Our Saturday nights are yet again set to sparkle as Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back onto our screens! It's the nation's favourite for good reason, what with the sequinned outfits, bucket loads of fake tan, celebrity line-up and the lively and dramatic dance moves.
We have taken our top favourite dance routines and paired them with gin cocktails that compliment the rhythm and style of the different dances perfectly.
So this Saturday, why not grab the cocktail shaker, a bottle of your favourite gin and get ready to shimmy and sip to the Camba, clink and clap to the Charleston and swig and sway to the Calsa...
Rumba is one of the most erotic and sensual of all the Latin dance styles due to its slow rhythms and hip movements that create intense bodily expressions.
Passion Fruit Gin Collins
Bursting with zesty passion, just like the dance, this cocktail goes perfectly with the sexy Rumba!
1 lemon wedge
Pulp from 2 passion fruits
60 ml fresh lemon juice
30 ml sugar syrup (bought or home made)
60 ml dry gin
1. In a small jug or cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, passion fruit pulp and seeds and sugar syrup. Give everything a good stir or shake.
2. Fill two highball glasses with ice and divide the cocktail mixture between the two. Top up with soda water for a refreshing sparkly finish (just like the dance) and garnish with a slice of lemon.
The salsa is a sexy, energetic and a fun partner dance. Unlike some partner dances, it is a very sociable dance – you don’t need to have a regular partner. In fact, it is common for salseros to dance with people they have never met before.
Hot & Spicy Red Snapper
Traditionally made for an 11am brunch, we think the Red Snapper matches perfectly with the hot and spicy Salsa; garnish with a sliced red chilli to really bring the heat!
30 ml Gin
120 ml tomato juice
15 ml lemon juice
7 drops of Tabasco hot sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches celery salt
2 grinds black pepper
Sliced , de-seeded red chilli
1. In a shaker or pitcher, shake or stir the gin, tomato juice, lemon juice, Tobasco, Worcester sauce and celery salt together with ice.
2. Fill two highball glasses with ice and divide the mixture between the two. Grind the pepper over the top and garnish with the chilli.
The Charleston was a very popular dance in the 1920s, danced by both young women (Flappers) and young men of that generation. The Charleston involves the fast-paced swinging of the legs as well as big arm movements.
The Bee's Knees
The Bee's Knees was THE cocktail of the 20s and the sweet and zippy taste compliments this fun dance perfectly.
50 ml Gin
2 tsp honey
20ml fresh lemon juice
20ml fresh orange juice
Orange zest twist, to garnish
1. Add gin and honey to a shaker and stir until the honey dissolves. Add the lemon and orange juice and top up with ice. Shake well.
2. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange zest twist.
The Waltz is a dance which has morphed over time from an old German folk dance, and it is danced to a 1-2-3 beat. Often quite elegant and fluid, the dancers can seem like they are floating around the floor.
Save Me the Waltz
The pairing is in the name - however, the indulgent raspberry, the smooth gin and the delicious almond syrup remind us of the beautifully elegant flow of this dance...and it tastes as amazing as the ballgowns the ladies wear to float around the floor!
50 ml gin
7.5 ml raspberry liqueur
15 ml Almond liqueur
15 ml fresh lemon juice
2 dashes of orange bitters
1 egg white
1. Separate the egg white from the yolk
2. Add the gin, raspberry liqueur, almond liqueur, fresh lemon juice and orange bitters to a shaker with the egg white and shake vigorously until all the ingredients have combined and whipped with the egg white.
3. Add ice to the shaker and slowly shake once more.
4. Strain into a martini or coupe and top with soda water and garnish with a slice of lemon.
In ballroom dancing, the jive is a dance style that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s. It is a lively and uninhibited and quick.
You can't get much more lively and uninhibited than a dirty martini!
70 ml gin
1 tbsp dry vermouth
2 tbsp olive brine
1 wedge of lemon
1. Pour the gin, dry vermouth and olive brine into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
2. Rub the rim of a martini glass with the wedge of lemon.
3. Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass, spear 1 to 3 green olives onto a cocktail stick for a garnish.
The Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance of Afro-Brazilian origin.
Brazilian Gin & Tonic
Give your favourite gin and tonic a Brazilian twist and create a festival in a glass to match the vibrant and exciting samba!
35 ml gin
2 wedges of lime
2 sprigs of mint
1 tsp of sugar
1. Muddle together the lime, mint leaves and a teaspoon of sugar in a highball glass.
2. Add ice cubes and the gin.
3. Fill glass with tonic, stir lightly and garnish with lime slice or lime peel.
The Paso Doble
Paso Doble, (meaning double-step in Spanish) is a dance modelled after the sound, drama and movement of the Spanish and Portuguese bullfight.
Blood Orange Gin & Tonic
Match the drama of the paso doble with the intense colour and flavour of the blood orange in this moody and dramatic cocktail!
45 ml gin
60 ml fresh blood orange juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1. Fill a highball glass with ice, adding the gin, blood orange juice, and orange bitters.
2. Top with tonic water, gently stir and garnish with a blood orange slice.
3. Served dressed as a Spanish Matador (optional)