There are hundreds of fun cocktail recipes from all over the world that you can try in your own home. In fact, they have evolved magnificently over the years and this list includes your classic highballs and some lesser known modern concoctions. Be your own bartender; you'll save money and it's a great way to kick off a party. You don't need an excuse to celebrate life, so invite some friends over and impress them with your favourites.
A few points before we start:
1) Always use the best quality liquor you can afford; the hangover won't be as bad and it's nice to have a little luxury in life. Bombay Sapphire is good gin, but Hendricks will go down even smoother; it's worth the extra $20. Then again, perhaps the better quality liquors should stand alone. 2) Don't be afraid to experiment. You could come up with your own dazzling cocktail or put a funky twist on an oldie. Just remember, it's all about balancing the sweet with the sour.
The dark indulgence truly lives up to its name. It'll take you back to your childhood because it's actually the recipe for a coke spider but with an adult twist; Tia Maria. You could even make some for the kids so they don't feel left out; just make sure you don't accidentally give them the adult version. You could use Kahlua instead if that's what you have in the house.
What you'll need: Tia Maria
Coca Cola (use diet if you are weight watching). Ice-cream Optional: whipped cream and a crumbled up flake.
Simply add as much Tia Maria as you like to the coke (the weaker it is the more sweet it will taste). Add a scoop of ice-cream and watch it fizz beautifully. Top with cream and chocolate flakes. Yum.
Goes well with: Have it as a dessert after any meal.
Not the fanciest name but it sure looks good. The Duck Fart is a shooter that hits you with full impact. It's a 3 layered power shot. It's simple to make, as long as you can master the technique. Down it in one go, otherwise, the flavours won't mix properly. You'll be tipsy in no time.
What you'll need:
Whiskey (traditionally Crown Royal, but any is fine)
The method is slightly tricky but you should be able to get it the first or second time. The trick is to pour SLOWLY.
The Scotch Sour is slightly more subtle than the original. Make this one if you want to seem like more of a pro than you actually are. This is the perfectly balanced drink; it's a blend of texture, sweet, sour and bitter. It's easy to drink 3 or four at a time so pace yourself.
What you'll need:
150mls Scotch Whiskey (we're using Chivas Regal but Johnnie Walker Red works just as well)
3 dashes angostura bitters (will cost around $22 but lasts a long time)
75mls fresh lemon juice
3 egg whites
50mls sugar syrup (see recipe at end of article)
Fill a shaker with ice and all the ingredients. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into a short glass (a martini glass works nicely too). Garnish with a lemon wedge. If you don't have a shaker at home just use any bottle, otherwise you could blend it for a much frothier texture.
Goes well with: Italian food. Or anything greasy.
Originally named the 'Gin Sling', the zingy Singapore Sling dates back to 1915 and originated in Long Bar, Singapore. It is the perfect summer refresher for all the sugar fiends out there. It's a nice easy recipe for those just starting out; however it does require a few different liqueurs and so is costly to make.
What you'll need:
-30mls Cherry Brandy
-15mls Cointreau liqueur
-6 drops Angostura bitters
-The juice of a fresh lime (or lemon is sometimes used)
-250mls Pineapple Juice (fresh is best)
Shake well and strain onto crushed ice. If you don't have a shaker, just pour it on ice and stir; it's close enough. This will serve two. Just double the recipe to serve 4 and so on.
It is nice served in a tall glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry.
Goes well with:
Cheese and crackers, to cut the sweetness of the drink.
This cocktail is served warm, so it's great during winter. It's very simple to make and actually resembles a health tonic. It can also be served iced, which is great for the hotter months.
What you'll need:
2 cups strongly brewed Earl Grey tea (hot)
100mls of whiskey (rum works well too)
The juice of 3 lemons
50mls Honey syrup (find the recipe at end of article)
Stir all of the ingredients together. It's fun to pour into teapots and serve out of that.
Serves 4. Goes well with: Who doesn't love tea and biscuits?
Tips & Preparation:
Homemade honey and simple syrups
Many cocktail recipes call for simple syrup (or sugar syrup). This section shows you how to make it from home. It is very easy, hence why they call it simple syrup, and lasts up to 6 months.
Method: Take caster sugar and filtered water in ratio of 2:1. For example, 2 cups caster sugar, 1 cup water. Begin heating your water and 1 half of the sugar. Do not let it boil or even simmer. Once the first cup has dissolved, add the second cup. When it has completely dissolved, pour it into a clean jar.
Honey syrup is another one that's easy to make. We used it in the earl grey lemon whiskeys. The method is the same as the simple syrup, but using a good quality honey instead of caster sugar, and the ratio should be 5 parts water, 1 part honey.
Summing Up: This list is just a starting point for your cocktail making fun. The internet has some great recipes, so start researching. Perhaps you'd prefer a Dark n Stormy, Old Fashioned, Martini, Margarita, Grasshopper or a Manhattan?