Little known fact about me – for 6 years I worked in cocktail bars (very, very busy cocktail bars).
The downside of this is that I am unapologetically snobby about my cocktails. I don’t like my mojitos too sweet, God help you if you go anywhere near my margarita with sour mix, I want my drinks garnished correctly, I demand quality spirits with clean, fresh ingredients and I mix a mean iced tea (actually about 20 variations thereof).
The upside is that I can teach you a few things about mixed drinks.
Now, unlike most cocktail guides, I don’t expect everyone to keep a fully stocked bar cart, so I’m listing my favourite recipes based on the 4-key white spirits. This way, no matter which of the staples you happen to have on hand, you can rustle up a tasty libation.
The simplest and most beautiful tequila drink (in my humble opinion) is the Paloma. Wonderfully sharp and refreshing – only 5 ingredients required.
fresh lime juice
:: Mix equal parts grapefruit juice, tequila and club soda (1/4 cup) – add a teaspoon of simple syrup and a quarter lime squeezed. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with a slice of lime or grapefruit. (Salt rim on the glass or a sprig of rosemary are also optional extras). Serve and enjoy!
FYI – many recipes will just mix tequila with a grapefruit soda and it is still very tasty, but I’d urge you to try making it from scratch – it is so much better!
Elevating the classic G&T with the quintessentially British pink gin.
fresh lime juice
:: Add two shots of your preferred gin with five dashes of angostura bitters and a quarter lime squeezed to a large glass with ice – top with tonic water – stir and serve garnished with a slice of lemon.
Vodka – the secret to this is a good quality (read: fiery) ginger beer – the Moscow mule.
Fresh Lime Juice
:: Add two shots of your favourite vodka to a tall glass (or copper mug, if you have one) and half a lime squeezed (some recipes call for you to drop the lime shell into your drink – I’ll leave that up to you) and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a wheel of lime and enjoy!
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY READING: My Top Five Virgin Islands Cocktails
Ernest Hemingway’s favourite, the classic daiquiri. Not all daiquiris are blended with fruit. In fact, I much prefer it when they’re not. A classic daiquiri requires only three ingredients. (Not to be confused with a Hemingway – which is a different variation altogether).
a good white rum
fresh lime juice
:: Add two shots of white rum with the juice of one lime and a teaspoon of simple syrup. Shake vigorously over ice and pour into a coupe/martini glass. Enjoy!
(This is the only recipe that actually needs a cocktail shaker or any equipment – apologies for that.)
*You will have noticed that a couple of these recipes require a simple syrup. Easily made you will need equal parts granulated white sugar and water. Pour one cup boiling water and one cup sugar into a pan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Be careful not to let it boil. When dissolved let the syrup cool and pour into a sterilized bottle or jar. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month. Once you have mastered basic simple syrup you can then start exploring herb infusions (basil and rosemary are two of my favourites) but that’s a lesson for another time… 🙂
So there you have it – a clean and effortless cocktail that you can throw together no matter which spirit you happen to have at home – just in time for the weekend!
Aw, happy days, shaking up cocktails with my girl, getting cross when students keep ordering Chocolate Dipped Strawberrys one after the other 😂 Miss those days! X
Ahhhh student nights! Definitely don’t miss those… hmmmm, or match days… ha ha! 🙂 xx
These are great, quick cocktail ideas! It’s always great to have a quick recipe on hand for days when you want to make something without thinking too hard about it!
Elizabeth | Confidentlyelegant.com
Omg the Paloma looks so good- your cocktail photography is on point!!! 😋
I love cocktails a lot! We’re having such a hot weather right now which is just great for this kind of drinks. Can’t wait to try them out! 🙂
I love a good cocktail on my hand! I’m definitely going to try out the first one, sounds so tasty!
Mmmm, gin and tonics are my favorite (especially in the summer)! I’m usually not a fan of daquiris but I guess that’s because I’m used to the super sugary ones they serve at beach-y bars. This recipe sounds much more appetizing. 🙂