Putting together a cocktail menu? Then here are a few ideas to get your party off to a rollicking start.
Vodka’s a great base for a many a cocktail, and no menu would be complete without it, so ensure you have some at your party. Look online, and you’ll find a whole host of ideas of what to pair your vodka with, from the classic tomato and Worcestershire sauce combination to a vodka martini or the coveted cosmopolitan. Alternatively, try mixing vodka with a little coffee liqueur.
Champagne in the mix
Champagne is a great base for cocktails with a host of variations you can mix. Try the classic French 75, a tart drink for the brave that people will love or loathe in equal measure, mix champagne, gin and lemon. For a drink with less of a kick try the smoother Bellini Nigel Slater style, pour your champagne or sparkling wine over two teaspoons of fresh peach puree.
The Poinsettia cocktail, on the other hand, combines Champagne with cranberry juice and a little Cointreau. Alternatively, for a cocktail that packs a punch with no holds barred, mix, your favourite champagne and vodka together – a match made in heaven.
Revitalising rose lemonade
For a non-alcoholic alternative, use rose lemonade as the base for your cocktails and mix it with a little sorbet of your choice. Raspberry sorbet is the classic combination, but if you can find it pink grapefruit sorbet makes for a particularly zesty concoction. Alternatively, mix rose lemonade with a little cranberry juice, and serve with a few slices of fresh fruit as a garnish.
Ginger ale is another great base for non-alcoholic cocktails. Mix equal measures of apple juice and ginger ale for a simple and winning combination. Alternatively, mix your ginger ale with elderflower cordial for a zingy and refreshing tipple.
Source some authentic grenadine syrup made from Pomegranate juice to spruce up your non-alcoholic mixers from lemonade to sparkling mineral water or bitter lemon – add a squeeze of lime juice too. Mix your grenadine syrup with your ginger ale, and add a maraschino cherry for a delectable “Shirley Temple”.
Presentation is all
Cocktails are all about the experience as well as the flavour, so give some thought to how you’ll present them. Scour your local charity shops for stylish glasses that are one of a kind. Champagne saucers often go neglected but will strike a chic vintage note at your party. Have an ice machine to hand, so you can serve your cocktails on the rocks or not, as your guests wish.
Garnish ago go
Depending on the flavours you’ve chosen, serve your cocktails with slices of fruit, a strawberry or mint garnish or the classic cocktail umbrella. Alternatively, whip up a few retro party treats to be served alongside them, with the much-loved cheese and pineapple “hedgehog” as an affectionate tribute to Abigail’s Party.
Let’s get started
So there you have a few ideas for your cocktail menu, now it’s time to send out the invitations.