When warm weather arrives, aperitifs, highballs and punches are all good options for entertaining. It’s crucial to pick something that paces well and won’t instantly go flat in the heat. Cocktails made with either gin, sherry or cachaça are perfect for balmy evenings.
And if in doubt, vermouth-based summer cups are always popular. Use seasonal ingredients such as summer berries, elderflower and cucumber – they have a wonderful intensity when at their peak, and contrast beautifully with garden herbs like mint, rosemary and basil. Top with fresh lemonade for a simple cooler.
For a refreshing soft drink, try a non-alcoholic take on a traditional bitter-sweet highball. You’ll need pomegranate juice, a dash of raspberry syrup and some alcohol-free bitter soda. Simply fill the highball glass with ice, add all of the ingredients, then garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon twist.
Grapefruit & Rosemary Gin Buck
This infusion is great for those summer catch-ups where numbers can unexpectedly swell. It’s easy to prepare, can be kept in the fridge and then finished off when friends turn up. Just be sure to use the best ingredients as possible and make sure you have plenty of ice.
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 bottle of dry gin
Peel the grapefruit then add all to a jar and stir. Leave to infuse in a dark place for 2-6 hours, then strain. Keep bottled in the fridge. To serve, pack a small hi-ball with cubed ice, add 50ml of gin infusion, then top with chilled ginger ale and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
This is ideal for when the evening starts to creep in. Dark spirits are a natural suggestion here, but this rum-based drink is perfect as a dinner accompaniment whilst still celebrating the best of summer.
25ml White Rum
15ml Bianco Vermouth
5ml Elderflower liqueur
Stir the ingredients together over ice, then strain into a tumbler filled with ice and garnish with a strawberry and a slice of fresh fennel.
Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends is published by Frances Lincoln, RRP £20