We don’t know about you, but we’re all about prolonging summer for as long as possible. One of our favorite ways to keep the fun going is by having our nearest and dearest over for backyard barbecues. Can you think of anything better than spending some quality time with your loved ones in the summer sun? The sun will be just one of the main attractions of the day, as the food and drink will also be near the top of the list for excitement too. That’s why looking for the best cooler on the market is definitely a must when it comes to planning a successful and fun barbecue, as no one wants to settle for warm beverages. Although this can be fun, there’s also a lot of responsibility to make sure that the garden is looking perfect for everyone. That means that all tools are picked up and put away, and the lawn has been mowed. Mowing the lawn is a chore than very few enjoy, the task is strenuous and seems to take such a long time. However, with the help of a cordless lawn mower, this task can be done to a much better standard in less time. Some of these lawn mowers can be quite expensive, but you could always purchase one as a gift for a keen gardener or someone who loves hosting barbecues (like we do!). Perhaps I’ll have to get one for my husband, apparently, they are one of the best gadgets for men on the market currently. I know it would save my husband lots of time, especially when we’re trying to prepare the garden for our friends and family. After all the manual work we had to do, we deserve a drink. A summery drink, of course!
If you’re in the summertime spirit as well, take a page from our friends, the Two Thirsty Gardeners, and wow your next shindig guests with a beverage that’s sure to please: A Summer Cup. It just doesn’t get more summertime than that. Be sure to check out their book with us, Brew It Yourself, for more drink ideas, including how to make your own beer, wine, and beyond!
A summer cup (aka a “fruit cup”) is a centuries-old, boozy, fruity English cocktail. The most famous version is the recipe devised by James Pimm in 1823, which has become a staple of British summer sporting events. The drink is a combination of vermouth, gin and liqueurs, served diluted with a soft drink and stuffed with fruit. Our version uses beverages featured elsewhere in this book, making it the perfect summer showcase for your booze-making talents.
Making time: 5 minutes
1/3 cup gin
1/3 cup sweet vermouth
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sloe gin
around 2 cups lemonade
- Mix together the gin, sweet vermouth, orange liqueur and sloe gin. Cointreau is a suitable commercially available orange liqueur, but we like to use our homemade whiskey (see page 130 of Brew It Yourself). For other alternatives, see Maker’s Notes, below.
- You have now made your own summer cup, which will be even better than those you can buy in the store. Easy, huh? To know how to serve it, read on . . .
- Thinly slice the orange, lemon, and cucumber. Folk like to get at least one piece of each fruit in their glass, so cut more slices than the required number of servings. You should get between 8 and 12 generous glasses out of this, but you could eke it out farther if you want to be less liberal with your booze.
- Take a handful of strawberries and cut them into halves. Put all the fruit into a large pitcher with a handful of fresh mint leaves.
- Add plenty of ice to the pitcher, then pour in your summer cup and lemonade. We think twice as much lemonade as alcohol is ideal, but you can dilute the drink further with more lemonade.
- Give the drink a gentle stir, and serve!
Maker’s Notes: Mix & Match
- Try a burst of port or our cherry fortified wine (see page 149 of the book) instead of sloe gin.
- Go for a lemony version, with limoncello (see page 132) in place of the orange liqueur.
- Try ginger beer in place of lemonade, or even our chili ginger beer on page 112.
- Add a couple of drops of orange bitters (see page 155).
- For a fancy touch, dot a few borage flowers into each serving.
Best served with friends & family.
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Ready to try your hand at cherry fortified wine or chili ginger beer? You can get the book here. Cheers!