Cocktails for Remembrance Sunday

Every November, we remember those brave men and women who gave their lives for our country in the First World War. November 11th is considered to be the anniversary of the day the war ended. We celebrate this day with parades, poppies and two-minute silences, but there is no reason why you can’t also mix up a cocktail or two and drink to those fallen heroes. Here are some cocktails with connections to the War.


This classic cocktail was invented around the end of the war, with its origins being suggested as either London or Paris. The name refers to the sidecar of the motorcycle an American army captain rode in who used to drink in a popular bar. This combination of triple sec, lemon juice and cognac is as popular today as it was back then!

French 75

The name of this cocktail comes from one of the guns used by American and French troops. The Howitzer 75mm field gun was considered to be one of the most accurate and efficient weapons and had a real kick to it when shot. This drink is perhaps just as fierce, with champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup making for an irresistible blend. Variations often replace gin with vodka, tequila or cognac.

John Collins

World War One soldiers were regularly plied with alcohol in order to treat various ailments and deliver courage in the face of adversity. Officers were the only soldiers permitted to purchase alcohol outside of their rations, however, and the John Collins became popular amongst them. This mix of gin, lemon juice, soda water and sugar syrup was a mood-booster for the more senior army officials.


Officers were also partial to a sip of cognac, which is why the Japanese cocktail was so popular. This drink also contained angostura bitters and orgeat syrup, making for a drink that was potent and smooth, ideal for settling the nerves and helping to calm them at the end of a hard day. There is no Japanese link to the ingredients – it is believed some Japanese UN representatives were near the bar where it was created and so the name was attributed to them.

Buck’s Fizz

This drink is named after Captain Herbert Buckmaster, who served on the front line. After the war, he created the Buck’s Club, where the Buck’s Fizz was the signature cocktail. Buckmaster claims to have created it after being inspired by a drink he had enjoyed in France. Of course, this simple mix of orange juice and champagne is still incredibly popular, enjoyed as a breakfast cocktail and at sophisticated occasions where alcohol is required but it is not appropriate for the guests to get too drunk too fast!

We will always remember those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy ours. A cocktail or two seems to provide a fitting tribute and encourages us to appreciate the freedoms of today.

This post was written by ....

Suzanna H
Hi, I am Suzanna. I would describe myself as a bit of a foodie with a side-interest in fancy cocktails. Anything sweet and alcoholic and I'm in! I am also an avid writer, proofreader and editor and work freelance through the website People per Hour.


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