Tis’ the season so we’re not here to discuss pure blondes or assess deep crimson reds with purple highlights… unless it’s one of our edgy Party Hosts. Leave the beer at Dan Murphy’s and the wine at your boutique cellar. It’s cocktail hour every day during holidays and we’re ready to quote Taylor Swift’s “shake it off” out of context (don’t hate on our Tay Swizzle reference… “haters gonna hate”).
It just wouldn’t be summer without featuring a series of the best thirst-quenching, damn flavoursome, ice-y cocktails on your bar drinks list.
The reality is, cocktails are 10 times more enjoyable; taste-wise, losing your inhibitions-wise and thirst-wise.
Fill a pitcher and share it around because:
- being 10 beers deep gets boring… people want a tasty flavour party in their mouths… cocktails are a flavour party that everyone is invited to!
- everyone loses their inhibitions at the same rate therefore on the same wavelength (therefore easier to manage when their hitting a decline); and,
- when your thirst is real and you’re playing the field (and hoping you may be able to turn the flavour party into a tongue party with your crush of the night), it doesn’t take much to impress with a delicious cocktail and remember the said crush’s order when everyone is drinking the same damn cocktails. Genius, non?
And we’re not talking about the jungle juice you used to make when you were 18. C’mon, step up your game. You’re here to impress, and jungle juice never ends well… or it ends with someone being a liability in the gutter.
The only issue with impressing guests? Time.
The more time focused on cocktail-making, the more people you have queuing up at the bar waiting for one of your best cocktail concoctions. The more time focused on perfecting the cocktail, the more time it takes to turn over the drinks. People don’t have all night to wait at the bar. When time is of the essence, you haven’t got time to mess around with vanilla essence.
So step on up to the top shelf of cocktails that are easy to make… and probably a little too easy to go down the gullet. Up on this shelf, you’ll find top cocktail recipes, which can be whacked together in a hot minute, inspired from around the globe. After all, Australia is a multi-cultural country.
Here are the top 10 cocktails to shake up this holiday season and add to your bar drinks list. We’ve made it super easy for you – so much so we could title this blog post “Cocktails for Dummies”, but you guys are the best cocktail makers out there (we’re not ashamed to massage your egos) so just think of it as some more serving magic tricks up your bartending sleeve.
1. Aperol Spritz
Have you even lived through summer if you haven’t served up an Italian Aperol Spritz? We doubt it.
You will need: 60mL Aperol Aperitivo, 90mL Prosecco, 30mL Soda water, Slice or wedge of orange
Method: Mix Aperol, prosecco and soda in a large wine glass (approx. 420ml). Fill the glass completely with ice. Finish with the garnish of orange.
An orange hot tip: Mix the Aperol, prosecco and soda before adding the ice, that way it doesn’t need stirring.
2. A Whisky Highball
Whisking up this Scottish inspired aperitif is so breezy it’ll blow a summery breeze right up the kilts of the Scots.
You will need: 45 ml Glenmorangie The Original 10 years old, 100 ml soda water, 1/2 orange (along with some slices to garnish).
Method: Pour the whisky into a highball glass over ice. Top up with soda water and squeeze half of an orange. Stir. Garnish with orange slices.
3. Peach Prosecco Punch
This a punch spiked with the good stuff, making it refreshing and fruity, and making us truly ap-peach-iate its simplicity.
You will need: 3 cups prosecco, 2 cups peach nectar, 1 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup blueberries
Method: In a large pitcher, whisk together prosecco and peach nectar. Serve over raspberries, blueberries and ice, if desired.
We recommend the raspberries and blueberries to make your guests berry impressed.
4. Bees Knees
Considering this was invented to mask crappy gin, you can do this with your worst bottle of gin… and your eyes closed.
You will need: 60 mL Gin (preferably not bottom shelf if you can manage it), 15 ml Fresh Lemon Juice, 15 ml Honey Syrup
Method: Combine all ingredients in your cocktail shaker. Shake with ice (get your hips into that shaking whilst you’re at it). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.
This cocktail is the bees knees (sorry, we had to).
Say hola to spicing up your lagers and the festivities with a Michelada!
You will need: 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp black pepper, ice, juice ½ lime, 3 shakes hot sauce, Mexican lager.
Method: Mix 1 tsp each salt, chilli powder and black pepper on a plate, wipe the rim of the glass with a slice of lime and roll in the spice mix. Add ice, juice ½ lime and 3 shakes hot sauce, then top up with Mexican lager.
Bueno? We thought so.
6. Scorpion bowl
Sounds deadly, but it’s deadly delicious and it’ll sweep your guests off to a tropical Tahitian vibe.
You will need: 500 ml Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, 100 ml brandy, 600 ml orange juice, 400 ml lemon juice, 100 ml amaretto, orange and lemon for garnish
Method: Blend that baby up in a blender with ice until smooth, and pour into a jug to be served in bulk. Garnish with citrus slices and mint sprigs.
Ideally this one is poured into coconuts… because novelty always wins.
7. Vietnamese Mojito
Can Asian-fusion do any wrong? The Vietnamese Mojito definitely can’t. This is a Vietnamese take on the Cuban Highball and we are here for it.
You will need: 1/2 lime (2 wedges and a slice for garnish), 6 mint leaves (plus a little for garnish), 2 perilla leaves, 40 ml rum, 2 tsp sugar syrup, 25 ml ginger and lemongrass cordial, soda water
Method: Muddle 2 lime wedges, 6 mint leaves and 1 perilla leaf. Add 40ml rum, 2 tsp sugar syrup and 25ml ginger and lemongrass cordial. Half-fill a glass with ice, pour in the cocktail and stir. Add more ice, top with soda water and stir. Garnish with a lime slice, a perilla leaf and a mint sprig.
8. Light ‘n’ Stormy
Talk a walk on the light side with this Light ‘n’ Stormy.
You will need: 30 ml Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin, 150 ml ginger beer, 3 lime wedges, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, Mint leaves and a long slice of ginger, to serve
Method: Layer ingredients over ice in a tall glass, garnish with mint and ginger, and serve.
Can you believe that’s it?
9. Woo Woo
Let’s be honest, we only chose the Woo Woo because of it’s name… and because it’s almost too easy to shake up.
You will need: 25ml of peach schnapps, 25ml of vodka, 50ml of cranberry juice.
Method: Mix the vodka and peach schnapps together. Add the cranberry juice and you’re done!
That’s got to be a record time for cocktail making, amirite?
The classic Margarita never gets old. It’s quick to make (even without one of those cocktail premixes) and quick to disappear into mouths.
You will need: 45 ml White Tequila, 15 ml Triple Sec, 30 ml Fresh Lime Juice.
Method: Moisten the rim of the glass with lime. Place the glass upturned onto a plate of salt. Combine all ingredients in your cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and plenty of good vibes. Strain into a margarita glass… or if the situation is dire, a plastic beer pong cup. Garnish with lime.
The easiest part of these cocktails? Making them in bulk and serving in pitchers and jugs. Time-saving and sanity-saving.
Now, please go forth and practice your quickie cocktail making on your friends (and we’ll also be waiting for our invitation in the mail).