Wish List

There's a table a bit further down the page (hopefully it won't take too long to load; if any pictures don't come up, trying right-clicking on them and selecting "Show Image" or "Show Picture"). It has a list of some of the spirits, liqueurs, and mixers that I'm interested in at the mo (exclusion from the list does not imply that I won't be interested in it...). I've left off beers and wines since I have some, I don't care for them, and anyone who wants any is bound to bring some that they like anyway. Of particular note is the number in brackets after each item, which is the volume I currently have in stock. No number means none. So consider if you think I have enough to cover us for the night, and if not, feel free to top up the stocks.

My philosophy to mixing drinks is somewhat different to convention. Rather than remember set recipes, I prefer to mix with whatever's present, which has left me with a tendency to know what substances work well with each other. To a large extent, you can split the drinks into the following broad classes, and mix anything within each class to produce startling results. Consider this your very own person taster lesson in mixing the Stelio way.

A    Something that goes with anything, and therefore worth having.
C    Chocolate, coffee, and cream flavours, and whatever works well with them.
F    Fruit-based flavours, usually making sweet but light drinks.
H    Herb flavoured drinks that are usually light, and hardly ever mixed.
M    Mint and aniseed flavours and the like, which sometimes go with fruit, but often don't.

There's some further fiddling, since you can cross mix some things (C and M often work well together for example, or F and M, so long as you don't mix strong flavours together), but the simplest and most important rule to learn is to *never* mix dairy and citrus (so no C and F). And that's pretty much it. Dead easy. Just pour, stir, and sip, then gulp. Anyway, on with the real meat of the page...

A guide to general availability in the UK:
5/5 If it sells alcohol, it sells this.
4/5 Most places stock it.
3/5 Shops with a good selection of interesting things.
2/5 Speciality shops only.
1/5 Very obscure.
0/5 Yeah, right.

Banned for so long, and now available again in a commercial and weak form that costs far more than it offers. The reputation of absinthe in the old days shadows its more recent and poorer incarnation. A fun drink, nevertheless, and worth playing with. For mixing, class H, being as it is a distinctly herby drink.

Thick and yellow, this is alcoholic egg yolk more than anything. On its own, a rather scary drink known to make people ill, but mixes surprisingly well (especially with lemonade). It has to default to class C, but I must admit to not having experimented with it much.

Amaretto    (~600ml)4/54/5
Perhaps the best well known of the Italian liqueurs, this has a divine almond flavour. It's a sweet drink, and perhaps a little too cloying after lots of it, but lots of it is just so easy to drink. Class C if you're considering mixing it with anything.

In contrast to its name, completely unlike Amaretto, and in fact much more like Baileys. I'd say it's like Baileys, but tastes more like milk. Without a doubt, class C, but it's almost blandness of flavour means that it mixes well with class M drinks too.

Angostura Bitters    (~180ml)4/53/5
The classic example of a class A substance (in my terms, not the FDA's). Angostura Bitters add a piquant flavour to anything, and should be used very sparingly (we're talking drops, not shots). Most people don't realise, though, quite how potent this is: 44.7% by volume!

Archers    (700ml)4/54/5
What must be the most popular and certainly, in my experience, the best tasting peach schnapps. Others seem sickly sweet and/or too chemically. Archers is a boon to mixing cocktails, as it is flavoursome and yet light enough not to overpower. A colourless spirit, and class F.

Baileys    (350ml)5/55/5
The god of class C drinks. An Irish cream liqueur that is smoothness incarnate, and although is used as a base for most class C cocktails, is in fact even better just on its own with ice. Top marks all round. Now if only it didn't have a relatively short shelf life (like that matters!).

Becherovka    (~200ml)3/51/5

Benedictine    (700ml)5/52/5
When the French monks mixed their 27 secret ingredients together to produce this uberspirit, they did the world a great favour. This has a remarkable blend of plants and spices in it that produces a delicate and distinctive flavour, the delight of class H drinks.

Blackcurrant Cordial4/55/5
The classic cordial, one half of the infamous gnome juice serum. A useful mixer (although obviously non-alcoholic) good both for its flavouring and its dark purple colour. Class F all the way.

Cadbury's Cream Liqueur5/50/5
Sadly no longer available as Cadbury's have discontinued it, this was the most remarkable drink, being as it was the pure taste of Cadbury's milk chocolate in alcoholic format. Expensive and worth it, class C, but no longer with us. *sniff*

Calvados    (~1200ml)2/53/5

Whether green or yellow, this monk-created liqueur retains a unique herby taste that titillates some (like me) but revolts others. This is what the SUFC mens team use as punishment for the rare occassions that they lose a match. Class H.

Choya    (700ml)4/51/5


Cola    (~3000ml, 3000ml diet)1/55/5
Pitiful stuff, replete with dangerous chemicals, that does you little to no good, and even suffers the indignity of being non-alcoholic. I personally don't drink it, so feel free to deplete my stocks of this dark monstrosity. I'm loathe to even enter this into a class of drinks.

Crème de Banane2/52/5
Disappointingly light in flavour when drunk alone, but the only way you're going to get the full-on taste of bananas into a cocktail. Only really used for mixing "interesting" things, its light yellow colour is usually drowned out by other ingredients. Class F.

Crème de Cassis    (~450ml)3/52/5

Crème de Menthe3/53/5
Mmminty! So obviously class M, this clear liqueur is available in two colours: green and white. You'll almost never find the white version though, since a lot of the time it's used for its colour just as much as its flavour. Many people complain that it tastes of toothpaste. Heathens.

Crème d'Yvette4/51/5
To be honest, I've never tried this. From the descriptions I have read, it should be what was in the bottles of Parfait Amour I've had. It's meant to be blue and made of oranges you see, and rather tasty too. But I have never seen it for sale anywhere. Should be class F.

Curaçao Bleu3/53/5

Dandelion and Burdock    (2000ml diet)3/53/5



Drambuie Cream Liqueur   (700ml)5/51/5
You would not believe how good this tastes. Imagining a divine combination of Drambuie with fresh dairy cream comes nowhere near the experience this drink provides. Class C for mixing, and pure class for taste.

Fragoli    (700ml)5/51/5
Very nice, and one of my most recent discoveries. This is an Italian strawberry liqueur that has a whole bunch of wild strawberies floating in it (16%) all soaked in deliciously flavoured alcohol. Why you'd want to pollute such a rare delight by mixing it, I don't know, but nevertheless this would be a class F drink.

Frangelico    (700ml)5/51/5

Fruit Juices5/55/5


Gin    (~200ml Cork, 350ml Gordon's)2/55/5


Grenadine    (~200ml)4/53/5
When I say Grenadine, I don't mean Grenadine Syrup (aka Syrop de Grenadine) which is a rather evil, non-alcoholic version of Grenadine, that is horribly sticky and gets everywhere. True Grenny is slightly alcoholic. It's lovely, made with pomegranates, and turns drinks red (admittedly its main use). Class F.

Grenadine Syrup    (~70ml)3/53/5

Inca Kola    (~2000ml)3/51/5


Korenwijn30%Tastes of yeast.

Lemonade    (~5000ml, 2000ml traditional diet)2/55/5

Lime Cordial    (~600ml)4/54/5

Malibu    (700ml)4/54/5

Martini    (~400ml extra dry)1/55/5

Merlyn    (700ml)5/51/5
Also known as Myrddin this is, quite obviously, the Welsh version of Baileys. A class C drink, this tases and looks pretty much the same as Baileys, except that it is very slightly sharper. That is to say, you can taste the spirits more. Very nice, and recommended if you can find it.


Noilly Prat    (~400ml)1/53/5
Apart from having a silly name, this French aperitif is based on wine. This is a bad thing in my books, considering that I don't like wine in any way, so I don't think of it highly. Please drink of as much of my stock as you like to get rid of it. As it's based on wine, I don't recommend it for mixing in cocktails.

The classic Greek spirit, Ouzo is made from distilled grape must (what's left over after pressing for wine) and flavoured with herbs. It tastes of aniseed, is clear, goes cloudy in the presence of water, and is slightly rough. Class M.

Parfait Amour4/52/5
Marie Brizaud make the only Parfait Amour I've seen for sale in this country, and I've only ever seen it in Unwins (I know they can order it; try Burgess Road if you're interested). But confusingly, what I've read about it tells me it should be pink, but the stuff I've found is blue and made of oranges. Surely this is Crème d'Yvette? Either way, it's tasty stuff, class F, and worth trying.



Pimms    (1000ml)3/54/5
The traditional English summer drink, which to be served properly should be mixed with lemonade and other flavourings and an assortment of fresh vegetable matter. Very refreshing and tasty, and worth doing properly. I'd hesitate to mix it with anything else, so I'm unsure as yet what to class it as. Perhaps H?

Pisang Ambon3/51/5
Tricky to find, this is an Indonesian liqueur made with a variety of tropical fruit including bananas (noticeable in the taste) and is a clear bright green colour. Actually goes very well with fruit salads and ice cream. Class F.

I'm talking here about the real stuff from Ireland, the true moonshine that is always homemade. Strengths and qualities vary enormously, but the stuff I've tried has always been mmmm-nice. And so potent. Yay! I'd give it a class A rating, if only because it's likely to be just pure alcohol.

Red Bull    (4000ml Kick)3/55/5

Rum    (~300ml amber)2/55/5

Hailing from Israel, this chocolate orange liqueur tastes rather wonderful. A clear brown colour, and heady with alcohol, this is a class F drink (it doesn't mix with creamy drinks, more's the pity).

St Hallvard Liker4/51/5
Hailing from Israel, this chocolate orange liqueur tastes rather wonderful. A clear brown colour, and heady with alcohol, this is a class F drink (it doesn't mix with creamy drinks, more's the pity).


The second most known of the Italian liqueurs, Sambuca tastes very obviously of aniseed. It's a clear drink that as I recall (has it really been that long?) turns cloudy in the presence of water. It's much sweeter than Ouzo, and burns very well. Class M.

Black Sambuca    (700ml)3/51/5
If you like liquorice, you'll love this. As Sambuca is clear and tastes of aniseed, so it's darker cousin is utterly black and tastes a bit thicker, more like liquorice than aniseed. It's a fun drink because of its colour, and rather tasty too. Class M.

A clear liqueur that has an incredible taste of lychees. Well worth trying unless you're repulsed by the fruit in question. It's fairly sweet, as you'd expect, and a class F drink.


Southern Comfort    (~250ml)3/54/5

Liqore Strega4/51/5

Tabasco    (~45ml)1/54/5
Strong and very spicy hot, a few drops is all that's needed of this class A flavour enhancer to add that piquant edge to a drink. Non-alcoholic, and a suprising addition to some delicious drinks, but do use sparingly if unsure. By its nature it has to be class A for mixing, but be careful where you use it.

Imagine this: Amaretto cream liqueur. Heaven in a glass, you say? You'd be right. This is a gorgeous drink, exactly like a mix of Amaretto and Baileys. Oh yes, so good, but so hard to get hold of. Class C.


Tia Lusso4/53/5
A new drink on the market, and one I haven't yet tried. It's Tia Maria in a cream base, which means it's going to be exactly like Tia Maria and Baileys. I'm sure it's probably worth trying, but the amount of advertising I'm seeing at the moment is putting me off a bit. I'll not be upset if it does stick around though. Undoubtably class C.

Tia Maria    (~350ml)3/54/5
Aunty Mary, the classic coffee liqueur that actually tastes rather chocolately (unlike Kahlua). It's a class C drink, and provides a darkness of colour and taste to many a good cocktail. Generally better mixed than on its own.

Vodka    (~100ml Smirnoff Black)2/55/5
The archetypal spirit, and the Russian word for water (as in "water of life"). Clear, colourless, slightly harsh taste depending on the quality. I highly recommend Smirnoff Black: absolutely top notch. And I warn you against Absolut as it tastes too chemical, although it does have the saving grace of coming in some interesting flavours. That's a point: flavoured vodkas can be rather tasty, so do try lots of them while you're at it. Its generally vagueness of taste makes it class A for mixing.

Whisky    (~150ml Jack Daniels)2/55/5