Tag Archives: party drinks

Special Occasion? This calls for a Cocktail!

Cocktails for all occasions

pimms no1 & lemonade 2

There are some cocktails out there that are best saved for those big occasions; you know all the weddings, birthday parties and fancy shindigs you are all getting up to! Here in this list are 8 drinks that are best utilised for relaxing nights in with your friends or small cocktail soiree’s.

From simple build-a-spritzer combinations to slightly intricate shaken mixtures this list contains a healthy balance of both – not to mention everything in between.

We’ll start with relaxing events. So these would be times when you have friends over for a chilled out evening either with a film or generally have a good time…

Spiced Whisky Ale

Recipe:

50ml Whisky of your choice

125ml Fever Tree Ginger Ale

whisky ale cocktail

Method:

–          Build ingredients in a glass, over ice.

This cocktail is simple. Just pour the ingredients in a glass and enjoy. And that’s the whole point, relaxing cocktails are about putting a few ingredients together following a simple method allowing you to spend more time with your guests, and enjoy that time too.

New Yorker

Recipe:

50ml Vodka of your choice

125ml Cranberry Juice

Wedge of Lime

Seven Grand

Method:

–          Build in a glass over ice.

–          Either drop in the lime wedge whole, or squeeze it in the drink before dropping it in.

This again is a very simple yet elegant drink. The cranberry juice is a perfect complement for the Vodka. With Smirnoff, Finlandia and other companies bringing out different flavoured vodkas, it might be worth finding one you like and trying it out. Finlandia Grapefruit works particularly well with this drink.

Pimms No.1 & Lemonade

Recipe:

50ml Pimms No.1

100ml Lemonade

Garnish: Orange slice, Cucumber slice, Strawberry, Mint Sprig.

pimms no1 & lemonade

Method:

–          Build the ingredients over ice in a tall glass.

–          Garnish with the above ingredients.

Of course Pimms cocktails are always better prepared as jugs/pitchers but for chilled evenings with friends sometimes a little intimacy is called for. There’s no trick involved in the garnish either, use a swizzle stick and mix the fruit in the drink – not only does this mix the garnishes up, but also mix the drink a bit better!

Spiced Ice-Tea

Recipe:

50ml Captain Morgans Spiced Gold Rum

125ml iced tea

Pinch Ground Cinnamon & Ground Nutmeg.

spiced teas

Method:

–          Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir well.

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and serve with a straw.

This drink is a little more artsy, with the cinnamon and nutmeg making an appearance, but this drink could easily stand a test without them, should you not like the flavours. The iced tea recipe can be a basic recipe, but I find a standard tea works well, maybe an earl grey?

Mahiki Breeze

Recipe:

50ml Mahiki Coconut

10ml Spiced Gold Rum

80ml Cranberry Juice

35ml Grapefruit juice

Garnish: Lime wedge

mahiki breeze

Method:

–          In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake well (until the shaker ices over).

–          Strain into a tall glass, half filled with ice.

–          Drop in the lime wedge, or squeeze in if preferred.

Rum and Citrus is an age old combination dating back to when people had the good sense and taste to drink them together. That’s right it’s an awesome mix and you should try this cocktail at your next party to prove my point. The Cranberry & Grapefruit juice compliment the rum and each other well, not to mention the coconut flavour of Mahiki blending in well too. This drink is shaken well before serving so it is both mixed well and chilled.

Gran Cran

Recipe:

25ml Grand Marnier

50ml Cranberry Juice

7ml Lime Juice

gran cran

Method:

–          Shake the ingredients together over ice and strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.

–          Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with a straw.

A rather unusual use for Grand Marnier, but a cocktail that allows this fantastic spirit to shine is more than ok with me! Try this after food – it’s perfect for settling your stomach and helping cleanse your palate. Not to mention it tastes pretty darn good.

Archer Cooler

Recipe:

50ml Archers Peach schnapps

50ml Orange Juice

50ml Cranberry Juice

archers cooler

Method:

–          Combine the ingredients in a tall glass, over ice, and stir well to mix.

–          Serve with a straw

Holiday Schnapps

Recipe:

50ml Archers Peach Schnapps

125ml Pineapple Juice

7ml Lime Juice

archers pineapple

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in a tall glass, over ice.

–          Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with straws.

This cocktail is as refreshing as they come, blending the peach schnapps with pineapple juice helps bring back those long forgotten summer holidays of old. The Lime adds a crisp finish to a very refreshing drink. This versatile is perfect for cocktail parties or just quiet nights in.

So there you go, 8 cocktails for you to use at any parties/occasions you deem them relevant. But remember they are best suited for relaxing events; BBQ’s, Soiree’s, and general evenings in with your mates.

N.B.the recipes in this post are from, or inspired by, recipes on www.uk.thebar.com and the pictures are partly taken from the same website as well as others (including this iced-tea recipe from Sensibiliteas). Recipes that differ from those on the first website have been tweaked or changed by myself and myself alone. Enjoy them responsibly folks!

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Finding Comfort with a Southern Elixir…

SoCo 1

Southern Comfort is one of those liqueurs people either like or dislike – I am of the former affinity.

Whisky based liqueurs, in my opinion, do not get better than this New Orleans superstar; with its’ dominant orange flavours and light-whisky aftertaste it’s perfect for cocktails or sipping neat.

Unfortunately it didn’t make my top 10 liqueurs list last year, but that was only because it was far more renown than at least 9 of the liqueurs featured in that list… Whilst it is rather renown in these parts of the world (Europe) and holds ‘superstar’ status in the USA (New Orleans – durh)…

So here’s the point of this post:

I work in a local supermarket and as you would expect from a typical Christmas time shopper they have questions all about alcohol (that’s where I step in). My colleagues always come and ask me questions about spirits as they know it’s what I’m interested in. This means I get all of the ‘I want something as a present, what do I buy?’ questions. For some reason everyone was after Southern Comfort (the significant reduction due to the special offer (£6 off) may have had a small part to play) but no one knew what to do with it, nor whether they should use the standard 35%vol  SoCo or the Bold Black cherry, which stands at a slightly higher (and surprisingly poignant) 40%.

My advice: Always start with the basics. Yes that means the standard, that’s not to degrade the black cherry as it is rather nice, but I find that sometimes the original works wonders; not to mention introducing you into the flavour Southern Comfort is globally renown for.

So what cocktails can you make with Southern Comfort?

Well it can be simply drank as a sour, with lemon and sugar or as part of an elaborate concoction like the Cherry Manhattan. Whether you prefer SoCo Original or SoCo Bold Black Cherry there’s sure to be a cocktail for you:

1. Slow Comfortable Screw against the Wall

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Vodka

1 measure Sloe Gin

3 measures Orange Juice

½ measure Galliano Liqueur

slow comfortable screw against the wall

Method:

–          Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well (until the tin ices over).

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and then float the Galliano on top.

We start here with a bit of a concoction and one a few of you may have heard of, but never actually had. This cocktail takes its name from all of the ingredients and a couple of cocktails:

Slow & Comfortable are references to the Gin and SoCo whilst the Screw is in reference to the Screwdriver cocktail (vodka & orange juice) and finally the ‘Wall’ refers to the Galliano and is in reference to the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail.

Whilst this cocktail can be time consuming with all the individual ingredients but the payoff is something sublime. Whether you’re impressing friends at cocktail parties, or even if you have a BBQ or small chilled out gathering, it’s literally perfect for all of the above.

2. SoCo Hot Apple Pie

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Original

5 measures Warm Apple Cider

SoCo hot apple pie

Method:

–          Stir the SoCo into the warm cider and garnish with an apple slice.

–          Sip with or without straws, but take care as the cider should be rather hot.

This is a simple recipe, and one for the budding home brewers out there. I’ve seen some recipes out there for mulled ciders but a good quality cider would work just as well. You’ll have to find your own mulled recipes, but here’s one to start you off…

3. SoCo Traditional Cherry Cola

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measure Pom, Pomegranate Juice

Top Up Cola

SoCo Cherry Cola

Method:

–          Simple pour technique: SoCo, then the Pomegranate juice and final top up with the Cola.

–          Use ice if you prefer your ‘Cuban’ style drinks chilled.

–          Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This is another simple recipe, and a rather fruity one at that. Great for the ladies as the Pom really adds a touch of fruity-flavour to the cola. This one works best with classic cola, but if you must use diet be prepared for some damage to the overall flavour!

4. SoCo Chocolate Covered Cherry

Recipe:

1 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¼ measure Dark Crème de Cacao

Method:

–          Combine over ice and stir well.

–          Strain into a well-iced shot glass.

This drink is a great shot to have at parties no matter the weather. It’s warming and sweet but the alcohol really lends itself to the back of your throat. I particularly like its application to the various ‘shot-boxing’ style drinking game, either that or as a small tipple after a Sunday roast.

5. Black Cherry Manhattan

Recipe:

2 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measures Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

SoCo manhattan

Method:

–          Stir together all the ingredients and then strain them into a cocktail (martini) glass.

–          Garnish with a Cocktail cherry and a twist of lemon peel.

So now for a twist on a classic whisky cocktail; SoCo being a whisky liqueur means this can still technically be considered a Manhattan (although many bartenders would argue that). This is simply a cherry flavoured short, but sweet, cocktail. I also have no qualms in stating that without the cherry this drink just doesn’t work for me. The cherry adds a subtle twist onto an otherwise tweaked cocktail and really carries it to another level. Give it a go and if the cherry flavour is too subtle for you; add a splash or two of cherry brandy.

6. Southern Hurricane

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

1 ½ measures Sweet & Sour mix

1 ½ measures Orange Juice

1 ½ measures Pineapple Juice

Splash of grenadine

soco hurricane

Method:

–          Shake together these ingredients and strain the mixture into a hurricane glass

Not exactly the most sensitive of drink, considering recent events, but it’s a cocktail under ‘New Orleans favourites’ on the SoCo website – so all is ok, right?! Anyway it’s a very refreshing, tropical tasting drink that really does make it perfect for summer evenings down south. Try blending all of the ingredients together with ice to make a frozen version of this cocktail. Just add a splash more of grenadine to add some colour.

7. Cajun Thunder

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

½ measure bourbon

Dash of Tobasco Sauce

soco spicy shot

Method:

–          Shake and strain.

Need a little fire in your life? Does someone in your little band of warriors need their feet grounding? – Well in that case this is the drink for you! The SoCo is sweet, but the Smokey bourbon should quell that, and the Tobasco sauce will be the silent poison (they won’t notice it until it’s too late). Now I do NOT applaud alcohol abuse, but I know all the students out there will appreciate this shooter cocktail (just treat it with a bit of respect, I like to think about how I’d feel if I were tricked into it myself).

8. SoCo Cherry Squeeze

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

½ measure Orange Juice

3 measures Lemon-Lime soda (7Up/Sprite)

soco cherry squeeze

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in the order they are written.

–          Straw and enjoy.

A great twist on what I’m drinking right now; see no.10, this cocktail mixes together the legendary citrus of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice with an orange-whisky liqueur – genius. The Lemon-Lime Soda is perfect as the final compliment to an extremely simple to make, refreshing cocktail. Serve over ice, sip and enjoy!

9. Alabama Slammer

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Sloe Gin

1 measure Amaretto

2 measures Fresh Orange Juice

soco alabama slammer

Method:

–          Shake all the ingredients over ice until the shaker ices over.

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and garnish with an orange slice and cocktail cherry.

This cocktail is what many consider to be the actual Alabama Slammer, and I’ve seen many a recipe (al different) also claim that title; but for this post the name does its bit. This cocktail combines Sloe Gin, Amaretto and SoCo for a tad strong but very sweet cocktail. The fresh orange juice helps balance it out a little but I find for that something extra try a dash of lemonade or ginger beer, if you’re brave enough.

10. What I’m Drinking Right now: Deep South Steamboat

Recipe:

2 measures SoCo Original

¼ Lemon, freshly squeezed

Top Up Lemonade

soco lemonade

Method:

–          Build drink in order of ingredients, over ice and in a tall glass.

–          Serve with a straw and drink to be refreshed.

This last cocktail on the list is what I’m drinking right now, as I write this post. It’s kind of a twist on bitter lemonade, with the Fresh Lemon juice adding a little zing to the glass. The cocktail itself, although containing 2 measures of a 35% liqueur, is rather light and refreshing. Many call this the Steamboat cocktail (SoCo & Lemonade) so I shall dub this one the ‘Deep South Steamboat’… You can thank me later.

So there you go folks, a long thought out list of 10 Southern Comfort based cocktails… Whether you want a refreshing light spritzer cocktail or a strong shooter this list has something for you all. Hopefully you enjoyed having a look through! Until next time drinkers!

SoCo 2

Please remember to drink responsibly, a few of these drinks are created so you don’t notice the strength of the alcohol – but don’t let this fool you SoCo is a strong liqueur and should be treated with respect. 

Cocktails O’ Clock: Inspired By… Germany…

Apple Strudel

Recipe:

1 ½ measures Vodka

½ measure Krupnik honey liqueur

½ measure Blackberry Coulis/Puree

1 dash Vanilla (flavoured) Syrup

2 measures Apple Juice

Top Up Champagne

Image
Bubbly & Fruity, this cocktail is perfect for Christmas parties…

Method:

  1. Shake all the ingredients together over cubed ice. Shake well until the shaker has iced.
  2. Pour into a large Collins glass and top with champagne/sparkling wine.

This cocktail should taste like that classic German dessert: Apple Strudel. Sweet and fruity with the Champagne adding a bubbly and light feel to the heavy sugary taste.

This drink is improved significantly with a rimmed glass. Try using a Cinnamon & Sugar mix and dusting the glasses rim. This should add a little heat to the drink as well as adding a traditional Christmas twist to the drink…

Cocktails O’ Clock: The Flame of Love

This cocktail is a twist on a Martini and probably one of the most elegant cocktails you’ll ever see/make/taste.

Rather than regurgitate what Charlotte Voisey says in her video, I thought it best just to share the video in this post. Plus it adds a splash of variety, you don’t have to read my drivel for once 😉 – I shall be using a few of these videos, by the various barkeeps ‘SSN‘ use in their videos…

Made by Charlotte Voisey (a barkeep from the USA) this cocktail is all about elegance, Watch her video (on youtube via the small screen network) and revel in both the beauty of this drink and the lady making it…

Hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do. Perfect for those late night Soiree’s with you and a few friends…

Flame of Love:

Recipe:
2 measures Good quality Vodka
1/2 measure Good quality Sherry

Method:
– Combine in a mixing glass, fill with cracked ice and stir well, until the drink is chilled.
– lace the glass with the oils of 2 orange peels.
– Then pour the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and flame an orange peel over the glass and place it in the drink.
– Enjoy with friends.