All drinks serve four, so just increase quantities when you’re entertaining larger numbers. Sugar syrup is simply equal quantities of water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves – it’s an indispensable part of every barman’s armoury.
Honeymoon in Jalisco
Mexican-inspired sweet temptation.
160ml tequila blanco
100ml lemon juice
½ honeydew melon, juiced
50ml sugar syrup
Lemon and melon slices, to garnish
Put a handful or two of ice in a jug, add all the liquids, garnish and serve in rocks glasses over cubed ice.
Wine, fruit, spirits: what’s not to like?
100ml gin or vodka
100ml fresh lemon juice
100ml sugar syrup
24 mint leaves (6 bunches)
2 peaches, peeled, stoned and pureed
300ml pinot grigio
300ml apple juice
Lemon slices, peach slices and mint sprigs, to garnish
Put everything in a pitcher, add lots of ice, stir, garnish and serve.
Mango and green tea lassi
For the syrup, over-brew 250ml green tea and, while still hot, stir in 250g white caster sugar, until dissolved.
1 mango, peeled and stoned, plus 1-2 thin slices fresh mango, to garnish
250ml green tea syrup (see introduction)
60ml single cream
Put everything in a blender, add a good handful of ice, blend and pour into a jug. Garnish with a slice or two of mango and serve.
Pimm’s may be the quintessential British summer tipple, but this is much more refreshing.
100ml sweet vermouth
500ml ginger ale
Thin slivers of peeled apple, thin strips of cucumber, slices of lemon and strawberry, fresh mint, to garnish
Mix the liquids in a pitcher, stir in the garnish, top with ice and serve.
Luxardo cherry brandy is the biz, but Cherry Heering or Grand Marnier’s cherry brandy would work, too.
15ml Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
10ml lemon juice
Sparkling wine or champagne, to top (make sure it’s cold)
Lemon twist, to garnish
Pour the gin, cherry brandy and lemon juice into a shaker, add a little ice, shake and strain into flutes. Top with fizz, garnish and serve.
Earl grey iced tea
Iced tea with a twist.
50ml fresh lemon juice
50ml grapefruit juice
100ml sugar syrup
500ml slightly over-brewed earl grey tea
Lemon wheels and grapefruit twists, to garnish
Build the drink in a pitcher, add cubed ice, garnish and serve.
French house pressé
Fizzy pop for grown-ups.
2 lemons, cut into eighths
100ml raspberry liqueur, ideally Chambord
100ml sugar syrup
260ml sparkling water
Raspberries and lemon slices, to garnish
Muddle the lemon wedges in the base of a jug, add cracked or crushed ice, and pour in the liquids. Garnish and serve in highball glasses.
A punchier alternative to Pimm’s, with a Peruvian twist.
100ml pisco (La Diablada, ideally)
320ml ginger ale
100ml sweet vermouth (I’d go for Cocchi sweet vermouth)
Lemon slices, mango slices, fresh mint, passion fruit cut in half and strawberry slices, to garnish
Pour all the liquids into a jug, add lots of ice and the fruit, stir and serve.
Carnival cornershop punch
Perfect for festivals and carnivals, this goes down very well at big picnics and parties, too. If you’re taking it out of the house, make this punch in a clean two-litre plastic water bottle, for easy portability. Serves eight.
50ml Wray & Nephew overproof rum (ie, a miniature’s worth)
350ml bottle Appleton’s dark rum
4 x 250ml tropical fruit juices – make sure you use a combination of flavours (mango/guava/pomegranate/lychee/passion fruit etc; I favour Rubicon)
8 limes, juiced
4 tbsp marmalade, combined with 100ml boiling water, to melt
100ml sugar syrup (50:50 sugar:water)
Lime wedge or pineapple slice (or both), to garnish
Combine everything in a jug, tip into a large plastic water bottle, then head off to your destination with a pile of plastic cups. Serve over ice.
Proper rum punch
Of all these drinks, this one is best suited for serving in a punch bowl (or even a barrel, if you’re making it for a bigger crowd).
80ml dark rum
80ml light rum
40ml Wray & Nephew overproof rum (there really is no alternative and it’s widely available)
80ml fresh lime juice
80ml sugar syrup
1 mango (skinned, peeled and blended into puree)
1 passion fruit
250ml guava juice
10 dashes Angostura bitters
Wedges of pineapple, orange and lime, to garnish
Tip all the liquids into a jug (or punch bowl, or barrel), add the fruit and lots of ice, and ladle into big glasses.