Cocktails for Your Spring and Summer Soirees
18th OF November 2011
By Alexx Stuart
Luxury Tastings Drinks Expert
Just one catch: This time you're the bartender!
It's spring. The dresses replace the coats and scarves and the rich red wines take back seat to cocktails and whites.
When most hosts think 'cocktail' they think too hard, and often rightly so. Who wants to be toiling away shaking cocktails and measuring ingredients into the afternoon and evening, only to be surround by happy, relaxed friends? Certainly not me and nor should you.
There are fail safe ways to incorporate cocktails into your entertaining, with sweaty toil left on the treadmill. Here's the entertainer's guide to effortless mixology for the home.
1. Have 2 signature drinks that you love to make. There is no need to offer an open ended 'what would you like?' - this question is loaded with stress for a non bartender. be a host and dictate the drinks!
2. If you cannot be bothered learning how to shake and strain drinks, then don't: Introducing the carafe, jug and teapot - your vehicles for producing sensational drinks, stress free. A 1 litre carafe allows for 5 cocktails per carafe. Invest in a few from your local Hot Dollar (I always find things in there!) so that you can make 25-30 cocktails in one effort instead of 1 at a time!
3. Get the measurements right - Cocktails are not like rustic cooking with a 'little of this and that'. Balance is crucial, especially the balance your citrusy and sweet components in the recipe. If you're opting for the stress free carafe and your actual cocktail is a cosmopolitan or a daiquiri, then multiply the recipe out by 6 exactly
4. Do the bulk in advance: Save your fizzy ingredients and ice until it's time to serve, but clear your fridge door contents and make way for the mass receptacles, filled with all juices, citrus, liqueurs and spirits. Mint leaves and citrus wedges are best left last until serving also as they break down a little in the alcohol if left too long to sit. Have them prepped in bowls and at the ready for service time.
5. Never ever ever skimp on ice. The cost of the bags is negligible, so equip yourself with 1 bag per 30 drinks and of course if you're chilling bottles of wine and beers, then you need to allow for more for that. Many people see professional bartenders loading up glasses with ice and think this is being done to rip people off. In the professional bar, ice is king and we use it to preserve the balance, intensity and quality of the drink to the very last sip. If you do this at home, your drinks shall have a professional air to them.
6. Eclectic glassware: mix and match a few tumblers, a few wine glasses and a few flutes if you don't have full matching sets.
7. If there's citrus in a cocktail recipe, rim a little wedge of that citrus around the serving glasses and squeeze oils from the zests into the glasses. Fabulous result and trick for that 'just like the bartender' vibe.
So there you have a few tips to stress free carafes to get your cocktail on this spring. Here is a very fabulous and simple carafe cocktail called the PUNJABI FLING for you to enjoy this spring and don't hesitate to join us on facebook for more tips and recipes, which we love to share.
120ml freshly pressed lime juice (about 4 limes, juiced)
90ml sugar syrup (www.simplesyrupco.com so you don't have to make it yourself!)
12 lychees (fresh or tinned is fine)
a handful of mint leaves (20 or so leaves)
1 teaspoon rosewater
1 fresh rose's worth of petals
300ml soda water
Place all ingredients into a 1 litre carafe, except for soda, mint, rose petals and ice. This can be done in advance and popped into the fridge. Once guests arrive top your carafes with ice, soda, petals and mint and stir really well with a long spoon to ensure the thickness of the syrup is combined with the other ingredients.
Serve into wine glasses, tumblers or flutes and be sure that each guest gets a little lychee, mint and rose in their cocktail.
Connect with Alexx at Luxury Tastings and make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook
More From Alexx...
1. New World Wines: A Basic Guide to Wine Appreciation
2. Italian White Wines In The Spotlight
3. Five Delicious Champagnes Picked By An Expert
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