Cocktails

August 20, 2013

Let’s start by saying I’m really not much of a drinker and never have been. As a teenager I found adding alcohol to coke or lemonade just ruined the taste and during university I was famed for being the slowest drinker amongst my friends (on average I managed one pint  for everybody else’s three rounds). Besides which when you’re a wheat – free vegan, drinks get pretty limited (you’d be surprised how much wine is brewed using isinglass, aka, fish bladder).

However, I’ve always liked trying out cocktails, particularly when they involve unusual ingredients. There is just something about cocktails which draws your imagination in; whether it’s the interesting names (blackberry fizz sounds like the tipple of fairies), specialist ingredients (Midori liquer? Creme de violette?) or wonderful stories behind the creation and naming of a cocktail.

I thought I’d share some favourite cocktails in case you’re looking for something new to try (DRINK RESPONSIBLY KIDS)! During an impromptu house barbecue, I was assigned the dubious task of mixologist whilst the “men” got on with throwing meat at each other and trying not to burn the garden down. There’s only about 4 cocktails I’d claim to be able to make well but I gave it a go!

Bloody Mary cocktail tomato juice vodka worcestershire sauce black pepper ground black pepper interior shot drinks drink food summer
Bloody Mary cocktail tomato juice vodka worcestershire sauce black pepper ground black pepper james garden Bloody Mary (modelled by James)

Ingredients: vodka, tomato juice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, worcester sauce/horseradish sauce, celery. This is really the only drink I can talk about in detail as it’s the only one I regularly drink and the only thing I ever go for in pubs. In my opinion I make the best Bloody Marys in town (I imagine most of my friends will disagree), probably because I am very particular with how I like them: lots of horseradish sauce which goes in first, smooth tomato juice only, ground black pepper and celery. NEVER lime as a garnish (as I have stubbornly informed hundreds of barmen across the capital) although cucumber is passable. Wikipedia has an impressive list of variations on this cocktail – has anybody tried any? A Bloody Fairy sounds horrific (absinthe instead of vodka).

cosmopolitan, cranberry juice, vodka, cocktail, exterior, garden, glass, shot aIMG_5618  Cosmopolitan

Ingredients: vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice (as well as lime garnish). Whilst the characters in Bridget Jones are fond of a good bloody mary, I’m sure you’ll all recognise the Cosmopolitan from Sex and The City where Carrie and the gang exclusively drink the rather aesthetically pleasing cocktail. I’m actually never much of a fan of these because I love cranberry juice too much. I just get annoyed at the other flavours.

Cuba libre, coke, lime, drink, cocktail, dave in the garden, exterior

Cuba Libre (modelled by Dave)

Ingredients: Coca-cola, lime, white rum. I personally like my coke unfettered by alcohol but Dave seemed to enjoy this even if it was reminiscent of being a teenager. As you can probably guess from the name, the drink was supposedly created in Cuba to celebrate their freedom in the Spanish-American war. Ideally served in a tumbler (we don’t own any) and on the rocks (ice).

aIMG_5599 cachaça, caipirinha, outside, river island, rokit, vintage, lime, cocktails, drinking, garden cachaça, caipirinha, outside, river island, rokit, vintage, lime, cocktails, drinking, garden   Caipirinha (hopefully you recognise the girl in these photos…)

Ingredients: cachaça, lime and sugar. The national cocktail of Brazil! You might know I adore Brazil and I’ve tried a fair few of these at various Brazilian events in my time. Like the bloody mary this is another cocktail I can actually “make” and in my opinion they are easy to get wrong: too much lime and it’s bitter, not enough lime and it’s a sugar punch to the front teeth, too much ice and it’s distilled. The secret is to mash up the lime with the ice first until it’s slightly crushed (you can’t tell from the terrible quality photo), then add granulated brown sugar, then pour the alcohol in last over the top and don’t over stir. A bit tricky but so worth it!

aIMG_5634 Gin Fizz

Ingredients:  gin, lemon juice (or lime juice, we used both), soda water. Essentially a posh variation on G&T. I’m not a massive fan of gin but this tasted vaguely of lemonade and Dave seemed to enjoy it! Our little cocktails book listed some bizarre variations using bits of egg such as the above ingredients plus egg white (Silver Fizz), egg yolk (Golden Fizz) and a whole egg (Royal Fizz) which sounds bizarre and is also (luckily) not vegan so I won’t be making any of those anytime soon.

That concludes our cocktails discussion! Let me know if you have tried any of these and if you have a favourite cocktail (and if it’s a bloody mary, let’s compare notes). Here’s some token pictures of the barbecue, as you can see it was GOOD.

barbecue food laid out exterior outside garden

9 responses to “Cocktails”

  1. Caitlin says:

    I’m relieved to hear that you’re not much of a drinker, because I never have been, either! I embarrassed myself in college when I studied in Germany because, much like you, I’d be nursing my first beer on a German’s third or fourth. Still, I enjoy a glass of wine or a fun cocktail here and there, so I’m happy you shared these with us! Creepy to hear that fish insides are used in some wine processes, though…

  2. These all look delicious! I’m not a big drinker either, but I sure do love a good cocktail from time to time! One of my favorites is called a Brown Derby- it’s honey simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and bourbon. It’s SO tasty!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

  3. jessthetics says:

    Mmmm, I’m a huge coctail fan! I’m loving pina coladas at the moment, they’re so tropical and summery! Mojitos are usually my go to drink. I’ve never tried a caipirinha but I would love to 🙂 xx

    http://www.jessthetics.wordpress.com

  4. Christina says:

    What a fun post, and how nice if your friends to model for u hehe! I do like a cocktail, I seem to drink less as I’m getting older being embarrassingly drunk is not a good look 😉 Bloody Mary sounds lovely ..

  5. Vanessa says:

    Wonderful post…I like your pretty blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    Let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

  6. pitgat says:

    Oh, you look lovely! I don’t really like Bloody Mary, BUT I thank you for telling that wine can use fish bladder and so on, argh! And I am vegetarian! Like you, I also don’t like alcohol very much, and people used to add wine to orange juice in a place I have lived and argh, ruined the taste, for sure! I like Cuba Libre, by the way! Oh, I will be in London in September 🙁 But for the rest of winter (I change countries when summer comes, I don’t like the heat). So if you plan a blog meeting later, count on me! It’ll be lovely! denisesplanet com

  7. Rachel says:

    Hehe I love cocktails…I think I love them so much I can’t choose (anything with champagne is always good lol) but out of your choices I think I’d go for the Cosmo. I must try a Caipirinha! It sounds yummy!

  8. Katie says:

    I’m massive fan of coctails <3 Yours look fantastic and delicious ! <3 yumyumyum

    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/

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