Mix it up in sum­mer

Some­times a low- al­co­hol cock­tail is the per­fect re­fresher

The Irish Times Magazine - - DRINK - JOHN WIL­SON

This week, a few sum­mer cock­tails to en­joy the last of the sum­mer sun­shine. I am not usu­ally a fan of wine cock­tails; it seems sac­ri­le­gious to di­lute or adul­ter­ate such a great bev­er­age. How­ever, in the sum­mer, when re­viv­ing low- al­co­hol drinks are es­sen­tial, they seem ap­pro­pri­ate. Gin is the great cock­tail spirit, and there is no short­age of re­fresh­ing drinks to make. El­der­flower & Savvy It is of­ten said that Sau­vi­gnon Blanc smells and tastes of el­der­flower so, not sur­pris­ingly, the two go well to­gether. If you are feel­ing lazy, the Blos­som Hill El­der­flower & Lemon Spritz ( 5.5 per cent al­co­hol), a very re­fresh­ing sum­mery glass of wine, is an easy al­ter­na­tive. In­gre­di­ents: 1 bot­tle of chilled, in­ex­pen­sive Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 150- 200ml el­der­flower cor­dial 750ml chilled sparkling water 2 un­waxed limes or lemons ( avail­able in Marks & Spencer) Ice Method: Mix cor­dial and wine in a large jug. Add sliced fruit, sparkling water and ice un­til it tastes right. Re­bu­jito I adore all kinds of sherry, and fino is a sum­mer drink. How­ever, fino’s 15 per cent al­co­hol means a level of re­straint is re­quired. Re­bu­jito is the fi­es­tas drink in An­dalucía, and could not be eas­ier to make.

The fino fea­tured be­low is ex­quis­ite, and pos­si­bly wasted here. You could buy a bot­tle of Tio Pepe for the cock­tail and save the Calle­juela for a treat be­fore din­ner. Spir­its writer David Broom rec­om­mends us­ing fino sherry in­stead of vodka for a lighter Bloody Mary, which worked very well. You could make aP& T–a white port& tonic, gar­nished with lemon and mint. In­gre­di­ents: 1 bot­tle chilled fino sherry 750ml chilled sparkling water Ice 1 lemon Method: Mix roughly equal quan­ti­ties of sherry and sparkling water ( some peo­ple use fizzy le­mon­ade). Add a few cubes of ice and a few slices of lemon. Gar­nish with mint. Sum­mer gin and mint Gin is a great sum­mery drink, whether mixed with tonic water, or in a clas­sic Tom Collins. This reci- pe, courtesy of Susie Atkins in the Tele­graph, is de­li­cious. In­gre­di­ents: 50ml gin 2 sprigs of fresh mint 1cm slice of cucumber, quar­tered 100ml el­der­flower pressé ( or cor­dial mixed with sparkling water) Ice Sprig of mint and slice of lemon Method: Put the mint, cucumber and gin into a cock­tail shaker. Mud­dle ( or bash) them around to­gether for a minute, strain into a tall glass, add el­der­flower pressé and a few cubes of ice, and gar­nish with lemon and mint.

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