Seven easy cocktails to make at home
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Looking for easy cocktails to make at home?
Spirits such as gin, vodka and rum are the flavours of signature cocktails – and there's nothing to say you can't enjoy something a little bit fancy from the comfort of your own living room.
Budding mixologists might already have mastered the art of flaring, spinning, smiling and flicking – just some of the showy traits of a seasoned barman – but if your cocktail-making skills only go as far as pouring a mixer into a glass and fumbling for a slice of lime, there couldn't be a better time to experiment.
Here are seven easy cocktails to try at home...
1. Diablesse Caribbean Sour
If you fancy a shot of sunshine in a glass, Diablesse Caribbean Rum (£35.26, 70cl, Master of Malt) is a blend of three rums with hints of vanilla, butterscotch, banana and pineapple, with a rich, fruity, spicy core of tropical fruits. Here's how to pretty one up and while away a lazy afternoon...
Ingredients: 40ml Diablesse Caribbean Rum, 10ml pimento liqueur, 25ml lemon juice, 20ml honey water (1:1 honey to water), 25ml egg white.
Method: Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Dry shake once without ice then again with ice. Strain into a wine glass or over ice if you prefer. Garnish with a white flower.
2. Melodist London Dry Gin & Tonic
A gin that's beautifully in tune with springtime, along with classic juniper, botanicals include coriander and angelica. But what we really love about Tesco's eye-catching and deliciously refreshing Finest The Melodist London Dry Gin (£20, 70cl, Tesco) are the "top notes of yuzu and green tea for a distinctive, characterful symphony" – or in two words, ace aromatics.
And it's easy to up your tonic game by pairing it with one of these little gems from the library of Merchant's Heart range of premium mixers – designed to enhance and elevate the core characteristics of a gin, rather than drown it. Selected tonics available from Sainsbury's (£1.30, 20cl).
Ingredients: 50ml Melodist Gin, premium tonic water.
Method: Half fill a copa glass with quality ice cubes, add the gin, top with tonic, stir slowly and garnish with a sprig of thyme to bring out the floral aromas.
3. Grey Goose Leafy Green
We're still a few weeks away from elderflower season, but you can't call yourself a cocktail lover without a bottle of elderflower cordial or liqueur in the drinks cabinet. Marry it with the herbal sweetness of Chartreuse and almond and citrus notes of Grey Goose Original Vodka (£33.65, 70cl, 31 Dover), and you'll be mixing with the best company.
Ingredients: 35ml Grey Goose, 15ml elderflower cordial, 15ml fresh lime juice, dash of Chartreuse (if available), dash of soda water.
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the spirits and juices, shake vigorously and strain over ice in a highball glass. Top with soda and garnish with a celery stick.
4. St Germain Spritz
A perennial favourite on the aperitif scene, you can't beat the scented aromas and flavours of St Germain Elderflower Liqueur (£22.99, 70cl, Distillers Direct), especially when it collides so beautifully with your best bubbles.
Ingredients: 40ml St Germain, 60ml sparkling wine (Prosecco, cremant or Champagne), 60ml sparkling water.
Method: Half fill a tall glass with ice. Add the sparkle, then liqueur and top with fizzy water. Stir slowly and garnish with a lemon twist.
5. Dead Man's Fingers Pina Colada
No prizes for guessing this should really be sipped within a hop, skip and jump from the beach, but there's no reason why you can't bury your feet in the kids' sandpit – and dream of island life.
With this recipe using Dead Man's Fingers Coconut Rum (£20.89, 70cl), and Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum (£23.99, 70cl, both available from DrinkSupermarket.com), think tropical flavours of coconut meets sweet notes of candied pineapple, balanced by citrusy lime... You'll want to dive right in.
Ingredients: 30ml Dead Man's Fingers Coconut Rum, 25ml Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum, 50ml pineapple juice, 25ml Coco Lopez Coconut Cream, 10ml lime juice, 3 dashes Angostura Bitters, pinch of sea salt.
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a tiki mug or tall glass and fill with cubed ice, then cap with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge.
6. CIROC Classic Twist
Mmm, those Martini moments! More time indoors means the freedom to lavish a little more attention on sophisticated, short drinks and, best of all, minimal ingredients. Take a good base spirit such as CIROC Vodka (£29.98, 70cl, Drinks Direct) made from fine, French grapes and partner it with vermouth and bitters – a fast-track to making downtime feel like you're going uptown.
Ingredients: 50ml CIROC Vodka, 15ml dry vermouth, 2-3 dashes orange bitters, 5 x seedless grapes.
Method: Half fill a mixing glass with ice. Muddle grapes, add ingredients, stir and fine strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with silver skewered frozen grapes.
7. Bathtub Pink Lemonade Punch – serves 4 to 6
Take a juniper rich gin such as Bathtub Gin (£33.95, 70cl, Master of Malt), cited as "a most unusual but quite entrancing gin" with top notes of cardamom and orange blossom, flanked by hints of cinnamon and orange peel. Combine it with sweet strawberry notes and tangy raspberry aromas of flavoured tea – and you've built a bright, juicy and refreshing punch.
Ingredients: 250ml Bathtub Gin, 375ml brewed and chilled Strawberry Raspberry Tea, 500ml fresh lemonade, 75ml simple syrup.
Method: Half fill a punch bowl or pitcher with large chunks of ice and frozen strawberries. Add the gin, tea and syrup, top with lemonade and garnish with floating lemon slices and lavender.
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