Costa Esmeralda Cocktail

William Yeoward reflects on the Costa Esmeralda cocktail and shares the recipe for his favorite Berkeley Blue Bar drink

I never thought I would find another cocktail as refreshing as a mojito, but Costa Esmeralda makes the grade. This drink is my favorite Berkeley Blue Bar choice. It wafts me off to palm-fringed beaches, turquoise-blue seas, and tropical sunshine—until that is, I come back down to earth and realize I am in the center of a big city. Still, at least I am in a supremely comfortable—and incomparably stylish—place in that city.

Costa Esmeralda Cocktail Recipe (Serves 1)


  • 2 lemon wedges
  • ¾ ounce (20ml) lemon juice
  • 2½ bar spoons superfine (caster) sugar
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces (50ml) Snow Queen vodka
  • Champagne, to top up
  • To garnish: a basil leaf and lemon wedge


  1. Muddle the lemon wedges, lemon juice, sugar, and basil leaves in a shaker. Add the vodka and half-fill with crushed ice. Lightly shake and strain into a highball glass.
  2. Top up with Champagne.
  3. Blend gently with a bar spoon and add crushed ice to form a “crown.”
  4. Garnish with a basil leaf and lemon wedge.

Text © William Yeoward, Photography © Loupe Images/Gavin Kingcome

william yeoward's american bar, costa esmeralda cocktailExcerpted from William Yeoward’s American Bar: The World’s Most Glamorous Cocktails (CICO Books, 2012).