Cocktails are a big thing in the UK, so make sure you’re ready with a stack of delicious and refreshing drinks to sit back with or drink with friends!

The best cocktails aren’t too complicated and you don’t need loads of special kit, just a well stocked bar, ice, some commercial bottle coolers and some cocktail shakers to go with your repertoire of recipes including both old classics and new trends.


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Tea time

Tea is going couture, with premium brews being added to Eastern ingredients to make exotic cocktails – think lemongrass and ginger. Non-alcoholic versions are ideal as a daytime refresher but can be spiced up for night. A Russian Iced tea is made with one part vodka to two parts each of lemon iced tea and apple juice, mixed in a jug of ice and garnished with lemon wedges and fresh mint leaves – for extra style points mix it up in a teapot and serve in tea cups and saucers.

Food and drink

Foodie flavours are adding interest to traditional cocktail ingredients. Try rhubarb, ginger and even savoury flavours for sophisticated cocktails. The newly famous Pickleback cocktail for example, combining whisky with pickles works fabulously as part of a dinner menu.

Herbs and spices

Fresh herbs are adding delicacy to the cocktail landscape. Drinkers in Southern Europe are going mad for herbal vermouth, where the herbs and spices are added to the fortified wine to make it a premium product. The key is in the quality of the product, so don’t go for cheap base ingredients.

Whisky Mist

There’s nostalgia and innovation on offer when using whisky as a cocktail base, using exotic brands to create cocktails with depth and complexity.

Wine goggles

With cocktails becoming the new wine, many drinkers will be keen to combine the two, so expect to see a rise in wine based cocktails for 2015. Rose in particular is big, with sales through the roof and this trend is likely to translate to some pretty cocktails. Try the gorgeous Lillet Rose Spring:

Two parts each of Lillet Rose and ruby red grapefruit juice to one part gin, mixed together well in a jug full of ice. Strain and serve in stemmed cocktails glasses, garnished with a fresh flower. It looks as good as it tastes!

That’s hot

Literally… Hot cocktails will be bringing in the winter with a comforting, warming flavour. Think cider based, hot toddy style drinks. The Aztec Hot Chocolate packs a punch with 500m water, 25g light muscovado sugar, 20g dark cocoa powder, 100g dark chocolate – use a brand with a high concentration of cocoa solids, mixed spices (chilli, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg) and 25ml Courvoisier. Heat the sugar and cocoa powder in a pan with the water and simmer for about three minutes. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces, to the pan and melt, then stir in the alcohol and spices and serve in a glass mug.

The experience

Making a cocktail is one that can spark imagination and creativity.  Often in social groups to make a more memorable day or night.  Consider a cocktail making class or event, there a great way to share some quality time with friends and enjoy a cheeky tipple or 10 along the way.  Of course they make great team building corporate events too, allowing you to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level.  Saying that with so many team building days out there from cocktail making lessons to driving tanks and shooting paint at each other from businesses like whatever way you go it will probably involve a vodka martini or two!