The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Dominic Laverty’s The Entente Cordiale

Dominic Laverty represented Princess Cruises at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

Dominic Laverty is a hard man to pin down, but such is a life at sea. He finds that the restrictions onboard a cruise ship in terms of ingredients channels creativity in a particular way: ‘when you have a set number of resources it’s a different kind of challenge, but challenges are what we enjoy.’ On the other hand, opportunities onboard (aside from seeing the world as you work) include having a choice of very different venues in which to work, there’s typically a Martini-oriented crooner’s lounge, a quieter lounge in which long drinks predominate and the serious serves of the casino.

The Bartender

Dominic, 28, is a believer in trial and error when it comes to cocktails. ‘No one ever gets it perfect first time,’ Dominic explains, ‘but you find new drinks on the way to perfection – it’s like speciation, and the branches keep going out.’ Dominic, has worked as a bartender for ten years, and since starting out in York has worked at venues as varied as alehouses, jazz bars, Boho haunts and cocktail lounges. Six months ago he thought perhaps it might be time to settle down a little, but decided to accept the adventures and inspirations of the life aquatic. It seems a smart move for someone who enjoys the people you meet across the bar and the places you go with them, both on water and in conversation.

The Drink

‘I’ve been experimenting with the Entente Cordiale for a while,’ explains Dominic, ‘three of the classic whisky drinks are Whisky Mac, Whisky Sour and the Rusty Nail – I wanted to find something that expresses all of them – smooth, fresh and with a punch.’ He makes a gomme (sugar) syrup infused with fresh ginger during the cooking process, which with the warmth of Grand Marnier and the kick of lemon meld perfectly with the intensity and refinement of Johnnie Walker Platinum Label.

The Technique

Johnnie Walker Platinum Label • 60ml
Grand Marnier • 25ml
Fresh lemon juice • 30ml
Ginger-infused gomme syrup • 15ml
Boiling water
Contains 27 grams of alcohol per serve

Blend all the ingredients (minus the water) together. Pour into a teacup and top-up with boiling water. Garnish with a lemon wedge spiked with cloves. Serve with gingerbread biscuits.

The Entente Cordiale is a drink for winter when the nights are closing in, round a fire with a blanket on the knees. If you are onboard and in cooler seas, then this is the perfect digestif to share with a friend.

As we discovered at this year’s World Class World Finals, there’s nothing that quite matches sipping a superb cocktail while watching the world sail by.

Images by Lucille Zwanepoel & Jonathan Perez Cruz, Royal Princess Photo department

Dominic’s Insider’s Guide to the Caribbean ports

Place to relax
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Place to lounge
Bugaloe beach bar, Aruba

Place to Dance
Castro’s Bar y Discotheque

Place to visit
Blue Lagoon, Jamaica

Place to see
Panama Canal