Planning a party? Rather than sticking to the usual boring options of canned beer, or bottles of wine, why not whip up a delicious, easy going cocktail or two. While creating cocktails to order can be time consuming and difficult, the following pitchers can be prepared in advance, and put together as your guests arrive.
You can buy alcohol online to ensure you get your hands on some top-quality spirits and mixers for a great price. The other ingredients can be picked up from the supermarket or local shop.
Fresh and zingy, with a cool mint finish, what’s not to love about mojitos! There are some fantastic rums available these days, and if you buy spirits online, you can discover some truly breathtaking brands. Choose a lighter, golden rum, rather than a richer darker rum - Havana Club 3-year-old is a good choice.
Choose fresh, juicy limes and avoid concentrates. Fresh mint sprigs are essential, and feel free to choose from a huge range of different mints - you can even grow your own! Peppermint is widely available and is the traditional choice. As for ice, we’re going to use cubes rather than the crushed ice that is featured in a classic Bacardi mojito. This is because cubes last longer in a pitcher and won’t water down the cocktail too quickly.
Finally, a large bottle of normal soda water and some brown sugar is all we need to finish it. Brown sugar gives a slightly richer sweetness than white, but you can use white sugar if you prefer.
For a litre pitcher, we suggest around 300ml of rum, but experiment and adjust depending on how strong you like it. Then use half that amount (150ml) of both sugar syrup and lime juice. The key to recipe is to prepare in advance.
- 2 parts white or golden rum
- 1 part brown sugar syrup
- 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
- Good handful of mint leaves
- Soda water (to top)
- Ice cubes
- First, squeeze your limes. For a litre pitcher you’ll need around 150ml of lime juice, so 6 to 8 limes should suffice, but buy extra just in case! It’s worth squeezing extra and putting it all into a clean glass bottle. Store this in the fridge until you need it. Keep the spent halves to use as garnishes.
- Next, make your sugar syrup. Mix equal parts hot water and brown sugar in a pan and stir until the granules have dissolved. Store this in a bottle and refrigerate. You can mix equal parts sugar syrup and lime juice in one bottle if you like.
- Prepare your mint leaves by removing them from the stalk, put in a container and cover with a damp napkin and store in the fridge. Save some sprigs for garnishes.
- Just before your guests arrive, add the mint leaves, sugar syrup and lime juice to the pitcher. Add a couple of spent lime halves as well, and stir vigorously, bashing the mint, but not destroying it!
- Fill 3 quarters of the pitcher with ice, pour in the rum and stir again.
- Add a little more ice, top with soda water and garnish with spent lime halves and mint sprigs.
Don’t leave it sitting too long or the ice can dilute the cocktail as it melts!
Long Island Iced Tea
Long Island Iced Tea is a dangerously moreish drink, but it certainly packs a punch! With 5 spirits hidden in there, it’s one to sip slowly if you can! While the list of ingredients looks long, it’s easy to make in advance, leaving you free to enjoy.
Buy spirits online and discover some fantastic artisan gins, some of the best British vodka brands and a range of intriguing tequilas and rums. You’ll also need fresh lemons, white sugar and coke. It’s easy when you know how!
For a litre pitcher, we’d suggest a total of around 500ml of alcohol, though it’s up to you how strong you like it.
- 1 part Artisan gin (100ml)
- 1 part British vodka (100ml)
- 1 part White rum (100ml)
- 1 part Silver Tequila (100ml)
- 1 part Triple sec (100ml)
- 1 part fresh lemon juice (100ml)
- 1 part sugar syrup (100ml)
- Coke to top
- Ice cubes
- First, squeeze your lemons – around 5 or 6 should provide more than 100ml if properly squeezed. Add to a clean bottle. Cut some wedges and wheels to use as garnishes.
- Next, make your sugar syrup by mixing equal parts water and sugar in a blender, or stirring sugar into hot water until it dissolves. Add to the bottle.
- Add all the alcohol into the bottle, close and give a quick shake to mix all the liquid together. Store the bottle in the fridge until you need it.
- Just before your guests arrive, fill your pitcher 3 thirds with ice, and spent lemon halves.
- Pour over the alcohol, lemon and sugar mix and stir very well.
- Top up with ice and add a splash of coke to taste. Garnish with lemon wheels and serve.
Enjoy responsibly and enjoy the party!