Superb Cocktails for Superb Seasons and Occasions

31st May 2023

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Cocktails are a refreshing drink and a nice alternative to anyone who doesn’t like to drink beer. They’re a versatile type of drink that works well on any occasion or at any time of the year, whether it’s Christmas or summer, a birthday party or a themed party such as a casino evening. Who wouldn’t enjoy a daiquiri while sitting down to a game of poker? If you’ve developed a taste for cocktails or are thinking of trying some out for your next event or a little seasonal refreshment, here are some ideas.

Sugar cookie martinis and eggnog at Christmas

The sugar cookie martini is something of a favorite at Christmas time. The Baileys and milk give the cocktail a creaminess, and vanilla vodka and Amaretto lend the sugar cookie vibe to the drink. You can hang a festive candy cane off the glass for decoration.

Eggnog is another Christmas classic, but it’s one people either love or hate. Eggs are the main ingredient, which is why it’s called “eggnog,” and the other ingredients are milk, cream and spices such as nutmeg. You then fortify it with rum, whiskey and/or brandy. You can add the alcohol to an entire batch or to the individual glass.

Champagne cocktails and negronis at New Year’s Eve

The transition into a new year is a cause for celebration, and what better way than with champagne? If you’re making cocktails at this time of year, a champagne one is a must. Create a champagne sparkler by popping a sugar cube in a glass, then topping it up with Angostura bitters and champagne.

Negronis are another New Year’s Eve classic. The Negroni is thought to have materialized in Florence in the early 20th century when Count Camilo Negroni asked for a bartender to strengthen the count’s favorite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. The base ingredients of a Negroni are gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, but you can tweak the drink further by replacing the gin with rum.

Sangria and piña coladas in summer

It’s just not summer without sangria or a piña colada. Sangria comes from Spain and Portugal and dates as far back as the Middle Ages. Originally, sangria consisted of wine mixed with various fruits and spices, such as cinnamon, but the recipe has changed over time. Today, you’ll find red wine, orange juice, cinnamon, apples, strawberries, blueberries and a host of other fruits in sangria.

Making your own piña colada is the ideal way to blend the ingredients in the balance that you want. This classic summer drink consists of rum, coconut and pineapple. If you want a richer, deeper flavor, choose black rum instead of light rum. That’s because dark rums are placed in wooden barrels to age and get their caramel color and a bolder flavor.

Independence Day Mojitos and Kentucky Kisses for the 4th of July

Come the 4th of July, you might wish to celebrate with a mojito. This classic Cuban cocktail consists of fresh mint, white rum, sugar, lime and soda water. However, you might want to add a twist to the drink for this very special occasion in the US calendar. Add some freshwater melon and some raspberries, which will mingle nicely with the mint.

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The Kentucky Kiss is also a fine drink for the 4th of July and for summer in general. The drink brings together strawberries and bourbon. If you can grow the strawberries in your own garden, then even better. Finish the drink off by adding some lemon juice for a little tartness and some maple syrup for a little richness. Pour in some soda and you have a fab cocktail to sip on Independence Day or any other day you choose to make this delicious cocktail.

Cosmopolitans and Aperol Spritzes on Valentine’s Day

The cosmopolitan has become iconic in pop culture. It was Carrie Bradshaw’s drink in “Sex and the City,” but more importantly, it looks good and tastes good. The main ingredients are vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and Cointreau. The color can range from pale to scarlet, depending on the ratio of cranberry juice to vodka.

The Aperol Spritz, meanwhile, is a classic Italian cocktail that’s popular in the summer but works well at any time of the year. Often, it’s drunk as an aperitif before a meal. Aperol itself is a light liqueur, which means you can drink it on your own or as part of a cocktail. Mix it with Prosecco and soda and you have an Aperol Spritz.

The cocktails above are all refreshing, tasty cocktails for the occasions and seasons named. Why not try them for yourself and see why so many people also enjoy them?

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Bartender's top tip

Ice plays a crucial role in cocktails, not just for chilling but also for dilution, which can help meld flavors together smoothly. Use large, clear ice cubes or spheres for spirits-forward drinks like Old Fashioneds, as they melt slower and dilute the drink less. For more refreshing, highball-style drinks, ensure your ice is fresh and plentiful to keep the drink cold and vibrant.

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