Hong Kong punch (pictured above)
A fresh, fruity punch with added warmth and spice. It’s just the thing to slake the thirst on a hot day, and to get a party started.
400ml VS cognac
100ml fresh pineapple juice
100ml fresh lime juice
75ml basic sugar syrup
10 small wedges fresh pineapple and 10 pineapple leaves, to garnish
Pour all the liquids into a large jug, fill to the brim with crushed ice and churn with a long spoon. Pour into pretty glasses and garnish each serving with a pineapple wedge and leaf.
• Jenny Willing, beverage director, Green Room at The Curtain, London EC2
The artist and the dandy
This is simple enough that anyone can make it, but just difficult enough to be wildly impressive, loosely based on The Artist’s Special, a Parisian cocktail that first appeared in print in 1927, in Harry McElhone’s Barflies And Cocktails. The shrub base is an old-fashioned fruit syrup preserved in vinegar and sugar.
For the shrub
125g redcurrants, picked and washed
250g caster sugar
125ml wine vinegar
For the cocktail
350ml Scotch whisky (something like Johnnie Walker Gold)
200ml dry sherry (manzanilla, amontillado or fino)
200ml redcurrant shrub
300ml brewed camomile tea
200-400ml soda water, to taste
Zest of 4 lemons
2 lemons, sliced, to garnish
Make the shrub a day ahead: put the currants in a large airtight container, then add the sugar, water and vinegar (if your pocket can stretch to it, a good wine vinegar, such as a moscatel-based one, will make a real difference), and bash the currants a bit to break them down. Seal the container, put in a warm place to macerate for 24 hours, then strain through muslin or a tea towel. Pour the liquid into a sterilised jar, seal
and keep in the fridge. This will make much more than 200ml, but don’t worry – any excess, mixed with water or tonic, makes a hugely refreshing soft drink.
Mix all the cocktail ingredients except the soda water in a large jug or bowl, add the lemon zest and leave to infuse for a couple of hours. Remove the zest, refrigerate and serve from a punch bowl over ice and decorated with lemon slices.
This featured on MeatLiquor’s original drinks list. It’s ideal when you’re catering for large numbers, but watch out: it’ll drive you completely sideways if you overdo it.
¼ bottle brandy (ie, 187ml) – Somerset cider brandy would work well
200ml fresh lemon juice
200ml basic sugar syrup (equal measures white sugar to water, gently heated and stirred until dissolved)
300ml apple juice
5 lemons, sliced
5 apples, cored and sliced
Tip two or three 1kg bags of ice cubes into a large bucket or several punch bowls, pour in all the liquids and stir to combine. Chuck in the fruit and serve cold.
Lassi comes mainly in two varieties: sweet and salted. This mango version is a sweet, slightly spiced one, and is the perfect non-alcoholic thirst-quencher for an outdoor crowd.
750ml fresh mango pulp
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
4 pinches ground cumin
7 pinches ground pink peppercorn
7 pinches pink Himalayan salt
½ mango, peeled, stoned and finely diced, to garnish
10 fresh mint sprigs
10 pinches saffron
Put the mango pulp, water and yoghurt in a large bowl, and whisk until smooth and thick (this is easier with a hand blender). Add the cumin, pepper and salt, stir again, then put it in the fridge to cool.
To serve, pour into tall glasses over a couple of ice cubes, then garnish with the diced mango, a sprig of mint and a pinch of saffron.
- From Kricket: An Indian-Inspired Cookbook, by Will Bowlby (Hardie Grant, £26). To order a copy for £22.10, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846.
White vermouth fizz
Vermouth is having a bit of a moment right now, so why not make the most of it?
750ml white vermouth – I like Martini Reserve Especiale Ambrato, which is £15 on Ocado, or Lustau Blanco Vermut, 18.95 Berry Bros & Rudd, but any more lowly vermouths will also do
250ml apricot brandy
Juice of 1 lemon
1.5 litres tonic water
Mint sprigs and lemon slices, to garnish
Strawberries, halved, to garnish (optional)
Pour the vermouth, brandy and lemon juice into a large jug. Add plenty of ice, then top with tonic water and stir gently. Garnish generously with mint and lemon slices; add a few halved strawberries, if you’re feeling fancy.