It’s Cocktail O’Clock
A friend’s daughter arranged a wonderful birthday surprise for her, we all joined an online Mixology class and made three cocktails together. It was a glorious night where we learnt something new, chatted, connected albeit virtually, had cocktails together and made a wonderful memory.
Cocktails, say welcome in a sophisticated way, whether you choose to pre-mix a jug, build or shake to order, your guests will feel spoilt. Making the cocktails is interactive entertainment for your guests and I always have a non alcoholic option on tap.
These are the drinks my friend’s daughter chose for her cocktail night which I thought I would share with you all:
Spiced Ginger a twist on a Moscow Mule. The addition of ginger ale and rum with the hint of spiced orange, if you can find that Fever Tree Spice Orange Ginger Ale, if you can’t it is refreshing with your favourite brand of Ginger Ale. This drink transports you to the Caribbean.
The Salted Caramel Espresso Martini was my favourite the hint of salted caramel and combination of coffee was a winner for me. Clever tip, if you don’t fancy buying a bottle of salted caramel pop to your local coffee shop and see if they will sell you a couple of shots. Costa Coffee were very obliging to the friend I recommended it to. Instead of a coffee liqueur I added salted caramel Bailey’s so mine was a creamy colour rather than the classic, dark coffee colour with a head of creme.
Frozen Strawberry Margaritas are a vibrant fun drink to welcome your guests to your house with. Make a jug or put them into glasses decorated with a strawberry and a wedge of lime, they look pretty and summery. Now all we need in the Northern Hemisphere is sunshine!
I wanted to chat about Simple Syrup it is so easy to make and can be added to more than just your cocktails or favourite drinks. Simple Syrup can be added to a fruit salad infused with lemon grass, a G&T infused with rosemary, drizzled over a pavlova it adds a little shine and sweetness to the fruit, or in summer to keep your sponge cakes a little more moist a few spoonfuls can be drizzled over your sponge.
Simple syrup is made by adding equal quantities of caster sugar to water, stir to dissolve the sugar over a low heat, once the sugar has melted allow the syrup to boil for three minutes, cool and add to a sterilised jar. If you are adding any infusions, cool and then refrigerate. The syrup can kept for a month without any infusions and a week or more depending on what you have added and how vigilant you were with the sterilising. I like to make just enough as it is really easy to make and I am always short of fridge space.
Tip: If a recipe calls for simple syrup and you don’t fancy making or buying any, you can use agave for tequila cocktails and maple syrup or honey work just as well as simple syrup in recipes.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- Simple syrup is equal quantities of caster sugar to water, stir to dissolve the sugar in the water over heat, allow the syrup to boil for three minutes, cool and add to a sterilised jar.
Simple syrup is also fantastic when flavored or spiced. Try cinnamon syrup, lemon-thyme syrup, rosemary syrup, vanilla syrup and a concentrated demerara sugar rich syrup, which has a rich molasses flavor. If you need to make larger quantities, stick with the easy 1:1 ratio of water to sugar.
Try it in a Blackberry Collins cocktail, sangria recipes and other party-ready pitcher drinks. It's also ideal for iced tea, coffee, and homemade sodas. Add a tea bag directly to the syrup for an elegant Jasmine Syrup. For a quick dessert, add plain or flavored simple syrup to a citrus salad or a bowl of berries topped with fluffy whipped cream. Some bakers like to use simple syrup on layer cakes to help keep them moist. Just make sure to brush or sprinkle it on the cake in moderation to avoid making the layers too sweet or too soggy.
For me a cocktail on arrival makes your guests feel welcome and makes them relax, enjoy the get together and make a memory.