Summer Drinks Recipes

Vermouth Cassis

1 measure of Cassis syrup, 2 of dry Vermouth, topped up with soda-water. Any other fruit syrup can be used — grenadine (pomegranate) or/raise (strawberry), for example. And if you like it stronger, use a liqueur instead of a syrup.


This is one of England’s great traditional drinks. It says Henley and Ascot and Goodwood and Glyndebourne, and garden parties and tennis — in fact, it says all the good things about summer days out of doors in the sunshine. Pimm’s is a simple drink. It’s too often abused by people putting half the fruit and vegetable garden into it, as well as too much ice and lemonade and little plastic umbrellas! The recipe on the Pimm’s bottle should be followed exactly: 3 to 4 parts of ice-cold lemonade to 1 part of Pimm’s No. 1 (Gin based), add a sliver of cucumber and a slice of lemon and serve in silver tankards or ½-pintmugs.

Port Wine, Lemon, Cinnamon, Vanilla

Image by joana hard via Flickr

For a drier version, replace some of the lemonade with soda-water or a shot of Vodka or Gin. For a sweeter drink, add a shot of Curacao or Cherry Brandy. And you can ring other changes with bottled aperitifs like St. Raphael, Byrrh or Dubonnet, or with straight spirits. Another idea is to make a Pimm’s Royale, using Champagne instead of lemonade. A ‘Pimola’ is Pimm’s with Coca Cola, and it’s excellent if the Coca Cola is ice-cold and a slice of fresh lime is added to cut down the sweetness. Pimm’s made with fresh orange juice is reputed to be the ‘in thing’ in Australia (is it called a Pimgaroo?). The formula for Pimm’s is a secret known only to the managing director; employees of the firm have to sign a kind of ‘Official Secrets Act’ document when they join. Basically, the drink is a blend of high-quality Gin, herbs and liqueurs, and it dates back to 1814 and today it is available in every country in the world.

Perrier Plus

Chilled Perrier (or other gassy spring water) makes a good dilutant for most spirits. A simple fruit cup is 2 measures Gin, 1 measure fresh lime juice, topped up with Perrier and a slice of lime.

Black Velvet

A half-and-half mixture of Champagne and Guinness, both well chilled, and fashionably served in silver goblets.

Buck’s Fizz

A half-and-half mixture of Champagne and fresh orange juice, both well chilled. Many people reckon that this is a waste of Champagne, and use sparkling wine.


Make a strawberry, and put it with crushed ice into long glasses. Top them up with Champagne (you’ll need 1 bottle to make between 10 and 12 glasses). Serve immediately.

Mint Julep

Put 10 or 12 tender shoots of young mint with sugar to taste in a tumbler and bruise the mint slightly with a spoon. Add Bourbon or a half-and-half mixture of Bourbon and liqueur, until the tumbler is anything from a quarter to a half full. Then fill it up with crushed ice and drink as the ice melts. This is not unlike the iced liqueurs which the French call frappe — like crème de Menthe poured over crushed ice.

Wine Juleps

Put young mint sprigs in a tumbler or wine glass, with sugar to taste, and crush slightly. Then fill up with the wine of your choice — rose or white, sparkling or still.

Wine cups

The standard method is to put a block of ice in a jug, add 2 measures each of two liqueurs — say, Curacao and Maraschino, or Benedictine and Chartreuse — and pour in two bottles of any still wine or still Cider. You can get colour variations by your choice of wines and liqueurs: for instance, a delightful pink wine cup comes from using a red liqueur with a rose wine, or a mixture of rose and white. And you can tinge white wines with a proportion of ruby Port. That old Port-and-lemon — ruby Port topped up with fizzy lemonade — is still a good mixture for those who like sweet things. A chilled white Port topped up with chilled soda-water is a drier summer cooler; it’s popular (and socially acceptable) in Portugal.

Hock Sparkler

For 20 to 25 drinks, chill 2 bottles of Hock, 1 bottle of sparkling Hock, 1 glass of Brandy, ½ lb. Of skinned seedless grapes and sugar syrup. Mix the still Hock and the grapes, sweeten to taste, and leave them in the fridge for an hour. Add the sparkling Hock and serve, decorated with chilled chopped peaches.

Planters’ Punch

For 15 to 18 drinks, dissolve 2 lbs. of sugar in ½ pint of fresh lemon juice, and chill well. Chill also 1 pint of dark Rum, 1/2 pint of Brandy, 3 pints of water, and your mixing bowl or jug. Put a good chunk of ice in the bowl and pour every-thing over it. Then you can top each glass with a grating of nutmeg or a slice of lime, or both.

Safari Punch

For 20 glasses, chill and mix 1 bottle of sweet or medium sweet white wine, 1 pint of draught Cider, 1/4 bottle of Brandy and the same amount of passion fruit juice. Chill also 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 cored apple. Slice lemon and orange and cut apple (still with its skin on) into segments and put them in the bowl as a float. Just before serving add a bottle of chilled fizzy lemonade.

Fish House Punch

One of the most publicized of punches, said to have originated in the Philadelphia Club in 1732; there are a dozen or more recipes claiming to be authentic. It’s good and potent, and this recipe is at least close to the original, although that specified fresh spring water. It makes enough for about 25 people, allowing about ½ pint each. It takes 2 bottles of Rum (dry or dark to taste), 1 bottle of Brandy, l-¼ pints of lemon juice (it must be fresh lemon juice), 2-1/2pints of water, ½ pint of sugar syrup. Some versions of the recipe specify 1/4 pint of Peach Brandy (Peach Eau de Vie in Europe). Others specify the sweeter peach liqueur, and if you use that, you may decide that you need less sugar syrup.

Fiesta Punch

For 12 drinks, mix 1 bottle of sweet white wine, 1/2 pint of sugar syrup, juice of 1 lemon, 1 can unsweetened pineapple juice. Add ice, slices of orange and cubes of melon and, finally, a bottle of chilled soda-water.


A Spanish potion which has spread. For 15, marinate in 2 good measures of Brandy slices of apple, pear, orange and lemon for 30 minutes. Put a block of ice in the bowl, add 1 bottle of red wine, 2 measures of Brandy, slices of marinated fruit and/or berries, and finally 1 bottle of chilled fizzy lemonade.


Possibly a corruption of Sangria. For an Ale Sangaree, a tablespoonful of sugar syrup per tumbler, filled up with ale (or other beer), and dusted with grated nutmeg.

Wine Sangarees are made with less or more sugar syrup, according to the table wine you use; those made with sweet fortified wine (1 wine glass to each tumbler) need no sweetening, and are topped up with iced water. Whisky Sangaree follows the same method as Ale Sangaree, using a few ice cubes instead of the ale. Sangarees can be hot for winter.

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12. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Cocktails, Parties, Punches, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Drinks Recipes


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