A tipple for Thomas: Dylan Thomas Inspired Cocktails

by Richard Murphy November 13, 2014 2 min read


We do like to think of ourselves as gents, but it is true that we’d be nothing without the greats that came before us. Last week marked the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth and it’s crazy to imagine that if he was still alive today he would have received a telegram from the queen.

In order to pay homage to the Welsh poet we thought we should start with the biggest loves in his life - Whisky and the written word. Here are some whisky cocktails that we hope he would be proud of. Hopefully he would’ve enjoyed them enough to drink 18 in a row, but we don’t advise you do the same.

“My tears are like the quiet drift

Of petals from some magic rose”

-Clown in the Moon

This rosewater cocktail embodies the bittersweet sentiments in much of Thomas’s work.

Mix the ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Then simply pop in that maraschino cherry to add some old-school sophistication.

  • 1 measure whisky
  • 1 splash orange juice
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • 1 dash rosewater
  • 1 whole maraschino cherry

“We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood.”

-Under Milk Wood

A whisky twist on the classic white Russian. Probably more literal than poetic, we like to imagine the nutmeg is the wood atop the milky drink. To get that frothy finish blend everything together in a food processor. Grate over the nutmeg ‘woodchips’ once you’re done.

  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1 tbsp dark crème de cacao, or other dark chocolate liqueur
  • Double measure whisky
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • Grated nutmeg, to garnish

“Time held me green and dying

Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

-Fern Hill

This drink shouldn’t turn out green or dying but should remind you of a gentle sea foam on the shore. Dylan Thomas was a big fan of his nature imagery so why not give your tastebuds something to think about. This one requires a stiff jiggle in a cocktail shaker to create the foam. Finish with a dash of grapefruit bitters and a sprinkle of sea salt if you wish, then serve in a champagne glass.

  • Double measure whisky
  • 1 measure sherry
  • 2 dash lemon juice
  • 1 measure honey syrup
  • White of one egg

“Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

-Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

This one will blow your socks off and make sure you certainly won’t be going anywhere gently (even more so if you use freshly squeezed blood orange juice and home grown chillies). The best way to make this one is to stir everything together except the chillies in a cocktail shaker. Then pop in the chillies, replace the cap and shake. Strain into a tall glass when you’re done. This recipe also allows enough for a refill.

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2 tbs Agave
  • 1/2 cup whisky
  • 1 medium sized jalapeno, chopped, stem removed

These drinks are all best enjoyed in a fancy armchair with many friends who all have interesting and intellectual anecdotes. After all, it’s the Dylan Thomas way.

Richard Murphy
Richard Murphy

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