Saturday, 3 May 2014

Cocktail hour

It's a bank holiday weekend in the UK and the weather promises to be warm and sunny, so what better time to enjoy a cocktail or two?

You can pay around £8-10 a time for cocktails in a bar, but you can mix up several at home for the price of a round in your local pub.

For cocktails you don't need the best brands of spirit. Supermarkets will sell you their own label, and by the time you've mixed them up you won't notice the difference.

So pop a couple of ice trays in the freezer and hop off down to your local supermarket while they solidify. Pick up a half bottle of sweet vermouth, a half of bourbon, a half of white rum, a couple of oranges, a couple of limes and some fresh mint. And you're made. You should also have change out of £25 if you shop wisely.

You don't need posh glasses. You don't need a proper shaker. You can use any old wine glasses, a jug and a long spoon.

Don't have a spirit measure? I bet you have some measuring spoons. Measure equal amounts of vermouth and bourbon into a jug, Add ice cubes and give it a good stir. Meanwhile remove a sizeable slice of peel off one of the oranges, wipe the orange side around the rim of a wine glass and drop it into the glass. Your cocktail should be cold by now. Strain it into the glass (a tea strainer is fine!) settle into the garden or anywhere comfortable, and enjoy.!

Whizz up some ice cubes in a food processor or grinder and put into a jug. Add a measure of white rum. (A standard pub measure is 25ml, or five teaspoons.) Squeeze half a lime into it. Add half a teaspoon of sugar. Crease up a few mint leaves and mush it all up together. Then tip it onto your glass. You can decorate the edge of the glass with a lime slice if you like. Bottoms up!