Friday 14th June 2024

Five cocktails you can make for a fiver (ish)


It’s National Cocktail Day tomorrow – whoop! I LOVE my cocktails so I thought I’d share some of my favourites to make at home – perfect for the summer.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a fairly good stash of your standard spirits such as vodka, gin and rum and you’re less likely to have the fancy liquors used to make cocktails you would find in The Ritz. I tend to make my cocktails using fairly basic store cupboard ingredients which are arguably as enjoyable as well as being lighter on the wallet and don’t leave you with loads of random leftover ingredients. I’ve priced most of the below from Tesco, but you can get these ingredients from most supermarkets.

  1. Pimms

Nothing says British summer time like a jug of Pimms. Last year I picked up a litre bottle in Morrisons for £10! Needless to say it didn’t last long. An advantage of having Pimms is you can skimp on lemonade and buy the really basic stuff (17p) cos Pimms brings all the flavour. Pick some mint leaves from the garden, stick some ice trays in the freezer (do this a day or so in advance) and buy a cucumber (42p), lemon (35p) and lime (30p), throw it all in a jug and enjoy! For an added twist use ginger beer (55p) instead of lemonade, my friend swears by it or 70% prosecco (£5.25), 30% sparkling water (17p) for added glam.

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  1. Aperol Spritz

Probably my FAVOURITE summer drink, I discovered it whilst travelling around Europe (cue Friends quote) so it has good memories attached to it. I mostly love Aperol Spritz cos it’s not too sweet (I’m not a fan of sugary drinks) and it’s BRIGHT ORANGE (too much fun) plus it’s really refreshing. Simply mix Aperol (£15) with either cheap prosecco or a mix of cheap white wine (£4.50) and sparkling water or soda water (45p, the Aperol will mask the taste so don’t waste good stuff on it but make sure it’s chilled) and top with a slice of lemon or orange (30p). For added swank, drink from a large red wine glass.

  1. Rum – three ways

The boy is a big fan of his rum, luckily it’s really easy to make some yummy cocktails to keep him happy.

  • Mojito – muddle mint, lime and a dash of sugar, add white rum (though dark also works) and ice cubes, then top with lemonade, soda water or sparkling water – I was once told that a real mojito takes over 10 mins to make… I don’t have this kind of patience.
  • Cuba Libre – squeeze lime well over ice, pour over dark rum (again could interchange for white rum if you prefer) and top with cola (55p) (own brand works but don’t go uber cheap), add more lime if you desire.
  • Cuba Libre  with a twist – we discovered this at Birmingham Cocktail Weekend last year, swap the cola for ginger beer, it’s super refreshing.
  1. Sex on the beach

This drink takes me back to my teenage days but I still think there’s no better way to drink vodka. Plus it’s great for those who don’t like fizzy drinks.

Mix vodka (£10.50, don’t get the super cheap stuff, it will make you blind) peach schnapps (£4.79), cranberry (£1) and orange juice (65p) and shake (or stir). Top with ice and a slice of fruit if feeling fancy.

  1. Baileys Affogato

“It’s the drink of the summer!” the men behind the bar shouted at London Fashion Week a few years ago whilst giving away free samples. Though not strictly a drink, it is super good and makes the perfect dessert for a summer BBQ.

In a tumbler or a martini glass place a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream (£1.50) and generously pour over Baileys (£14) or Irish cream liquor (£12) and serve with a spoon! If you need warming up (cos sometime these BBQs get chilly) make a hot chocolate (£1.58), add a good splash of Baileys and top with a small scoop of ice cream – heaven.

All prices correct at the time of publishing. Other retailers are available.

Millie Chapman

Mouthy Blogger

If there’s a bargain to be had anywhere, Emily’s your gal. Theatre, drinks, baking and being treated like a VIP for free, not necessarily in that order.

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