The summer party season brings out the cocktail lover in all of us! Here are three great recipes to try on hot summer nights. They’re easy to make, don’t require too many expensive ingredients, and – best of all – they still look and taste impressive!
The (Yorkshire) Bellini
Keep it simple and authentic with this brilliant recipe from the golden age of cocktail making. The classic version was invented in Venice in the 1930s, and there are a number of great variations you can try.
You can’t shake a prosecco cocktail or add ice cubes to it – as anyone who has tried will know. So the ingredients need to be well chilled and, if possible, the glasses too.
Take a champagne flute and add 50ml of peach nectar. Then gently top up with 100ml of your favourite prosecco, in two or three pours. If you’re making this in summer, peaches should be in season – garnish with an aromatic half-slice.
For the ‘Yorkshire’ version, if you know anyone who grows fresh rhubarb, beg a few stalks, then dice and cook with brown sugar. Strain and reduce to a delicious red syrup, then chill and use with or instead of the nectar. A fresh, sharp flavour that’s perfect with prosecco.
For a quick tutorial, take a look at this
The French 75
A classic cocktail that, legend has it, was invented in London in the 1920s – it’s said to be named after the powerful 75mm cannon used by the French army!
This recipe is great for parties, because you can prepare the base beforehand. In a jug, mix and chill sugar syrup, lemon juice and dry gin (in 1:3:9 measures). Then pop open a bottle of prosecco and serve your guests a dash of the mixture, topped up with fizz. If in doubt, start sweeter, and add fresh lemon to adjust the flavour.
A big Pisco Punch
Instead of serving individual cocktails, go big and luxurious with a sparkling punch bowl! You need a couple of bottles for this, so keep an eye out for cheap prosecco deals.
This recipe also requires some preparation and a few fancy ingredients, but it’s worth it.
A day before the party, put an empty container of water in the freezer to make your ice block – basically, a giant ice cube! Then skin and cut up a fresh pineapple and put it in a clean, empty jar with a cinnamon stick and star anise, and top this up with sugar syrup before putting the whole thing in the fridge. On the night, before the guests arrive, put the pineapple pieces and liquid in a punch bowl with your ice block, half a litre of pineapple juice, 250ml of lemon juice, and between 375-500ml of Pisco – a South American spirit. Add Angostura bitters for taste and colour and then, just as the guests are getting thirsty, carefully pour in at least one bottle of prosecco, being ready to top up with the second if needed.
That’s the long way round. For a recipe with a few useful cheats, try this.
What is your favourite cocktail?