The Eclipse Cooler is a modern classic and is featured in Difford’s Guide’s Top 100 Cocktails of All Time. This unlikely partnership of fresh raspberries and American whiskey is the signature cocktail of London’s Eclipse chain of bars, who now have locations around the world. The drink is built in the glass and combines the caramel-y sweetness and mellow flavour of the bourbon with the sharp acidity and fruitiness of fresh raspberries and the dry refreshing taste of cranberry juice.
Bourbon, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, Chambord, Raspberries.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.
With its fruity flavour and long serve, the Eclipse Cooler is the perfect inclusion for a bourbon based menu.
For those who love bourbon, a lot of the cocktails can be quite strong-tasting and short, the Eclipse Cooler is a great drink for those who prefer a lighter, fruitier cocktail but still want to enjoy a bourbon based drink.
A Manhattan is a little bit like a whiskey Martini, using the same stirring method but combining the dark spirit with sweet vermouth and bitters. This is known as a sweet Manhattan but you can also make a dry Manhattan by substituting the sweet vermouth for dry, or a perfect Manhattan by combining both in equal measure. A Manhattan would be a great, strong companion to the light and fruity Eclipse.
When planning your mobile bar hire you may want to pair the Eclipse cooler with other fruit-heavy cocktails; a Bramble is similar to an Eclipse but uses gin, blackberries lemon juice and crème de mure, (blackberry liqueur) this is a great option for those looking for a similar drink without the whiskey and a good companion to the Eclipse on a menu as it uses the same ice and equipment to produce.
If you’re considering including an Eclipse as part of your cocktail menu and would like to explore more options to accompany it be sure to speak to your event organiser about your choices or check out some of the other bourbon based, fruity and cooler/julep-style drinks on our list.
The Eclipse belongs to a family of cocktails known as ‘coolers’.
Punch defines a cooler as a ‘catch-all term for a broad swath of drinks made by mixing spirit or fortified wine with a carbonated beverage, served over and often garnished with fruit.” But the addition of soda water doesn’t seem to be an essential element of a cooler. Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book features a page on coolers but as usual, Craddock gives little to no information on what defines this family of drinks. Of the five recipes featured in Craddock’s guide four of them do include soda water but one of them leaves it out, the only thing that seems consistent between all five drinks is that they are served long in a ‘high-ball’ glass over ice.
In modern terms any long drink containing liquor and fruit juice can be called a cooler. In America there are also many companies which produce pre-packaged ‘wine-coolers’ these tend to be a fairly low-alcohol mixture of fruit juice and wine or malt liquor. Due to the association with juicy, low-alcohol drinks the term cooler is also sometimes used to describe alcopops.
Myths & Legends
Being such a modern cocktail there is little myth or controversy surrounding the Eclipse Cooler.
It does however, help dispel the age-old myth that whiskey can’t be mixed with fruit. Whiskey drinkers tend to be some of the most opinionated and fussy of the alcohol enthusiasts and every whiskey connoisseur has their preferred way of drinking, which they will swear is ‘the only right way to enjoy whiskey.’ Cocktails are all about creativity and experimentation though and the Eclipse Cooler is great example of why it is sometimes best to ignore the traditional approaches to liquor and try something new. Whilst many whiskey drinkers would turn their nose up to the idea of this cocktail, when trying it they’re often surprised to find how enjoyable it is.
The Eclipse also helps to disprove some of the common misconceptions held by those who ‘hate whiskey‘, it’s fairly common for drinkers to be put off by whiskey and whiskey based cocktails as they often associate the spirit with the strong peaty flavour of Islay scotches or with the old fashioned, masculine connotations afforded to it by shows like Mad Men. The Eclipse showcases a light and fruity way to drink this spirit that may see some whiskey haters converted.
The Eclipse cocktail, in this form at least was the signature drink of the west London bar of the same name, an origin corroborated by Difford’s guide:
“Signature cocktail at the chain of Eclipse Bars, London, England.”
- Difford’s Guide
Whilst the Eclipse chain still serves a cocktail called the Eclipse, it bears little resemblance to this cocktail which presumably disappeared from their menu some time ago. The new iteration is a short cocktail containing vodka, watermelon and kaffir lime.
Ingredients & Equipment
Whiskey is one of the most widely varying spirits in terms of style, quality and price. Bourbon tends to be favoured over Scotch or Irish whiskey in cocktails for its sweeter more mellow flavour. Just like Scotch and Irish whiskey though, the price of a bottle of good aged bourbon can vary hugely. When combining whiskey with fruit and other ingredients there’s no point using the most expensive, aged bourbon you can find, the quality of your spirit is important to the taste of a cocktail but when your masking a lot of the spirit’s flavour a mid-range liquor will work just fine.
We use Buffalo Trace bourbon in our Eclipse cooler, this mellow, Kentucky whiskey, has hints of maple and cinnamon, it tastes great on its own or served over ice but has a distinct and robust flavour that makes it great for use in cocktails as well.
Chambord is essential for an Eclipse cooler and there really is no substitute for the original. This French liqueur is made primarily from black raspberries but also includes red raspberries, Madagascan vanilla, citrus peel and honey. Chambord has been in production since 1982 but is modelled after a much older raspberry liqueur produced and consumed in France’s Loire Valley during the 17th century. The brand takes its name from the elegant château de Chambord, where king Louis XIV was said to have been first introduced to the raspberry liqueur.
- 40ml Bourbon
- 40ml Cranberry Juice
- 15ml Lime Juice
- 15ml Chambord
- 2-3 Raspberries + 1 for Garnish
- High-Ball Glass
- Cubed Ice
- Crushed Ice
- Take your high-ball glass and add your raspberries to the bottom
- Using the Jigger to measure, add the bourbon, cranberry juice and lime juice
- Use the back of your bar spoon to lightly crush the raspberries and stir them into the other ingredients
- Fill the glass halfway with cubed ice
- Stir for a couple of seconds to cool the drink and incorporate the ice
- Fill the remaining space in the glass with crushed ice
- Carefully drizzle the Chambord over the crushed ice, into the cocktail
- Garnish with a raspberry and a small mint sprig
- Serve with a straw
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.