Summer cocktails are a delight, combining fresh ingredients with a hint of the sun about them. For most people, summer cocktails are drunk on holiday – and summer is high season for leisure travel. One of the benefits of living in London is that it is the default destination/aviation hub for many American and Asian travellers: I get to see many of my far flung friends. Some come with greetings and exotic alcoholic beverages, others with business plans and ideas – and others with babies.
Recently the Ponytailed Viking visited with colleagues who are setting up a new juice business in London. The juices are cold pressed and glass filtered. The juices must be drunk within 72 hours, but they are delicious. You will hear more about them as they come to market. In the meantime I was called upon to make cocktails with some of their juices. I’ve provided the recipes for a selection. If you can’t find the more exotic juice blends don’t be afraid to substitute – it’s all part of the fun!
Cucumber Martini au Naturale: Instead of using Hendrick’s gin, muddled with cucumber, I opted to use fresh cucumber juice. A touch of gomme (sugar syrup – 2 parts sugar to 1 part water) is essential to take the earthy edge off the cucumber. I rinsed the glasses with vermouth and added cucumber juice and gin in a 1:1 ratio. a few drops of gomme to taste, a garnish of cucumber and you have a superb summer cocktail.
Watermelon Martini: I used one part Watermelon Liqueur (or Schnapps) to two parts vodka and three parts Watermelon juice. A squeeze of lime adds a tangy edge. This is a summer refresher par excellence. Add some fresh watermelon pulp if you like. Depending on the sweetness of your juice you may need a drop of gomme.
Orange Spice Martini: This one blends rum with a spicy orange juice and ginger. The Viking’s friends cold press chillies into their orange juice. A dash of tabasco into fresh orange juice can be substituted. Use one measure of white rum to two measures of spiced orange juice. If you have liquid ginger pour a dash in – it’s pretty potent. If not muddle the drink with a slice of ginger. Garnish with a chilli for maximum effect!