Black rose

6 simple cocktails to make at home

by Great British Chefs 14 November 2019

Whether you’re a budding mixologist or simply want to serve some exciting cocktails at your next dinner party, these six drinks will make the most of your drinks cabinet and show how easy it is to mix up bar-quality tipples at home.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

The UK’s drinks scene has never been better. Bars up and down the country are offering vast selections of wines, craft beers and spirits made by passionate artisans, with drink lists given as much care and attention as the food that’s served alongside them. The same goes for cocktails; infusions, cordials, distillates and syrups are often made in-house to offer something a little different, and bartenders are playing around with flavours in the same way as chefs.

Making cocktails at home is changing, too. Even something as simple as a gin and tonic has evolved; we now think about what tonics work well with particular gins, which garnish best reflects the flavours in the glass and even play around with different shapes of ice. The more ambitious amongst us make simple syrups to add a bit of wow factor, or stock up on different glassware to make cocktails look as good as they taste.

The six cocktails below are easy to make, yet show just how simple it can be to whip up amazing drinks at home. Be it a dinner party, a get-together with friends or something to sip on at the weekend, give them a try and unlock the inner mixologist within you!

Mexican Mule

Sometimes the simplest drinks are the best – and this combination of tequila, lime and ginger beer puts many more complex mixes to shame. It’s worth seeking out a bottle of Ocho Reposado tequila to make this drink, as the distinctive characteristics of the spirit really come to the fore when balanced with the sweet, fiery and sharp flavours of lime and ginger. The sprig of mint adds a hint of freshness and brings everything together.

Whisky Ginger

So many people say they don’t like whisky, but when its edge is removed with a little sweetness, it suddenly becomes a very drinkable tipple. If you’ve been put off by the intense flavours of the spirit in the past, try this simple mix – it allows the complexities of whisky to shine through whilst remaining refreshing.

Victory Lemonade

Port often conjures up images of dark nights in front of cosy fires, but this cocktail puts it in a lighter, refreshing setting. Brightened up with lemon and orange juice, sweetened with a little sugar, given a bitter edge thanks to Fernet Branca and with a little ginger beer for a peppery finish, it’s an unusual but incredibly tasty drink that’s light in alcohol but heavy on flavour.

Sake Tonic

Sake remains an underrated and often misunderstood drink in the UK, but this cocktail showcases its flavour in an accessible and easy-drinking way. Combined with vodka, elderflower liqueur, elderflower-infused tonic water and thinly sliced dried apricot, it’s fruity, light, floral and a fantastic aperitif.

Black Rose

If you’ve never made your own syrups before, this cocktail is a great introduction to how much of an impact it can have on the overall flavour. Gin and tonic is something we all know and love, but the addition of a blackberry, lemon and thyme syrup takes it a step further. Garnished with a sprig of rosemary, it’s something a little different from the norm that takes hardly any extra effort.

From Russia with Love

The clean, pure flavour of vodka makes it an incredible base for all sorts of other ingredients, and this simple mix gives the spirit plenty of zing. Tangy lime juice, sweet and fragrant elderflower cordial and fiery ginger beer are stirred together with plenty of crushed ice to create a refreshing long drink that’s guaranteed to please a crowd.

Take a look at the rest of our cocktail recipes for even more inspiration.