Sipping on a classy cocktail has never been more popular, with well-known mixologists setting up shop all over the UK to share their new creations with lovers of all things boozy. Long gone are the days of your bog standard sea breezes and sugary syrups. These days, those in the know are experimenting with fresh ingredients and experimental infusions to really get those taste buds going and wow the crowds with fantastic flavours.
The one downside has to be the price tag, with many top venues charging north of a tenner for one of their (admittedly delightful) drinks. But if you’re on a budget, there’s no reason why you can’t join the cocktail revolution at home. With a few simple additions, you can give classic mixes a contemporary twist and enjoy the latest trends in liquor without having to leave your living room. So being a fan of a fancy bevvy or two, The Leisure Lounge shares its top new takes on some old favourites.
Martinis can often be a bit much for those that haven’t had them before, with a heavy concentration of gin or vodka and not much else. This fruity cocktail makes a great choice for those after a lighter option with an easy-to-drink flavour perfect for the autumn. Simply fill a Boston shaker with plenty of ice and add five parts apple-flavoured vodka to one part apple schnapps, finished with a generous splash of lemon juice. Then give it a good shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and finish with a stylish slice of green apple.
Give your margarita a cool, thirst-quenching twist with this super-chilled version of the Mexican classic. Just pour 1 tbsp of sugar, a hefty squeeze of lime juice and a quarter of a cucumber into a glass tumbler, then muddle. Then add one part Cointreau to one and a half parts of tequila, before pouring into an ice-filled glass. Finally, give it a good stir and garnish with a funky cucumber curl.
Nothing beats a classic G&T, but sometimes you just fancy something a bit different. This rum based variation makes a great change and adds an injection of spicy autumnal flavours for the cooler months. Simply pour a shot of dark rum (spiced rum is even better for something festive) into a short glass with ice and top up with tonic. Then add a squeeze of lime and a slice to garnish.
Synonymous with glamour and elegance, champagne cocktails are the way to go if you’re after something special. Experiment with adding fruit for a bit of extra flavour and substitute the champers for prosecco if you’re not feeling flush. Just pour about an inch of pomegranate juice into a champagne flute, add a splash of crème de framboise and a few pomegranate seeds. Then simply top with chilled bubbly and serve.