These 3 simple cocktails will start your weekend at home with a bang. As a kid the weekend always felt so much longer if we did something exciting on Friday night and I still feel that way. Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean you have to stop living.
You can’t buy happiness BUT you can prepare a cocktail, and that’s kind of the same thing.
Read on for my top three favourite simple cocktails of all time, to get that celebration happening. Put on some tunes or whip out the Finska in the back yard. Then finish the evening off with home-made burgers, Mexican tacos or a cheese platter and old family movies. My perfect start to a weekend at home.
1. THE CLASSIC MARGARITA
The classic margarita has stolen my heart with its sheer perfection. It’s tart, with just the right bite from the tequila and a hint of orange from the Cointreau. It’s the perfect combo of salty, sweet and sour and is one of the simple cocktails to make.
This classic margarita has no added sugar that mixes are often loaded with, so that might remove some of the guilt : ) – and believe me it’s better for it. This is the perfect formula and the perfect complement to Mexican food. So, whip out some simple spicy tacos and you have a match made in heaven.
CLASSIC MARGARITA RECIPE
40ml Lime juice
Salt for Glass Rims
RIM THE GLASS with salt. Spread the salt on a plate. Cut a notch in a lime wedge and slide it around the rim of the glass. You want the salt on the outside of the glass only, not on the inside where it will fall into the drink. Tilt the glass so that only the outside edge goes into the salt.
Salt creates the perfect balance to the acidity of the drink itself. It neutralises the bitterness of the lime and tequila on your tongue and heightens the sweet and sour flavours of the agave and limes. Use flakey sea salt if you have it but otherwise normal table salt will work fine. Adding some finely grated orange and lime zest to your salt will take it to the next level.
SHAKE THE INGREDIENTS in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
FILL GLASS with fresh ice and cocktail. Garnish with lime wheels and serve.
If you need to add some more sweetness to your margarita, simply add 2 teaspoons of superfine sugar before you shake the ingredients.
2. SIMPLE GIN & TONIC
Not far behind the margarita on my ‘favourite drinks ever’ scale is the G&T. It doesn’t get more classic and easy than these light and refreshing simple cocktails.
I was introduced to my first G&T in South Africa in my early 20’s. We were staying with our London flatmates family in Jo’burg and every afternoon turned into happy hour G&T style. I remember initially cautiously sipping these bitter drinks under complete duress, but as the days wore on, bitter became refreshing and this lover of sweet lolly water until then became a complete G&T convert.
A G&T is the perfect compliment to a cheese platter. Especially the stronger flavoured cheeses like manchego or goats cheese. So, whip up an antipasto and cheese platter picnic style to accompany your G&T.
CLASSIC GIN & TONIC RECIPE
120 – 150ml Tonic
Lime to Serve
FILL A GLASS with ice cubes. Pour in the gin and then top with tonic.
RIM THE GLASS with the lime wedge, squeeze the juice into the drink, then drop the wedge in.
3. BOOZY (OR NOT) HOT CHOCOLATE
If you’re craving major cozy vibes this heavenly, boozy hot chocolate, inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe is an absolute winner! Enjoy under a blanket with good company! Also, great while snuggled on the couch with your favourite movie or as an adult treat for your family sleepover in the back yard.
BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE
2 Cups Milk
100g Dark Chocolate
¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Dark Rum or Baileys (or more, to taste)
COMBINE milk and broken chocolate in a saucepan. Add cinnamon, honey and sugar and heat gently until chocolate is melted. Add vanilla and rum while whisking.
POUR INTO MUGS and serve with grated chocolate.
FROZEN MANGO NON-ALCOHOLIC MARGARITA
Don’t forget the little ones. Make them feel part of the special occasion and give them a healthy boost of vitamin C while you’re at it. We always have frozen mango in our freezer ready for healthy treats and this frozen non-alcoholic margarita will be a hit with children or adults.
MANGO MARGARITA RECIPE
1 Cup Orange juice
¼ Cup Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Honey
Cup Frozen Mango
1 Cup Ice
Lime Slices to Serve
BLEND the orange juice, lime juice, honey and frozen mango for 15-20 seconds until a thick in a high speed blender. Add the ice and blend for 10 seconds to combine.
POUR the margarita mix into two glasses and serve with lime slices.
I hope you enjoy a short-term reprieve from the heavy headlines over the weekend to lift your spirits. I’d love to hear about your favourite simple cocktails. If you want more ideas to add some fun to your days check my post on Boosting Your Mood with plenty of ideas for you and ideas to give the whole family something exciting to anticipate. Stay hopeful and keep smiling – I’m thinking of you all.