As London celebrates the London Cocktail Week, there’s no reason why the rest of the country can’t join in the fun. The months between September and December are sometimes extraordinarily difficult, the onset of autumn with its dank mists and lack of sun just compound this feeling of ennui. One way to bring back the memories of beach parties and a long hot summer is to indulge in some exotic cocktails.
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Non alcoholic – Skull Punch
Cocktails do not have to contain an alcohol. A good way to keep a reasonably steady head is to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic delights. One example of a seasonal drink that tastes delicious and won’t give you a hangover is the wonderfully named Skull Punch. First of all whizz up a pumpkin puree from that has been softened by steaming in order to soften it, and allow it to cool. Then, add honey, 1 litre of orange juice, (fresh rather than carton, if at all possible) and a dash of allspice. Add this concoction to 3 tablespoons of grenadine, a litre of chilled lemonade as well as ½ a litre of pineapple juice. Add a generous handful of crushed ice and then put the punch in a decorative jug or bowl and allow it to cool.
Refreshing Champagne cocktail – Bellini
One sip of this wonderfully refreshing drink will take you straight back to your sun drenched summer adventures and take you far away from the dull reality of a drizzly autumnal day. This drink has been popular since the 1930s and still is in fashion. If you can’t find fresh peaches, tinned will do but the fresh variety are less sugary and have more flavour. Blend the peaches and mix to a smooth puree. Carefully add half the puree into your champagne glasses and then add the champagne itself, stir gently throughout. This light and fruity drink will start your evening with a fizz.
Gin and vodka act as the base for many cocktails but do be careful, however fruity the drink may taste, the barman may well have added other spirits to the mix, so, even though you won’t necessarily taste them, you’ll still feel their effects. One of these is a Blue Lagoon. Take a large measure of vodka and add a ½ measure of Blue Curacao and top up with lemon juice. Shake with plenty of ice and then pour. The colour of the drink does resemble a watery paradise and the taste is delicious. The Paloma Hermosa has recently been voted one of the world’s top cocktails and is very popular in Florida. Take some Tapiato Bianco tequila, a measure of Elderflower liqueur, lime juice, agave (an alternative to sugar) and egg white. Combine the whole of this beautiful drink and enjoy.