the pharmaceutical ham yard hotel

The Pharmaceutical cocktail recipe by Ham Yard Hotel

07 Dec 2023 | Updated on: 21 Dec 2023 |By Annie Lewis

Zesty and rich, Ham Yard Hotel's Pharmaceutical cocktail is a refreshing take on the classic espresso martini. Here's how to make it at home

Did you know the original name for an espresso martini was The Pharmaceutical? Created some 40 years ago by cocktail connoisseur Dick Bradsell – famous for his work revolutionising London’s cocktail culture in the 1980s with innovative recipes (he’s responsible for the gin-based Bramble too) – it has since become one of the most famous iterations of the martini, alongside the classic, neat gin serve and the passionfruit ‘pornstar’. As Bradsell proved, there’s a lot to be done with a splash of gin, vermouth and a martini glass…

So, when London gin distillery Sipsmith collaborated with the design-led Ham Yard Hotel in Soho to launch a winter terrace this year, a martini menu – given its opportunity for creativity – was naturally the first choice. Served both warm and cold (piping-hot gin martinis were the traditional form in the 19th and early 20th century come winter, but have been replaced by cold serves in more recent years), the new menu has been a labour of love for Sipsmith’s master distiller Jared Brown and Martin Dominguez, bar manager of the Winter Martini Garden at Ham Yard Hotel.

Upon entry to the terrace, start with a Paloma-tini – made with Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Suze, homemade grapefruit and thyme syrup – before unlocking a persoanlised martini via an interactive quiz, that’s then made behind the bar or served tableside from a brass trolley. The menu also includes The Beekeeper’s Martini, taking inspiration from the bees that are kept on the hotel’s roof, and the Red Hot Snapper: a fresh take on this popular savoury cocktail using Brown’s homemade smoked gin.

winter terraces london martini garden ham yard hotel

However, no martini menu would be complete without a coffee-infused tipple, and one recipe that returns year after year is Dominguez’s spin on the classic espresso concotion: The Pharmaceutical. “[It’s] our homage to the popular espresso martini,” he explains. “Calling it by its original name, we have kept some of the original features like fresh coffee and coffee liqueur, and added complex, fruity and juniper notes by using the Sipsmith Zesty Orange Gin. [It’s] been sweetened slightly with a touch of vanilla syrup that’s given it a moreish finish with a layer of double cream infused with orange bitters.” Some would say this is the perfect decadent cocktail for Christmas – so here’s how you can create it at home.


The Pharmaceutical

  • Serves 1


  • Sipsmith Zesty Orange Gin 40ml
  • Fair Café Liqueur 20ml
  • Espresso 60ml
  • A sprinkle of orange bitters
  • Double cream 20ml
  • Water 20ml


  1. Mix the gin, Café Liqueur, water and espresso together in a saucepan on a hob.
  2. Turn up the heat until the cocktail is hot, but not boiling, for a few minutes.
  3. Pour into a warm martini glass, fill the remainder with double cream and finish with a sprinkle of orange bitters.

Maestro Café Liquor

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Doragrossa Liquore Caffé

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Angostura Orange Bitters

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RICHARD BRENDON Set of two Star Cut Martini Glasses

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The Winter Martini Terrace at Ham Yard Hotel is open until 24 February 2024, tickets from £22. Visit

Read more: Secret Love cocktail recipe by Sweeties at The Standard