The Opening Act

I am smitten. There is no other word for it. I stumbled across this absolute gem of a drink a couple of weeks ago whilst thumbing through my copy of Difford’s – clearly subconsciously feeling underwhelmed by the drink in my other hand. It immediately ticked the ‘I already have all of the required ingredients’ box, thus warranting further investigation. At first glance one might be forgiven for thinking that this is a drink more suited to the cooler months, with its warmer tones of ginger and Campari. However, the long format, with the ice-filled Collins glass, topped up with tonic makes for a fantastic summer, pre-dinner, thirst quencher.

Clearly I am not the only person who thinks this drink is something special. In its original form, it won Best Overall Cocktail for its creator Andrew Pollard in the 2010 Domaine de Canton Bartender of the Year competition. There isn’t really a lot more to say, the drink speaks for itself. Cheers.

The Opening Act

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By Andrew Pollard adapted by Difford's Serves: 1
Prep Time: None


  • 50ml ginger liqueur (The King's Ginger from Berry Bros & Rudd, or a home brew version – easy to make and a very passable)
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Tonic water – always the best you can get your hands on (for me it is Fever Tree every time)



Shake the ginger liqueur, Campari, lime juice and bitters with ice.


Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.


Top up with tonic water.


Garnish with a sprig of mint.

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