Mix it up in summer
Sometimes a low- alcohol cocktail is the perfect refresher
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.