Well, finally. The warm weather is set to come out in full force over the weekend and next week (we hope it is here to stay) and if that isn’t reason enough for a summer cocktail, we don’t know what is. Whether it’s a refreshing cocktail for summer days or something to end the night with, there’s plenty of our favourite cocktails and takes on classic favourites that suit summer so well, it would be rude not to indulge in one or two.
No matter if you’re loyal to the classic mojito or daiquiri or up for finding your new favourite cocktail, the following drink recipes might take your fancy for the summer months to come. Pubs are set to open tomorrow but not all of us will feel easy to visit – so why not bring the bar home and have your own private cocktail club? Make mine a Tequila and Tonic…
Afternoon in the Highlands
With cocktails getting more and more creative, we’re not surprised the standard G&T might not be what you’re always craving. So it was music to our ears, upon hearing that Caorunn Gin had created their own version, tributing the Highlands – from where their spirit hails. A sophisticated take on the traditional classic, this cocktail involves a fermentation process that brings about a taste of acidity mergede with friuty notes – packed full of flavour. Vibrant in both taste and colour; try this version of the cocktail for the summer.
30ml raspberry cordial or raspberry fermentation
25ml lemon juice
40ml tonic water
2ml peat whisky (Caorunn traditionally uses anCnoc Peatheart)
Handful of flowers to garnish (should you wish)
For the raspberry cordial, stir together 500 grams of caster sugar with one litre of water and 200g raspberries in a pan. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Let it cool down, strain and refrigerate. *Or, if using a raspberry fermentation, weigh 20 grams of raspberries, add 5 grams of salt and wait three to four days. Stir all the ingredients with ice and serve in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with wildflowers.
If you can’t actually be in Italy right now, make yourself an Aperol Spritz cocktail, close your eyes and be transported there. We can pretend, right? The refreshing and bubbly drink has proved to be a popular one and its bright orange colour couldn’t make it more of a summer cocktail if it tried. The key to loving an Aperol Spritz is adjusting the measures to your taste – depending on how strong, bitter or sweet you like your cocktails.
15ml Soda Water
1 Orange Slice
Fill a large glass with ice and combine Prosecco followed by Aperol in equal parts. Add a dash of soda water, stir and garnish with an orange slice. Adjust your Aperol Spritz cocktail to your liking by using less Aperol and adding more Prosecco if you like your drink sweeter and decrease the measures of alcohol and top up with more soda water, if you prefer a less alcoholic drink.
Blackberry and Basil P&T
Another spirit to raise the tonic drink game is white port. Now, I don’t know about you, but you say ‘port’ and I say ‘Santa’ but white port is completely different. Perfect for both drinking neat and mixing into a Port and Tonic or a cocktail, it could be a new contender for ‘drink of the summer’. Light and refreshing in taste, white port is only 19 per cent ABV – about half that of an average spirit. As of Monday, the premium spirit will be stocked in Waitrose.
50ml Graham’s Blend No5 White Port
15ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Pour 50ml Graham’s Blend No5 into a cocktail shaker. Add the lemon juice and the blackberries and muddle until the port is infused. Strain into a glass with ice and top up with tonic. Garnish with the basil leaves.
Blueberry Key Lime Mojito
Why not make your summer cocktail a virgin one? Bird & Blend Tea Co. has a blueberry key lime edition which mixes perfectly with sparkling water to make a refreshing summer drink. This mocktail needs only a few ingredients to transform it into a drink you’ll sip all day long. Only requiring a few extra ingredients to turn it from tea to a virgin cocktail. You can always had a bit of rum later on if you want to spice things up too.
3 tsp Bird & Bird blueberry key lime tea
1/2 tsp sugar
A handful of mint leaves
Brew your blueberry key lime tea in 100ml boiling water and set aside to cool. Add your mint leaves, sugar and half a lime’s juice into a cocktail shaker and mix together. Add your ice and cooled blueberry key lime concentrate and give it a shake. Pour your mix into a glass, top with sparkling water and garnish with mint leaves, a few slices of lime and your blueberries.
Coconut Kiwi Cooler
Who doesn’t love a frozen cocktail in summer? It’s the signature drink that sorts you out on a cool day; whatever form in which it comes. Now you might be more familiar with frozen daiquiris and margaritas but what about the humble gin? Kiwi and coconut scream summer so there’s no complaints from us, blending them with gin and crushed ice. The flavour notes that underpin Brookie’s Gin are from botanicals such as native river mind, macadamia and Byron Sunrise finger limes, adding to the refreshing taste of your summer cocktail.
45ml Mac. by Brookie’s Gin
45ml coconut milk
2 dashes of chocolate bitter
Blend all the ingredients with ice and garnish with a slice of kiwi and edible flowers (should you wish).
Jaffa Cake Negroni
Put your hand up if you’re here for any chocolate or cake in alcoholic beverage form. There was a pause in typing because, us too. An interesting mix us this Jaffa Cake Gin – distilled with oranges, fresh orange peel, cocoa powder and actual Jaffa Cakes – the zingy orange flavour has a rich and earth chocolatey undertone. Master of Malt is selling this Jaffa Cake Negroni bundle on offer for £45.35.
25ml Jaffa Cake Gin
25ml Martini Rosso sweet vermouth
Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and give a good shake. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler. Garnish with an orange peel or, for an indulgent extra, a Jaffa cake on the edge of your glass like a citrus wheel.
Papa Pimm’s Cup
Pimm’s and summer are almost synonymous – but why not try a Filipino twist on the cocktail of the season? Don Papa rum here to add that extra something to the classic English summer time refresher.
30ml Don Papa
125ml Ginger Ale
Squeeze of Lemon
2 Cucumber Ribbons
2 Lemon Slices
Handful of Mint
In a mixing glass or rocks glass gently muddle together the strawberries, mint and lemon to release the flavours and break up the strawberries. Add to large wine glass along with Don Papa 7, Pimm’s and cucumber ribbons. Fill glass with ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with sliced strawberry and mint sprig.
Another one for those not drinking this summer. For those of you who don’t know, NINE ELMS is a non-alcoholic tipple, created not to replace wine but to offer as an alternative for those not drinking alcohol but still desiring a drink to pair well with food. The NINE ELMS sangria recipe incorporates the classic elements of the summer cocktail, but adding light, summer fruits such as watermelon and peaches. Don’t be deceived by this sweet drink though – there’s a twist of spice coming through from the ginger ale, star anise and cinnamon too.
1 Bottle of NINE ELMS No.18
12-15 Ripe strawberries sliced into thin rounds across the core
1/4 Watermelon (seedless or seeds removed) sliced into small wedges about 5mm thick
1 juicy peach or nectarine – stone removed and thinly sliced
1 cinnamon quill
2 Star Anise
1 Orange, for twisting
200ml Dry Ginger Ale
Place the strawberries, watermelon and peach in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon and star anise. Pour in the whole bottle of NINE ELMS No.18. Twist a strip of orange peel over the bowl and drop its fragrant loveliness into the concoction.Pop the bowl in the fridge to steep for at least an hour, but better left for up to 4 hours. Decant the liquid and fruit into a large jug, filling to just over half-way. Top with dry ginger ale.Stir gently, then serve in punch or wine glasses, making sure to include a good amount of the steeped fruit. Garnish with another orange twist.
T&T (Tequila & Tonic)
If you’re reading this thinking there’s a typo and that it should actually be G&T, you’d be forgiven but wrong. We know a Gin and Tonic is the classic drink to order at the bar but if gin is a tiny bit bitter for you to taste, tequila is the answer. El Rayo tequila is distilled specifically to pair better than most with tonic water. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and you have yourself a refreshing drink. Perfect for anyone who likes a sweeter, warmer taste to their drink. Always thought of the drink to shot after licking some salt and followed by a chaser of lime, it’s time to revamp your vision of drinking tequila.
25ml El Rayo Tequila
75ml Tonic Water
1 Grapefruit Slice
Pour the tequila into a high ball glass and top up with tonic water. Top the glass up with ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.
If a watermelon sugar high is good enough for Harry Styles, it’s good enough for us. With it being one of our favourite fruits, how could we not love it in cocktail form? Aldi is selling a Raspberry & Watermelon Gin Liqueur (£9.99) , as well as a Strawberry & Watermelon Vodka Crush (£11.99) to make the sweetest cocktail spritzes around to enjoy this summer.
25ml Gin Liqueur or Vodka Crush
1 Watermelon Wedge
For a refreshing cocktail that’s one in a melon, simply mix a single measure of either the gin liqueur or vodka crush with mint, pour over crushed ice and top with lemonade – add a wedge of watermelon on the side for added style. Or, if you want to be really extra, spoon the insides of a watermelon out and pour a healthy measure of the delicious spirit inside. Simply top with soda and fresh lime for the ultimate summer sipping cocktail!
Often an underrated classic cocktail, the White Russian is made up of vodka and coffee liqueur, mixed with cream or milk. Essentially it’s an alcoholic iced coffee and who can argue with that? Come to think of it, we might start ordering more of these when now we are able to dine out for brunch. Perfect for both summer days and nights; the iced coffee element ensures you don’t feel like you’re having too strong a drink early in the day but it also makes for the perfect night cap.
25ml Black Cow Vodka
25ml Coffee Liqueur
1 Sprinkle of Cocoa Powder
Add vodka and coffee liqueur to a rocks glass and stir. Add your milk (or cream if you’re looking for an indulgent alternative) and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.