It's safe to say celebrating the last Bank Holiday before Christmas - and some of the last days of beautiful weather - calls for ice cold drinks. If you're entertaining some gin-lovers this weekend, mix up a big batch of cocktails to keep you from spending hours at the drinks trolley crafting G&Ts. You can whip these up the day beforehand, pop them in the fridge and save the garnishes and ice for the day of.
We've gotten together some amazing gin-based cocktails that are sure to get your guests raving. Here are the tipples that have us counting down until the weekend:
170ml fresh lemon juice
285ml Earl Grey tea
28g orange bitters
In a clean jar or pitcher, combine four bags of Earl Grey tea with 285ml of cold water. Put a lid on it and let it sit in the refrigerator for ten hours. Strain into a large bowl or pitcher.
Mix gin, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar and bitters in a bowl. Add to tea. Pour over an ice block in a punch bowl and garnish with anise-spiked lemons, and perhaps a sprig of rosemary. Throw in some frozen grapes to take things to the next level.
230ml fresh lemon juice
170 sugar syrup (see below)
1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
900ml dry Champagne or other sparkling dry white wine, chilled
1 large ice block or two smaller blocks
8 orange wheels, for garnish
For the syrup:
200g caster sugar
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to the boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
In a punch bowl, combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters and stir until thoroughly blended.
Just before serving, pour in the Champagne and stir gently. Add the ice and garnish with the orange wheels.
To serve, ladle into punch glasses.
110ml sugar syrup
7 sage leaves
140ml pineapple juice
Build with ice in punch bowl and stir.
Fresh watermelon juice:
1/2 of a personal sized watermelon, cut into chunks
950ml fresh watermelon juice
12 springs fresh mint
250ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
250ml sugar syrup
To make the watermelon juice:
Add watermelon chunks to blender and blend until liquified. Pour juice through fine meshed sieve to remove solids.
To make Punch:
Add mint to a tall pitcher and muddle to release the oils. Pour in watermelon juice, simple syrup, lemon juice and gin. Stir to mix. Pour over ice and serve
475ml fresh grapefruit juice (about 4 large grapefruits)
120cl India Pale Ale, chilled
Combine the gin and grapefruit juice in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add the IPA just before serving and ladle into ice-filled punch or lowball glasses.