We all love to have a posh drink now and then, whether we have something to celebrate or just want to treat ourselves! Most people opt for going out in a (fittingly named) cocktail dress or a nice suit, but if you want to have a great night mixing up some tasty concoctions with your friends at home, then read on! It’s cheaper, and easier, than you might think and you’ll be a pro in no time! You don’t need many fancy ingredients or equipment, but we’d really recommend getting a mixing glass (the thing with a metal lid) – it combines everything instantly and makes you feel like a proper bartender!
The Classic – Martini
Now, there’s a lot of debate as to what constitutes a ‘proper’ Martini! Gin, or vodka? Olives, or onions? Well, as much as the cocktails connoisseurs might hate us for saying this, you can make it however you want! Martinis are perfect for experimenting with and seeing what tickles your taste buds.
- 2 oz dry gin
- 1 oz dry vermouth
- 1 dash orange bitters (optional, but tastes amazing! Or go for lemon bitters, olives, lemon peel, etc)
Combine everything in a mixing glass filled with ice and shake or stir to chill. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish however you want, but make sure it’s cold!
The Sweet Escape – Pina Colada
Even if it’s wet and windy outside, this decadent cocktail will transport you to a sun lounger by the pool (at least in your mind!)
- 1 oz coconut cream
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 2 oz white rum
- 3 oz pineapple juice
- 1 slice of pineapple
Crush your ice and add coconut cream in a blender or mixing glass. Pour in the rum (or have a virgin pina colada – just miss this step!) Add pineapple juice and blend it all together until smooth and sweet. Pour into a glass and garnish with your pineapple (or a little umbrella/parrot/cherry…) then enjoy!
The Girl’s Night In – Cosmopolitan
The Cosmo is ingrained into everyone’s collective memory thanks to faaaabulous portrayals on Sex and the City and the like. It’s a perfect blend of vodka sours and juice, so make a big batch and drink up if you’re having a party at home.
- 1 ½ oz citrus-flavoured vodka
- ½ oz triple sec
- ½ oz cranberry juice
- ¼ oz fresh lime juice
- Orange peel twist
Fill up your shaker with plenty of ice, add all the liquids and shake ‘em up. Pour into a pretty glass and decorate with the twist of orange peel.
The Teetoal Treat – Chai Blossom
You can get a buzz off having a cocktail without the alchohol, just enjoy the process of making yourself a rather lovely treat. This non-alcoholic cocktail is perfect for designated drivers, under-18s, or if you’re feeling in the mood for a sober night with a nice drink – no one will feel left out of the party atmosphere!
Ingredients (makes 4)
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 10 oz soda
- 4 whole star anise pods
- Lemon twists
- 2 chai tea bags
Combine the tea bags with one cup of boiling water in a bowl and let it stew for 8-10 mins, depending on how strong you like it. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Take out the tea bags and let the mixture cool. Stir the chai mixture and lime juice together in a pitcher. Pour into glasses then add two/three oz soda to top it up. Garnish with anise pods and lemon twists and serve chilled.
The Summer Cooler – Mint Julep
These are great for drinks out on a balcony or in the garden when the weather holds out, as they’re really refreshing and cooling.
- 1 tsp sugar dissolved in 1 tsp water
- 8 – 10 leaves fresh mint
- Crushed Ice
- 2 – 3 oz bourbon
Dissolve your sugar in the bottom of a tall glass. Add the mint leaves and gently bruise with a wooden spoon (don’t smash them about, as it’ll make them bitter!) Half-fill the glass with crushed ice (you can use a machine or just a mallet and a tea towel.) Add the bourbon and stir to combine, then just fill the rest up with crushed ice until the glass is frosty. Garnish with fresh mint and serve with a straw.
If you fancy seeing how the pros do it or carrying on your party outside of your kitchen, then check out our website for some fantastic cocktail bars and restaurants near you!