insideKENT Magazine Issue 63 - June 2017 - Page 93

FOOD+DRINK THROW THE ULTIMATE SUMMER COCKTAIL PARTY SUMMER MAY WELL BE FLEETING IN OUR TYPICALLY TEMPERATE COUNTRY, HOWEVER IT IS EQUALLY FABULOUS – AS SOON AS THE SUNSHINE REARS ITS HEAD, MOST OF US RUSH TO THE SHOPS QUICKER THAN A STAMPEDE OF MIGRATING WILDEBEEST TO STOCK UP ON EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR THAT ULTIMATE OF GATHERINGS: THE SUMMER COCKTAIL PARTY. FIRSTLY, PICK A DATE AND LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW – IT’S LIKELY YOU’LL BE INVITED TO A FEW ACROSS OUR SHORT-LIVED SUNNY SEASON, AND DATE CLASHES NEED TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS – THEN, ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOLLOW OUR HANDY TIPS AND GUIDELINES AND YOU’RE GOOD TO GO. BY POLLY HUMPHRIS What to drink: You’ve hailed your do a cocktail party, so cocktails you must drink. They’re a great way to kick start the day being both ‘special’ in that we don’t drink them all the time, and a very effective social lubricant too. Stick to one star of the show, which brings something different to your party – we’d recommend a twist on a classic G&T using Bullards ‘Strawberry & Black Pepper Norwich Gin’ – pitched as the perfect summer refresher, this brand new gin is available nationwide and is a sweet, fruity and slightly peppery combination made using real strawberries, black pepper, cardamom and lemon peel, aimed at gin connoisseurs who are looking for something different and delicious that can be enjoyed as a long drink. HOW TO DRINK IT: Invest in some proper copa gin glasses and half fill them with ice. Add a 50ml shot of Strawberry & Black Pepper Norwich Gin, two halves of fresh strawberry and three mint leaves before topping with Fever-Tree ‘Naturally Light’ tonic water. Creating cocktails one at a time is hugely time consuming though, so to compliment your ‘signature’ cocktail, also opt for a couple of classics such as the margarita (2 shots tequila, 1 shot lime juice, 1⁄2 shot triple sec, served shaken and strained into a salt-rimmed glass), and the cosmopolitan (1 shot vodka, 1⁄2 shot triple sec, 1⁄2 shot cranberry juice, 1⁄2 shot lime juice, served shaken and strained into a martini glass) and make batches of them in jugs beforehand that can be easily poured over ice. Remember the non-drinkers too – a virgin peach Bellini is a thirst-quenching 50/50 combination of peach juice and sparkling lemonade that you can garnish with mint to make a little more party appropriate. TOP COCKTAIL TIP: Ice is one of the most important ingredients in your cocktails – especially when, fingers crossed, you’ll be sipping them to stay refreshed on a warm summer’s day. To compliment a freezer-draw full of bags of ice cubes (handy, but melt quickly when left out) make your own ice by filling clean oven trays and as many other large, flat containers as you can fit in your freezer with filtered water. Once frozen solid, bash into smaller blocks, or add a whole block to a punch bowl for slow dilution. 93