The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine
Shake up your cocktail repertoire
EVERY SUMMER BRINGS with it a cocktail-trolley’s worth of new drinks. This year, the hottest bottles include fruity-flavoured gins, from Edinburgh Gin’s refreshing, full-strength (40 per cent abv) rhubarb and ginger version (£28 for 70cl, edinburghgin.com) to Hepple’s sloe and hawthorn, big and bold with almond notes (32 per cent; £28.95 for 50cl, thewhiskyexchange. com). Superior mixers, too, vie for our attention, such as The Artisan Drinks Co’s new Violet Blossom Tonic, pale purple in colour and slightly floral, good just with ice (£1.50 for 200ml, harveynichols.com). But I’m often stumped when it comes to serves beyond a G&T. Cue a new book from wine connoisseur Olly Smith, which lays out 80 recipes for cocktails and mocktails. Many ideas in Fizz (Ebury, £12.99) are superbly simple (25ml manzanilla sherry, 10ml lemon juice and 15ml peach schnapps shaken with ice, strained and topped up with cava is a speedy drink that ‘shows off the splendour of Spain’, writes Smith), others call for a syrup or fruit reduction that he shares in the first chapter. It’s a collection that will provide inspiration for Friday-night sipping (Rebujito, anyone?) and weekend gatherings. A batch of Rosie Apples strikes me as perfect for a barbecue. Let summer begin!