Eurovision: an evening of overcoming our differences through song or just another expression of Europe’s long-held resentments and anxieties? Either way, we love it.
With 2016’s song contest ready to roll tomorrow night, it’s time to get the drinks on deck. Whichever country you’re supporting, these gin cocktails will keep proceedings well lubricated from opening funnies to grand finale.
UK: English Garden
With the odds against us at 80-to-one, it's probably best for us Brits to focus on what's great about our nation: beautiful gardens and Gin. This delicious tipple will get you through what, in all likelihood, will be another disappointing year.
50ml of Gin
75ml pressed apple juice
50ml elderflower cordial or liqeur
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Cucumber slices, to garnish
Combine first four ingredients in a class with ice. Garnish with cucumber.
France always has a hard time of it in the Eurovision song contest, so supporters will need something strong and scrummy to make it through the vote count. A French75 - fortified with fizz - is just the ticket.
55ml London dry gin
20ml fresh lemon juice
20ml simple syrup
Lemon twist to serve
Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously for about about 20 seconds. Strain cocktail into a large flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with lemon twist.
Italy: Italian Greyhound
Rooting for Italia this year? X-factor Italy winner and Eurovision entrant Francesca Michielin will be taking the stage sixth, leaving you firmly in aperitif territory. A patriotic Italian Greyhound - sometimes made with vodka, but definitely better with gin - should do just the trick!
50ml gin (or vodka, if you must)
100ml freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
Splash of Aperol
Grapefruit and rosemary, to garnish
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add the gin and juice, then top with Aperol. Swirl a bit, then garnish as desired.
Sweden: Dill Dall
Those Scandinavians - always winning Eurovision! The song contest has bounced back to Stockholm, Sweden this year, so pay tribute to the (other) island nation's pop powers with a Dill Dall. Developed by Monica Berg of London brasserie Pollen Street Social, this tipple is captures the essence of Swedish summers.
45 ml London dry gin
15ml fino sherry
15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
1 sprig of fresh dill, plus extra to garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain through a sieve into a tumbler already filled with ice. Garnish with dill.