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Cocktail Hour with Paul Walker

Here at Rockliffe Hall, we are very proud to be offering one of the finest wine lists in England as well as a cocktail list that strives to be distinctive & exciting. I am the lucky person responsible for continuing to enhance them both. My varied role gives me the chance to work with fantastic products and constantly learn new techniques as well as work with my experienced & creative team to produce some marvellous concoctions for you all to try.

Over the next few months I hope to give you an insight into the world of all things Liquid. From the new trends and fashionable wines to the intricate new Cocktails that appear at Rockliffe.Firstly, our current cocktail list includes our Signature Drink, The Orangery Cocktail. This is to date my most successful creation, designed with the help of our Chief Mixologist, Gregg Common. We started with a simple brief; to create a drink that would portray the ethos of Rockliffe Hall. We started with, what we thought was an essential ingredient, Champagne! Now with a classically sophisticated liquid as this, we knew we couldn’t mess too much with fancy techniques and shakers. We looked at the timeless cocktail, the original ‘Champagne Cocktail’, which uses Cognac mixed with champagne. We wanted to recreate this elegance with a contemporary feel.

The final part of the jigsaw came from our Flagship Restaurant, The Orangery, and so it seemed suitable that we used hints of Orange in some way. Champagne, Brandy & Orange were our theme, so away we went and came up with the cocktail recipe below.

The Signature Orangery Cocktail


• Champagne

• Orange

• Brandy


1.) Take a tall Champagne Flute and place a single white sugar cube in the bottom

2.) On top of the sugar drop a few drops of Orange Bitters and then add about 15ml of Special Edition 100th Anniversary Grand Marnier

3.) Top with our House Champagne, Laurent Perrier

4.) Serve with a twisted spiral of Orange Peel.

Et Voila!

The Sugar and bitters balance each other so as not to push the drink, too sweet or too bitter. The Grand Marnier, made from Orange & French Brandy add the fruity flavour and alcoholic kick we needed, and the Laurent Perrier provides the bubbles to lift anybody’s spirit before dinner.

In my next blog, I will take a look at our wine lists to pick out a few stunners that will go down well with your dining experience here at Rockliffe Hall.

Photographs courtesy of Stan Seaton Photography.