add scotch and stir slowly with ice and orange peel. Add bitters.

2. A Midsummer Night's Dream – Puck's Fizz

Love in Idleness. An enchantingly sweet cocktail with a floral finish, half a score of these (Francis) flutes will leave you away with the fairies.

Glass: Flute

Garnish: Edible elderflower sprig

Ingredients: Brown sugar cube, 25ml cognac, Champagne, Angostura bitters.

Instructions: Soak sugar cube in bitters, add cognac, top up with champagne.

3. Richard III – Bottled Spider

How to re-energise after a long day imprisoning one's brother in a London tourist trap, assassinating one's juvenile nephews and wooing the lady whose husband and father one's slaughtered? A whiskey based Espresso Martini rudely stamp'd with coffee beans, of course. Now is the winter of your CONTENT.

Glass: Coupette

Garnish: 3 Coffee Beans

Ingredients: 50 ml whiskey, 25 ml Kahlua, 45ml chilled espresso coffee, 15ml honey syrup.

Instructions: Hard shake all the ingredients with ice, double strain into glass, add egg white for more froth.

4. Romeo and Juliet – Mercutio Mojito

A sublimely summery Mojito straight out of Queen Mab's little black book. A decadent fruit explosion perfect for a star-crossed lover or late night balcony pantaloon shuffle. Garnish with fresh mint and get that mad blood stirring.

Glass: High ball

Garnish: Mint sprig, strawberry half

Ingredients: 3 lime wedges, 4 strawberries, 5 mint leaves, 50 ml Mount Gay rum, 25ml Cointreau, 10ml Crème de Cassis, soda/lemonade to top.

Instructions: Muddle lime, strawberries and mint leaves, strain into glass, ice, build in glass, stir, top with lemonade/soda.

5. The Taming of the Shrew – Shrewdriver

Good Kate of Christendom you hit it hard last night! Tame that raging hangover with a good old Screwdriver. 'Tis an oldie, but a goodie. Put the sting back in the wasp's tail with a dash of tobasco.

Glass: High ball

Garnish: Half a chilli pepper

Ingredients: 50 ml vodka, orange juice, tobasco

Instructions: Build in glass with ice

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