If there’s one thing that has kept me going through the first full week of isolation, it’s the occasional evening tipple! I always say I’m more of a quality over quantity kind of person when it comes to alcohol – I’d much rather have one or two glasses of something special, so I’m always up for making cocktails.
Lucky for me, my husband used to work in a cocktail bar in his younger days and has somehow retained every drinks recipe imaginable. We didn’t have time to fully stock up our bar cart before the lockdown was announced but we’ve managed to get creative with our selection regardless. It’s actually been so lovely get cosy in the evenings, and sip on a drink in front of the TV with a candle burning.
We always have a good selection of gin, liqueurs and other spirits, but it’s the mixers and syrups we’ve been without. Thankfully we were able to pick up a bottle of elderflower cordial, some rhubarb pressé and a couple of grapefruits and limes at our local supermarket, and these have served us well so far. I thought I’d put together a list of cocktails to easily make at home – the trick is to serve any old drink (even a G&T!) in a nice glass with a garnish. It goes a long way in feeling like you’re out at your favourite bar.
You will need: prosecco, St Germain OR elderflower cordial OR elderflower liqueur
Optional: a dried flower rim
Find a nice glass (I love a coupe for these drinks!), fill 3/4 of the glass with chilled prosecco and then top with one of the elderflower options above. Easy peasy! If you have some edible glitter or dried flowers, roll a section of the rim of the glass through a bit of honey on a plate and then twirl the rim through a small pile of flowers/glitter. I don’t think this needs a garnish but a bit of detail on the rim is lovely if you have the ingredients to hand.
Or go all out and follow this simple recipe for a little something extra.
The humble margarita is my favourite drink; it feels refreshing, tequila is quite a “clean” spirit and the lack of fizz means less of a hangover if you go overboard!
A classic marg is probably the easiest to make if you have limited ingredients..
Pour some sea salt or salt flakes on to a plate, run a lime quarter around the rim of your glass and then run the glass through the salt.
To make two margaritas, add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and then pour in the rest of the ingredients. Shake well and pour in to two glasses filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
To make simple syrup, stir together equal parts sugar and boiling water. About a cup of each is fine.
75ml (one shot) tequila
50ml simple syrup
For a fresher take on the classic, we love making these grapefruit margaritas. Pink grapefruit is usually easy to find, and you could even use juice from the carton if that was easier to find.
Again, do a salt rim as above or add a few chilli flakes to really spice this up! Shake the ingredients below in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and then pour in to your salt rimmed glasses with more ice.
1-2 limes (juiced)
50ml simple syrup
50ml grapefruit juice
Rhubarb Gin Fizz
Sometimes the staple gin & tonic just doesn’t cut it! I’m actually not a big tonic fan (I don’t mind Fever Tree, but it still isn’t my first choice), so I tend to play around and find ways to make it more interesting.
One of my favourite ways to do this is to add rhubarb cordial, you can usually find this in supermarkets or you could even make your own if you manage to find some rhubarb. If you find rhubarb pressé, just skip the sparkling water and fill the glass with this instead!
A basic recipe for one rhubarb gin cocktail…
25ml rhubarb cordial
Fill a nice glass with ice, pour in a shot of gin, add in your rhubarb cordial and top with sparkling water. Squeeze in a wedge or two of lemon or lime and save a wedge to garnish. Dreamy!
If you’re on the hunt for more cocktail inspiration, you can see all my recipes here! Anyone else looking forward to a tipple this eve?! Let me know what you’ll be making…