sweeties secret love cocktail
Image: Charlie McKay

Secret Love cocktail recipe by Sweeties at The Standard

30 Nov 2023 | Updated on: 07 Dec 2023 |By Annie Lewis

Creamy, sophisticated and surprisingly vegan, follow this recipe to recreate this Sweeties favourite at home

If there’s one place that knows how to party in the capital, it would be The Standard. Having propped up an imposing corner overlooking St Pancras Station (with that iconic red pill lift) in King’s Cross since 2019, the five-star hotel soon gained a reputation for hosting glamourous parties serving both high society and A-list celebrities – and with five restaurants and bars to choose from, it would seem London’s social set never get bored of The Standard.

There’s Isla – the easy-breezy al-fresco dining terrace serving Mediterranean small plates – and then there’s Decimo: Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ Spanish-come-Mexican debut. Elsewhere, you’ll find The Double Standard, a cocktail bar which often hosts monthly community meets, book launches and talks, and upstairs, meet Sweeties.

The Standard’s party palace, Sweeties is the place to go once dusk descends on the capital, as the late-night lounge transforms into an opulent discotheque serving tunes from a roster of rotating house DJs and, of course, playful tipples. One that cocktail connoisseurs can recreate at home is Secret Love: a creamy but sophisticated vegan cocktail, with a surprising festive twist. Created by The Standard’s drinks consultant Zoe Burgess, she explains: “Cream liqueurs are a bit of a guilty pleasure. I always get a bit of a raised eyebrow if I order one in public – which equally makes me smile. Secret Love is a little nod to these guilty pleasures.

“Cognac elevates the experience and I’ve added a touch more festivity through my other favourite festive treat: chestnuts. By using oat milk we’ve the added bonus of this sipping cocktail being vegan friendly too.” Read on to learn how to recreate the Secret Love at home; pro tip: it can made in advance and bottled making it the perfect festive party sipper or after-dinner naughty-but-nice tipple.

sweeties the standard


Secret Love

  • Serves 1


  • VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) Cognac 300ml
  • Caramelised chestnut oat milk* 300ml
  • Angostura bitters 0.5ml


  1. In a suitable container, combine all of the ingredients and mix.
  2. Store in a sealed bottle in the fridge, where the liquid will keep for two days.
  3. Serve straight in a rocks or wine glass over ice.


Caramelised chestnut oat milk

  • Serves 2


  • Whole cooked chestnuts, cut into quarters 80g
  • Caster sugar 80g
  • Oat milk 350ml


  1. Add the chestnuts and sugar to a medium-sized pan.
  2. On a low heat, toast and melt the sugar and nut mix until golden brown and it starts to caramelise.
  3. While ensuring the heat is low to avoid frothing, slowly add the oat milk and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Cover and keep the heat low continue to infuse for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave the oat milk infusion to cool to room temperature. Store in a sealed container and use within a week.

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