Being the eternal optimist that I am, I say summer is just around the corner – despite almost getting frost bite when you pop your nose out the front door in a morning! So what better time to dust off those fabulous cocktails recipes?
Okay, so not technically a ‘food’ – they’re sure to brighten my soul every time! I heartily believe a cocktail is for life not just for summer: it can really stop that winter gloom in its tracks, don’t you think? So, to continue in that spirit (sorry!), I have decided to share 2 of my favourite absolute classic cocktail recipes with you.
Those who know me well will tell you I make a mean Cosmopolitan. The reason for this audacious claim harks back to one distant, almost forgotten (due to alcohol content, I hasten to add) Christmas. I was the hostess for the day and had decided Cosmopolitans were to be the drink of choice for the day…
It all started rather well: making each batch as they were required. However, this quickly became bothersome. Firstly, I had all the food to prep for the dinner and secondly (more importantly) as I was stuck in the kitchen, I was missing out on all the fun!
In my infinite wisdom, I thought I would show how fabulously efficient I was by making a big jug of the concoction to keep in the fridge. That way everyone’s drinks could be topped up in a jiffy. Genius! I just had to double up the quantities, right?
Somewhere along the way this very treacherous path, my maths clearly didn’t add up and my measures went a bit skew-whiff, shall we say. The result? A simply fabulous – if a tad potent – Cosmopolitan which could fuel NASA’s rockets into the stratosphere! Myself and my guests were all blotto by noon! How I still managed to cook a perfect festive feast, without ruining the prize bird and all the trimmings & without setting the kitchen on fire, is still beyond me! It was a Christmas to remember – if only we weren’t so intoxicated, that is!
Don’t worry though. this recipe won’t have you seeing stars – I’ve tamed it a tad so it’s more classic yet still fabulous. It just lacks some of the clout of the original!
A Classic Cosmo
Ingredients (Serves 1)
45ml Vodka (I like Stolichnaya)
30ml Cranberry Juice
Squeeze Fresh LIme
Orange zest to garnish (optional)
Fill an iced cocktail glass to chill. Put plenty of ice into a shaker or jug. Add liquids and stir well. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of lime or to be extra posh: cut a piece of orange zest and gently warm it with a match so it’s flamed – you can let the flame settle on the surface of the drink, just be extra careful not to burn yourself – or the house down!
A true Mojito – La Bodeguita style!
Okay, before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: A proper Mojito is made with Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum NOT Bacardi! I am a Purist in this matter, as I was taught to make this utterly fabulously refreshing classic by the Masters of the Mojito at La Bodeguita Del Medio in Havana – where it was born from passion! If you ever get the opportunity to visit – do it! It’s a fantastic place to while away the hours. People from all over the globe have been encouraged to leave a message upon the walls. I left my little bit of graffiti just by their coffee machine after the barkeep found me a space. I wonder if it’s still there? They make Mojitos all day long here and so are the true experts. I absolutely loved Havana and would go back in a heartbeat.
But if you ever go into a bar and ask for a Mojito and it’s not the real deal – consider yourself short changed! I once hosted a BBQ and made these Mojito’s for friends – BIG mistake! They went down so well, I spent hour after hour in the kitchen making more – such was the demand!
Okay, little rant over, let’s get concocting:
2 Teaspoons of white sugar
Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime
2 Mint Sprigs
45ml Havana Club 3 Year old Rum
90ml Spakling Water (NOT Soda!)
In a tall chilled glass, mix the sugar and lime juice with a spoon. Add the mint sprigs and muddle in the mixture to release the mint oil. Add the rum and ice cubes. Top off with Sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Ps Then make another because they’re dangerously moreish! Slurp!