Costa Esmeralda Cocktail

William Yeoward reflects on the Costa Esmeralda cocktail and shares the recipe for his favorite Berkeley Blue Bar drink
costa esmaralda cocktail, william yeoward

Photo © Loupe Images | Gavin Kingcome

"As refreshing as a mojito," this cocktail hails from the late designer William Yeoward's favorite haunt, Blue Bar at The Berkeley. See the recipe in an excerpt from William Yeoward’s American Bar: The World’s Most Glamorous Cocktails.

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