Six Cocktails – Shaken & Stirred

When I first bought my blender it was with the thought of preparing healthy smoothies and soups and I still use it for that occasionally, but I have to confess, I use it far more often to make cocktails (though not every recipe here requires a blender!)

I love to experiment in my kitchen – cooking, baking, cocktails – you name it. I am easily bored and there are only a few recipes where I stick to the same ingredients every time; I much prefer to give a dish a new twist or substitute a herb or vegetable or, with my cocktails, a spirit or a fruit. Life is short enough – let’s have some variety!

Here are the recipes for six cocktails I have made over the last few weekends, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Each recipe is for 3-4 cocktails (because it’s nice to share!)

Apple & Plum Fizz

The calvados adds a nice alcoholic kick to this drink, which I would serve as an aperitif or a welcome drink. It’s easy to prepare in advance and just needs a few minutes to assemble when your guests arrive.

20cl plum wine

5cl calvados

30cl clear apple juice

champagne or sparkling wine to top up

sugar/cinnamon mix

dried apple slice, fresh plum

No blender required here. Mix the plum wine, calvados and apple juice and leave in the fridge to blend and cool. Before serving, wet the rim of a champagne flute and dip it in the sugar/cinnamon mix, add the cocktail mix and top of with champagne or sparkling wine. Decorate with a slice of dried apple and a quarter of a plum on a wooden stick.

5-a-Day Punch

Fruit is good for you, no doubt about it. This contains five different ones; hence the name, though I guess the alcohol will somewhat diminish their benefits. It’s the kind of drink you really need a beach for to truly enjoy, but a few rays of sunshine and a balcony or terrace will do.

freshly pressed juice from 4 blood oranges

freshly pressed juice from 2 limes

a small punnet of washed and hulled strawberries

half of a fresh pineapple, cut into chunks

a few slices of mango (tinned)

fresh mint leaves

10cl tequila

10cl white rum

a dash of coconut syrup

agave syrup to taste (depends on how sweet the fruit are)

champagne or sparkling wine to top up

a slice of orange & lime, half a strawberry and a mint leaf for decoration.

Put the orange & lime juice, strawberries, pineapple chunks, mango, mint leaves, coconut syrup in the blender and whiz it for a few minutes. Strain the juice through a fine sieve to get rid of any bits. Sweeten to taste with the agave syrup. Fill long drink glasses about half way with the cocktail mix and add champagne or sparkling wine. Decorate with a slice of orange and lime, half a strawberry and a mint leaf.

Hillberry Hooch

A perfect summer drink. All you need is a rocking chair on a porch to sit on with a lazy river flowing past.

a punnet of blueberries

a punnet of strawberries

a punnet of raspberries

5cl Bourbon whiskey

5cl spiced rum (I used Kraken)

5cl raspberry liqueur (Chambord)

a dash of crème de cassis

a few drops of vanilla essence

sparkling water

ice cubes

blueberries and raspberries for decoration

Whiz the berries and alcohol and vanilla essence in the blender for a few minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to get rid of all the little pips from the berries. Fill a mason jar with ice cubes and add the cocktail mix until about half full. Add the sparkling water, a straw and a few of the berries on a stick.

Sour Cherry Sour

I never used to like whisky, but all of a sudden I developed a taste for it (age?) and since then I have become particularly fond of whisky sours. I have been experimenting a little bit with different citrus fruit but when I bought a jar of sour cherries the other day, I thought I’d give it a whirl. And guess what? It’s lovely!

half a glass of sour cherries with juice

freshly pressed juice from 1 pink grapefruit

freshly pressed juice from 2 lemons

10cl Scotch whisky

5cl Kirsch

syrup made from dark muscavado sugar

ice cubes

untreated lemon peel spiral & cherry for decoration.

Blend the cherries and fruit juices in the blender for a few minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to get rid of the fruit pulp (don’t throw it away! Mix it with some Greek yoghurt for a quick dessert, it’s delicious). In the meantime bring some water with two heaped teaspoons of muscavado sugar to the boil and let it simmer for a few minutes before letting the syrup cool down. Add the alcohol and syrup to the fruit juices. Strain again. Serve in a whisky tumbler and decorate with the lemon peel spiral and a cherry and serve on the rocks.

My Bloody Clementine

Here’s another fruity, zesty little number for a balmy summer’s evening. This one’s only got one kind of alcohol in it – vodka – making it lighter and more about the flavours of the other ingredients.

freshly pressed juice from 2 blood oranges

freshly pressed juice from 4 clementines

1 punnet of strawberries, washed and hulled

1 passion fruit

20cl lemon vodka

half a bottle of clementine juice

ice cubes

a slice of orange for decoration

Another job for the blender. Blend the fresh juices with the flesh of the passion fruit and the strawberries for a few minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to get rid of the bits. Return to the blender with the vodka, bottled clementine juice and the ice cubes and use the power button a few times to mix and crush the ice. Serve in long drink glasses with a slice of orange.

After Nine

Now for something completely different. This is an after dinner cocktail. Creamy, boozy, with a lot of different flavours, that work well together and make one fine cocktail. And this one’s definitely shaken, not stirred.

2 cups of freshly brewed double espresso, left to cool

5cl Bailey’s Cream liqueur

5cl chocolate liqueur

5cl mint liqueur

10cl vodka

1 sprig of mint

Add all the ingredients (apart from the mint) in a cocktail shaker with some ice cubes and shake, baby, shake. Pour into Martini glasses and decorate with a sprig of mint).

And there you are. I hope you enjoy these six cocktails as much as I enjoyed creating them.

 

 

 

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