Nothing beats a cold cocktail on a hot summer's day.
And the bars being shut is no reason to forgo this sweetest – or sharpest – of pleasures.
It's time to channel your inner mixologist and shake things up. Cocktails first; then maracas. Then your booty once you've had a few. If you're shaking the cat, it's time to stop.
Gin is the classic summer cocktail base so we've compiled a few of our favourites – with some alternative options in case juniper isn't for u-niper.
(That joke gets funnier the more you imbibe.)
We'll be updating this list over the coming weeks so don't forget to check back. Who knows what you'll find?
More cocktails recipes, most likely. That's the point of the article. But additional ones…
Now, eyes down and bottoms up!
Summer cocktail recipes
44°N – White Negroni
A premium gin brand imagined and distilled in Grasse, France. 44°N Gin is a new modern gin that evokes the sun and glamour of the Mediterranean.
Known as 'the fragrance capital of the world', Grasse is a pretty great place to create botanicals – and 44°N is a pretty great gin.
Drinking one of these White Negronis in the garden may be the closest you get to a summer holiday so enjoy.
- 35ml 44°N
- 25ml Cocchi Americano
- 25ml Chartreuse Gentiane Aperitif des Peres
Pour 35ml of 44°N, 25ml of Cocchi Americano and 25ml Chartreuse Gentiane Aperitif des Peres into a glass filled with ice and stir until chilled.
Top with a lavender garnish.
Silent Pool – Summer Sparkle
Silent Pool Distillers sits on the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills, next to the mythical Silent Pool – the subject of folklore tales and the poetry of Alfred Tennyson.
A rich and clean juniper-driven spirit, Silent Pool Gin is produced using 24 botanicals alongside the spring water from the Silent Pool itself.
Flavours of lavender and chamomile combine with fresh citrus notes and a velvety local honey, to create a well-balanced gin that is both traditional yet refreshingly individual – and perfect for a summery cocktail.
- 50ml Silent Pool Gin
- 25ml Lime juice
- 15ml Rhubarb syrup
- 15ml Merlet strawberry
- 75ml Sparkling apple juice
Build all ingredients, in highball over cubed ice and stir to combine.
Optional garnish: a ribbon of rhubarb.
Brockmans – Aviation
Brockmans Gin pitches itself as the ‘gin like no other’. And once you’ve tasted it, you’ll understand why – it’s bursting with blueberries and blackberries, and genuinely unlike anything else you’ll mix with tonic water.
In a crowded market, it’s certainly made its mark – and is one of the fastest growing gins, sold in 50 countries.
The secret to its success is – like any good gin – down to its selection of botanicals. Brockmans may be British, but it’s travelled far and wide for its flavours. There is Tuscan juniper berry, Bulgarian coriander, and Valencian orange peel to name but three of this international consortium.
They’re steeped in grain spirit and then distilled in a 100-year-old copper still. The final gin boasts a smooth profile – and the summer berry flavours provide a fantastic base for a seasonal cocktail.
- 50ml Brockmans Gin
- 10ml Crème de Violette
- 15ml Lemon juice
- 10ml Maraschino Liqueur
Fill a shaker with ice. Add all the ingredients and hard shake. Strain into a Martini glass.
Garnish with an edible purple flower such as a viola; with a Maraschino cherry; or with an ice-cube or ice ball embedded with blackberries or blueberries for a celebration of summer.
Slingsby – Breakfast Martini
You have to go back to 1571 to learn from where Slingsby Gin took its name. It was then that William Slingsby – son of MP Sir William Slingsby – discovered the unique properties of the natural spring water from Harrogate’s Tewit Well.
William Jnr had returned from a grand tour of Europe. Don’t ask us why or how, but he discovered that water from a well in Knaresborough Forest – now called The Stray, public parkland in Harrogate – possessed similar properties to that of Spa in Belgium.
The waters became renowned for their medicinal qualities – and so it feels fitting that each of Slingsby’s spirits use water drawn from the world-famous Harrogate aquifer. That’s not the only thing the distiller keeps local: Slingsby’s 24 botanicals include hand-grown local plants synonymous with the local area.
- 37.5ml Slingsby Marmalade gin (or London Dry works, too).
- 25ml orange liqueur
- 50ml orange juice
- 25ml lemon juice
- 1 tsp marmalade
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake until cold. Strain the drink into a martini glass. Serve with a teeny slice of toast.
If you want to add prosecco and share this drink, split the mixture across two flutes and top with prosecco.
Mainbrace – Always Sunny
Mainbrace is a unique golden rum – a premium blend of unaged agricole from Martinique in the Caribbean, and a selection of 2-5-year-old rums from three different stills on the banks of the Demerara River in Guyana, South America.
These are two styles that have never been bottled together before.
Yet despite the exotic sources, Mainbrace Rum was actually born at The Ferry Boat Inn in Helford Passage, Cornwall.
Watching the gig rowers come into the pub for a celebratory drink after a race, the Haigh family decided to make a drink that captured the essence of crews celebrating teamwork.
The result is a toffee-rich, cinnamon-spiced rum that works a treat in the sun-soaked cocktail below.
- 50ml Mainbrace
- 25ml Fresh Orange juice
- Ginger beer
Add plenty of ice into a high ball glass. Add Mainbrace and the Orange juice, then top up with ginger beer. Garnish with an Orange wedge and enjoy.
Explorer Iced Tea
Explore your tastebuds with Shackleton Whisky.
The whisky is based on the spirit supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition and is crafted using a selection of the finest Highland single malts.
"I'm just going outside..." No need – with this cocktail you'll be happy staying in.
(Admittedly that quote is from Captain Scott's expedition. But still.)
- 25ml Shackleton blended malt whisky
- 12.5ml Cointreau
- 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
Combine all the ingredients except the cola and add to a tinned mug or highball glass filled with cubed ice.
Top with a splash of cola and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Quick Brown Fox – Cascara
Nothing beats a good coffee liqueur cocktail.
It works equally well as a sharpener for a night out or a pick-me-up from the night before.
This Cascara uses liqueur from the coffee specialists Quick Brown Fox, then smashes in the gin.
Come at me night / day / I'm no longer quite sure, this is my fourth.
- 30ml Quick Brown Fox coffee liqueur
- 20ml Dry Gin
- 15ml Fresh Pineapple juice
- 10ml Crème De Mure (or Cassis)
- 1 Egg White
- 45ml Tonic Water
Add all ingredients (except tonic) to a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a glass.
Top with tonic water. Garnish with raspberry dust.
Kinahan’s Whiskey – Frozen Hybrid Sour
Kasc Project Hybrid Whiskey by Kinahan’s uses hybrid casks made of five types of woods (including chestnut) combined in a single cask.
This unusual combination creates a deeper, more complex whiskey taste, making it extremely versatile and noticeable in cocktails (it's also pretty great neat).
Try the Frozen Hybrid Sour and see for yourself. And yes, it does come out pink.
- 60ml Kinahan’s Kasc Project Whiskey (Hybrid Whiskey)
- 30ml Fresh orange juice
- 30ml Fresh lemon juice
- Frozen lemon ice (use fresh lemon juice)
- 1 x Sugar cube (optional)
- 5 x Maraschino cherries
- Strawberries, orange slice and/or fresh mint for garnish
Add frozen lemon ice, orange juice, sugar cube (optional), Maraschino cherries and Kasc Project hybrid whiskey into a blender. Mix well until the mixture is thoroughly blended and silky smooth (ensure proportions of ice are correct – the mixture must be slushy, if not, then place into a freezer from 30 – 60 minutes, then mix again).
Get ready for serving – pour the frozen cocktail into a highball glass. Garnish with strawberries, orange and/or mint. Add a straw and serve immediately.