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Sipping on sunshine: the perfect summer cocktail collection

26 JULY 2012

Cocktails are the perfect way to add a bit of spritz and glamour to a balmy summer evening.

Fortunately the days of Piña Coladas adorned with glacé cherries and paper umbrellas are long gone. Nowadays cocktails are a much more sleek and sophisticated affair - but that doesn’t mean they can't be fun.

 

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CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL COCKTAIL GALLERY


The possibilities for cocktail creations are endless and our top tipples can easily be made at home: you don’t need a fully-equipped bar to whip up simple cocktails.

However, whilst experimental mixology is encouraged, we advise that ingredients should always be fresh and garnishes be kept to a minimum.

A basic cocktail-making kit consists of six items: a measurer, a shaker, a juicer, a muddler, a mixer and a strainer. These can easily be substituted for everyday kitchen items if you don’t fancy yourself as a fully fledged mixologist just yet.

 

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Regardless of your level, with our tips you’ll be a cocktail pro in no time:

• For added taste, squeeze the juice from your lime and drop the wedge in your glass for a zingy boost.

• Filling your glasses to the top with ice not only looks good, but also makes the ice last longer, keeping your drinks cool and preventing them from becoming diluted.

• Stick to whole iced cubes rather than crushed ones. These melt too quickly and dilute your cocktail.

• Go the extra mile and chill your glasses in the freezer an hour before serving.

• Use the best quality ingredients you can afford.

• Mint leaves are best stored in an airtight container – to bring out the flavour and lovely aroma, clap the leaves in your hands before using.

• If planning a celebration allow for two drinks per hour for each guest – allow for extra if you think your cocktails will prove popular!


Our cocktail list features a variety of scrumptious and summery combinations including fruity, fizzy and alcohol free tipples:

Cocktails

Gin Swizzle

Crisp Apple Fizz

Cuban Special

Geisha Gin

Mocktails

Regal Refresher

Jubilee Fizz

For regular cocktail inspiration, check out the fantastic blog Shaken and Stirred brought to you by HELLO!'s The Recipe Room.

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