You need not be a mixologist or have a fully stocked bar to serve up something fabulous for your guests.
We can't talk cocktails without mentioning responsible hosting. Always stock tons of non-alcoholic options and feed your guests liberally. Be mindful of how much you drink, so you can look after your guests.
Use champagne (<a href="http://www.lifeinitaly.com/wines/prosecco.asp" target="_hplink">Prosecco</a> is a plus) to make this delicious treat...a <strong>Bellini!</strong> <blockquote>4 oz. champagne (or, you know, more) <br>2 oz. fruit juice or puree</blockquote> Put the fruit juice in the glass, slowly add champagne. Enjoy!
After you make your own syrup, try this delicious drink...a <strong>Bourbon Stone Sour!</strong> <blockquote>1.5 oz. Bourbon <br>3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice <br>1 oz. orange juice <br>1 oz. simple syrup </blockquote> Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with an orange slice or maraschino cherry.
Making fruit ice cubes is a cute and fun way to pretty up (and sweeten up) your summer drinks. These are especially good for non-alcoholic drinks for kids or adults! Try this <strong>Frothy Strawberry Mocktail!</strong> <blockquote>8 oz. fresh strawberries <br>10 oz. fresh orange juice</blockquote> Blend ingredients together with ice, add strawberry ice cubes to brighten up your punch bowl!
Everybody loves refreshing <strong>Sangria!</strong> Especially because you get the chance to be creative -- every pitcher can have a new flavour. Here's a recipe for <strong>Ginger Sangria!</strong> <blockquote>1 bottle red wine <br>2 oz. gin or triple sec <br>orange, lime, lemon cut into wedges <br>2 tbsp. sugar <br>1 cup of berries (your choice) <br>4 cups gingerale <br>a splash of OJ</blockquote> Combine wine, gin, orange juice, sugar and all the fruit wedges (with the juice squeezed into the pitcher). Chill overnight. Add gingerale, ice and berries before serving. (Or, if this is last-minute, use chilled wine and lots of ice and skip the waiting!)
Herbs like mint, basil and thyme can be great in drinks, adding bold flavour. Muddling, or crushing, those ingredients sets the flavour free. Try a classic <strong>Mojito</strong> to let mint do the talking! <blockquote>6 oz. light run <br>12 mint sprigs <br>6 tbsp. fresh lime juice <br>4 tbsp. sugar <br>4 lime wedges <br>club soda <br>serves: 4</blockquote> Roughly break the mint leaves (muddle!) in the shaker. Add ice, rum, sugar and soda and shake. Garnish with lime (and more mint!)
Follow Karen Cleveland on Twitter: www.twitter.com/schoolfinishing