A calling for cocktails!


My entry into the world of wine and mixology.

I joined Loyton Lodge at the start of the Shooting Season 2017 as Front of House. It was an exciting plunge into the deep end and I am already looking forward to the next! Before joining the team at Loyton I enjoyed wine and alcohol - usually on an evening out with the girls, never did I imagine the in-depth world that it is.

I am lucky enough to have the best teacher, guide and boss, Isobel. Her knowledge and instinct about wine is second to none. And my, does she have grand taste! And to my boyfriend’s bank balance despair, now so do I. During the shoot season I had to learn about wine, fast. I hadn’t before considered the importance of storing, opening, decanting and pouring wine. When it comes to the all important flavours and food pairing our daily tastings, discussions and descriptions taught me all I know today, and I cannot wait to learn more! What I have learnt is that describing wine is a wildly subjective art and one man’s ‘notes of tobacco’ are another mans ‘hints of grass’, ANYTHING GOES, within reason… For me often the enjoyment of tasting wine can be enhanced by researching about it prior to drinking, to see whether I can pick up on any of the descriptions that various wine writers use in an attempt to explain the varying elements of a wine’s character. Understanding the ways used to describe wine, applying your mind to see whether you agree, and connecting an element of the wine to something in your past is a fun way to enhance your enjoyment. In February this year I passed my Level 1 WSET wine exam and hope to continue my lucky streak by taking my Level 2 exam this summer.


Blissful Spring nights are now upon us, which only calls for one thing….. COCKTAILS! I seem to have acquired a dab hand at making cocktails since being behind the bar at the Lodge, the anticipation before the guest takes their first sip never wears off, praying it doesn’t resemble the water from the River Exe (this has happened, sorry Angus!) My favourite seasonal springtime cocktail is a Rhubarb Sour, see below pics and method on how we do it at Loyton:


  • In-house infused Rhubarb Gin, 100ml

  • Rhubarb Sugar Syrup , 50ml

  • Fresh Lemon Juice, 1 lemon

  • 1 Egg white

  • Dash of Angostura bitters

  • Rhubarb and Mint to garnish (optional)


  1. Keep 2 tumbler glasses filled with ice to chill whilst preparing the cocktails

  2. Add your Rhubarb Gin, Syrup, 1 squeezed Lemon, and dash of Angostura bitters to your shaker (without ice)

  3. Add the egg white, give it a stir as pouring.

  4. Add ice to shaker…. And shake!

  5. Remove ice from glasses, and top up with fresh ice

  6. Pour your mix over ice and wait for it to settle

  7. Garnish with peeled fresh rhubarb and a sprig of fresh mint.

Voila! There you have your delicious, refreshing spring cocktail. Enjoy!

- Ellen Harvey