Inspiration and tips


News / Johnnie Walker Team / Tue, 21 Jul 20 09:23:12

From speeding up service to reducing wastage and adding complexity to drinks - cordials play a big role in the bar. Read on as we explore four of the most popular house cordial flavours and look at the recipes you can try for yourself. 


The highball should be a light, flavoursome drink and, for warmer climates in particular, you can really enhance the flavour of whisky with a carefully constructed cordial. Sparkling peach iced tea is a great example. Made with freshly brewed tea, a simple Californian peach syrup, seltzer and mint – it’s simple to make and there are countless fool proof recipes in circulation. In combination with Johnnie Walker Black Label it delivers a sweet and smoky duo you can’t get enough of. Try it for yourself, get the Johnnie & Peach recipe here.


A lemon holds so many possibilities, each one guaranteed to bring your palate alive. On the surface a lemonade cordial appears to be just that but with a South American twist it becomes more complex and exciting.

Made primarily with lime, lemon and pineapple juice, this cordial nods to the tropical vibes of the continent and it’s no surprise that it’s finished off with a hint of chilli. Married with Johnnie Walker Black Label, this citrus-fused cordial tames the fire of the whisky in the most refreshing way. Check out our session with Max Venning and Mark Moriarty who share this recipe and top tips for serving it.


East meets West when you add a sweet green tea cordial to the smoky Johnnie Walker whisky. When making this cordial it’s important to balance the acidity of the tea so opting for a cold brew rather than hot and finishing off with some sugar to sweeten. Johnnie & Green Tea is a rich, fiery combination that truly warms the soul.


Fresh, fragrant and floral, elderflower cordial is one of those mixers that just works in a highball and when mixed with Johnnie Walker Black Label and soda, aromatic clouds collide. Seasonality comes into play with this ingredient so it’s important to keep an eye for when it is in season in your part of the world. It’s quick and easy to make by combining elderflower heads with lemon zest, orange zest and boiling water. Once cooled, add some sugar and citric acid for a winning combo. Elderflower cordial and Johnnie Walker Black Label with a splash of soda combine for the perfect highball trio - Johnnie & Elderflower.

Try this one out for yourself with our simple recipe! 


1. Place washed elderflower heads (x25) in a large bowl with zest of lemon (x3) and orange (x1).

2. Boil water (1.5L) and add to bowl. Cover and leave overnight.

3. Strain into a cooking pot with muslin cloth.

4. Add: sugar (1kg), lemon juice (100ml), orange juice (50ml) and citric acid (1 tsp).

5. Heat gently in pot to dissolve sugar. Bring to simmer 3-4 min.

6. Bottle and store.

Creating your own cordials is a real craft and adding them to drinks like Johnnie Walker Black Label not only makes for palatable pleasure – it makes the drinks more accessible to customers overall. The inclusion of cordials in drinks, like the highball, mean bartenders have control over the amount of alcohol that goes into the drink. In a period where there is an increasing trend to lower alcohol serves, demand for innovative and exciting house cordials is not likely to slow down anytime soon. 


  • Cordials speed up service, help reduce waste and add complexity to the flavour of a drink.
  • Seasonal ingredients will offer better taste and enable you to put a nice local spin on the drink.
  • Using fruity flavours in cordials helps enhance the smoky notes of Johnnie Walker Black Label creating a perfect taste balance.
  • By adding cordial to a drink, bartenders have much more control over the level of alcohol.
  • Creating your own cordials is a real craft that not only makes for palatable pleasure it makes the drink more accessible to customers overall.

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