Got a few friends popping over this weekend? Create perfect pitchers of refreshing cocktails to share every time, by following these simple steps.
- Variety is the spice of life: Don’t just make up endless jugs of Pimms, choose three simple recipes to give your guests a choice. And remember, you have to cater for nominated drivers and probably some children too, so why not make up a mocktail – real, fresh lemonade is always a winner.
- Subtlety is an essential: Cocktails are a delicate balance of carefully blended ingredients – so adding that extra splash or vodka, or doubling the amount of bitters, isn’t actually going to help. Follow the instructions and keep some extra soda water on hand in case you need to top the jugs up.
- The first bite is with the eye: or in this case, sip, but the principle is still the same. Making your drinks look beautiful will help them taste beautiful. Keep them looking and tasting cool by partly submerging glass jugs in a galvanised bowl full of ice, with plenty of fresh fruit for decoration, or present in a large drinks dispenser with a self-serve tap, adorned with real flowers. Old jam jars with the label washed off make the perfect garden party glass.
- Garnish: Whether it’s a minty mojito or a spicy sangria, your cocktails will look better if you add a little of what makes them sing on the side. Decorate the edge of the jugs with sliced fruit and mint. If you are serving a classic margarita, pre salt the rim of the glasses and pop a slice of lime on the side. Cocktail stick stirrers loaded with berries look and taste great – freeze them before hand to help keep the drinks chilled.
- Serving size: a one litre jug will serve six to eight people – make sure you have enough for all your guests, without having to run back to the kitchen every five minutes to top up.