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5 easy cocktails to take the stress out of soirees

Simple drinks recipes to raise your glass to.

5 easy cocktails to take the stress out of soirees

Love a social gathering, love a cocktail. And yes, I love a wine or a beer as much as the next person, but there’s definitely something special about making drinks that scream ‘extra’. But here’s the thing. I’m no expert behind the bar, busting impressive moves and concocting multiple-ingredient cocktail recipes… as much as I’d like to be. Nope, I much prefer the simple approach: easy cocktails that require minimum effort but taste divine and bring on all the good vibes you want when you’re entertaining. So here goes: my cheat’s guide to making drinks at home that are simple, sippable and elegant, all at once. Because, quite frankly, why mess with a good thing?

Simple cocktails for every occasion

You don’t need a fully stocked bar cart overflowing with exotic spirits and add-ons to make a delicious drink at home for your loved ones. Here are my go-to favourites that use ingredients I typically have on hand at home anyway. Grab the ice. Let’s go.

1. The classic gin and tonic

1. The classic gin and tonic

Let’s have a little moment of silence to appreciate the humble gin and tonic. It’s refreshing. It’s zippy. There’s a crispiness to it. And it’s got bite and edge that helps make it so darn sippable. Also… ingredients-wise, this is as fuss-free as it gets: you just need your favourite gin and an excellent tonic. Bob’s your mother’s brother, and Bob likes what he sees.

2. Bubbles and co.

Bubbles go hand in hand with any celebration, amirite? Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, the end of a long week… every day’s special, if you ask me. And look, I love a glass of fizz. But if you want to take it into easy cocktails territory, you need the perfect add-on. For me, peach puree (oh hey there, bellini), crème de cassis (howdy, kir royale) or elderflower liqueur (looking at you, Hugo spritz) are simple drinks to make at home but have a touch of polish to them.

3. Whisky and cola for the win

3. Whisky and cola for the win

Sometimes it’s all about the simple things in life. I’m talking about a great-tasting whisky, ice and refreshing cola. All in the one glass, and finished with a twist of orange peel if you feel like upping the ante and getting all fancy. Complex yet quick and utterly, utterly drinkable.

4. Moscow mule for minimum effort

I love this for an easy cocktail recipe: in terms of alcohol, all you need is vodka, one of your essential bar cart staples. Simply squeeze some lime juice into a copper mug (or a highball glass), add ice and a shot of vodka, then top up with ginger beer. Summer in a glass.

5. The paloma for a fuss-free cooler

5. The paloma for a fuss-free cooler

Sometimes you want a long drink that’s thirst-quenching and refreshing – and the paloma ticks those boxes for me, every time. One of the best summer drinks and tequila cocktails out there, it’s quick and easy to make up and looks as pretty as a picture, too. It’s not essential, but I like to add a salt rim to my glass, before popping in your shot of tequila and as much ice as it takes to fill the glass. Top up with grapefruit soda (or use grapefruit juice and soda water instead), then pop a slice of pink grapefruit in and bam! Simple cocktail, ready in a jiffy.

And a BONUS cocktail idea for good measure…

And a BONUS cocktail idea for good measure…

Know what else I love? A classic margarita or mojito. Know what I love more? A cheat. Yep, a pre-bought, ready-made mixer is a fantastic, zero-faff way of making easy cocktails at home. There are some great options on the market these days, but right now I’m reaching for Fever-Tree’s brand new cocktail mixers range, which includes a classic margarita mixer and a sparkling mojito mixer. Simply add your favourite tequila or rum respectively, then smoosh your glasses in a celebratory cheers for a job well done. Easy peasy.

Other easy cocktail recipes to try…

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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