As the temperatures climb and the days grow longer, we find ourselves reaching for our favourite summer cocktails to quench our thirst. No matter whether you’re an experienced mixologist or an absolute beginner, mastering your go-to cocktail is easy and we think they make a great activity for a Zoom cocktail party if you’re catching up with distant friends. All you need are your favourite glasses and the cocktail gift set that’s been hiding in the cupboards over winter to get started… which will you pick first?
Each of the recipes we’re sharing in this post only require a handful of ingredients but don’t forget to fill and freeze your ice cube trays in advance as ice is a key ingredient in all our cocktails. Top tip – if the recipe calls for herbs it’s important to use the fresh variety for maximum flavour. We’ve deliberately chosen cocktails that are easy to scale up and serve in a carafe if you’re entertaining guests, just take care to follow the same proportions when increasing quantities.
Recipe One: Classic Mojito
- 3 fresh mint leaves
- ½ lime, cut into wedges
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 50ml of white rum (a jigger helps!)
- Soda water
- Add mint leaves, sugar and a few pieces of lime into your glass and muddle to release their flavours
- Add a splash of soda water and fill the glasses with ice
- Add the rum and top with remaining soda water
- Stir gently before garnishing with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge
Recipe Two: Berry Blast
- 100g sugar
- Ice cubes or crushed ice
- 25ml berry syrup of your choice
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 50ml Tequila
- Fresh berries
- In a cocktail shaker (or large glass) add the ice cubes, Tequila, berry syrup and the lime juice. Shake well
- Spread the sugar evenly on a plate. Dampen the rim of your glass and dip in the sufar to create a decorative rim
- Pour the cocktail mixture into your glass and garnish with the fresh berries and a wedge of lime to serve
Recipe Three: Pimms Iced Tea
- 1 bottle of Pimms
- 2 oranges
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 punnet of strawberries
- 2 lemons
- 1 cucumber
- 3 handfuls of ice cubes
- 3-5 teabags
- Bring a pan of water to a rapid boil and add the teabags. Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a jug and allow to cool for 5 more minutes before topping with ice cold water.
- Stir well and place in the fridge to cool completely for approximately 1 hour.
- Once cooled, peel your cucumber into ribbons, chop 1 lemon and 1 orange into slices and de-stem and halve your strawberries.
- Cut your remaining orange and lemon in half and juice.
- Add the ice cubes to a carafe, before adding your fruit and fresh mint leaves and Pimms before topping with the ice tea you made earlier.
- Stir well and serve immediately.
Recipe Four: Classic G&T
- 50ml gin
- 250ml tonic water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 handfuls of ice
- Fill a highball glass with ice cubes
- Using a jigger add 50ml of gin to your glass followed by the lime juice before topping with tonic water
- Stir gently and garnish with lime wedges or a ribbon of cucumber
Recipe Five: Watermelon Sangria
- 1 watermelon, cubed and deseeded
- 1 green apple
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 bottle of dry white wine
- 100ml brandy
- 1 handful mint leaves
- ½ lime, sliced
- Peel the apple and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bottom of a carafe or pitcher along with ¼ of the watermelon cubes
- Sprinkle with sugar, stir gently and leave to stand for 20 minutes
- Add the remaining watermelon to a blender and pulse until smooth
- Push through a strainer into the carafe and top with the wine, brandy, fresh mint and lime slices
- Stir and refrigerate for 1-2 hours
- Fill your glasses with ice and pour the sangria mix until full
- Garnish with a slice of lime and fresh mint