Sunday, 9 June 2013

Ideas for Refreshing Spring/Summer Cocktails!

I hadn't mentioned anything until now, but this week I started a new job. I'm a qualified Occupational Therapist and since arriving back from travelling around Australia and New Zealand in April I have been looking for a new job. Unfortunately, OT work in my preferred area is rather scarce at the moment so I have taken on some home care work whilst my OT job search continues - and after waiting weeks for my criminal record check to come through, I finally started on Tuesday.  I worked temporarily as a domiciliary carer previously (about 5 years ago now), so it seemed like the best idea in order to keep my CV up-to-date with some relevant healthcare experience!

To celebrate the successful completion of my first week in my new job I headed out last night night with a couple of friends for some cocktails - any excuse for a girls night!! 

So today I thought I would write a little about my favourite cocktails to have at this time of year, as we come to the end of the spring season and head towards summer. Whilst I admit that I rarely make my own cocktails at home (I've had a couple of months experience working behind a bar but I never really got the hang of mixing cocktails!) these are so simple that I hope you will feel inspired & motivated to try making one (or all) of these...

Raspberry Collins 
The UK raspberry season begins in June so why not pick up a punnet and try a Raspberry Collins? I first tried one of these at one of my favourite pubs in West London - The Defector's Weld. I have tried various 'Collins' cocktail recipes since (Lycee Collins, Blackberry Collins, and the original - Tom Collins) but this remains my top choice. Gin is my favourite spirit and it forms the base of this cocktail.
Find the recipe for a Raspberry Collins here.

Sea Breeze/Arizona Cooler
I love this cocktail - Pippa Middleton provides a recipe for it in her book Celebrate, and it's so simple that I have successfully attempted to make this drink for myself & friends a couple of times at home:
'Pour 100ml vodka, 200ml cranberry juice, 200ml grapefruit juice and the juice of 1 lime into a cocktail shaker, flask or jug. Shake or mix together well to combine. Divide ice cubes between four glasses and pour the cocktail over. Stir well and garnish with lime wedges'.
You could also substitute the vodka for gin and the lime for lemon in this one (if preferred) - it then becomes an 'Arizona Cooler'!

A modern take on the Martini - made with pineapple juice, vodka and champagne. Very fancy! This drink first came to my attention when Carrie and the gang enjoyed a jug of it during an episode of Sex and the City. Great for when you have something to celebrate - enjoy in a champagne or martini glass!
Find the recipe for a Flirtini here.

Elderflower Cooler
I'm a big fan of Bottlegreen Elderflower cordial and often use it at home for a refreshing alternative to a standard gin & tonic. To serve 1 - mix a shot of your favourite gin (approx. 25ml) with a shot of elderflower cordial (approx. 25ml again) and top up your glass with tonic water (approx. 100ml). Add ice cubes and either a wedge of lime or some mint leaves to garnish - whichever you prefer.

Finally, I've recently seen the new Pimm's Blackberry and Elderflower advertised and I'm looking forward to trying that this summer, served with some lemonade!

Lisa x

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