My favourite cocktails

I’m not a great alcohol drinker – I don’t really like the taste of any spirits and though I’ll drink wine (white or rosé) socially, I don’t love it.  I do like really apple-y, scrumpy cider bought at our food festival or farm shops, but my tastes in alcohol would most easily be defined as ‘anything that doesn’t taste like alcohol’.

What I do love, is cocktails.  Crushed ice, slices of fruit, striped straws and chilled glasses filled with brightly coloured drinks.  On a holiday or a hot day, you just can’t beat it.  My favourites are pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris, which I like to think of as a sort of grown up Slush Puppie (which isn’t to say that when you’re a grown up you have to stop drinking slush puppies, promise!).

When I’m at a bar I love ordering outrageous cocktails that take expert preparation, and watching ‘mixologists’ throw them all together, but for my homemade cocktails, I like to keep it simple.  Since returning from France Tom and I have been drinking lots of Kirs – cocktails made with blackcurrant liquer (Cassis). Kirs themselves are cassis and white wine, but we’ve also made Kir Royal (with champagne) and Kir Breton (with Breton cider). All are absolutely delicious.  In France they are usually had as an aperitif before a meal. Here’s our bottle of Kir Breton all ready to be served up in jars and bottles with stripey straws (stripey straws are a must for homemade cocktails!)

Another aperitif we were served in France was rosé wine with pink grapefruit syrup.  In France they love their syrups and most supermarkets sell lots of different flavours which are great for adding to cocktails.  You could use fresh grapefruit juice as an alternative – apparently adding strawberry flavoured vodka on top of that is also delicious.

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I’m probably going to be showing how unimaginative I am with my home ‘cocktails’ if I tell you that my other favourite home cocktail is a Bucks Fizz.  Buck’s Fizz was invented in 1921 at the Buck’s Club, a gentlemen’s club in London.  Apparently it was invented to provide members with an excuse to start drinking early – we certainly get into the spirit of that at Christmas when one of our family traditions is Bucks Fizz with our breakfast croissants.  I can’t say that Bucks Fizz would immediately spring to mind as the signature drink of a gentlemen’s club; but if you want to find out what the ingredients for a real man’s drink are, then check out this blog post on the ‘15 Most Manly Drinks‘ – apparently if you’re a man and you order one of my two favourite cocktails (pina colada or strawberry daiquiri) then you have to hand in your ‘man card’! Who knew there wasn’t equal opportunities in the world of cocktails? I’d better go whip Tom up a Jagerade (jagermeister and gatorade… sounds horrendous to me!)

By the way, if you are a cocktail fan, keep your eyes on my blog over the next week as I have a giveaway going live where you can win some beautiful cocktail glasses and a bottle of a very summer-y spirit! Now where’s that sun gone?

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