Zesty Cocktails

Set up your own little cocktail bar, and have a supply of these delish drinks ready for your Christmas party

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Prep 10 mins | Makes 8

Drain 560 g can lychees and reserve syrup. In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 cups lychees and 2 chopped long red chillies. Using a muddler or a rolling pin, crush until bruised. Fill shaker with ice, 2⁄3 cup reserved lychee syrup and 2 cups vodka. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels ice-cold. Carefully open and strain liquid into chilled martini glasses. Serve topped with extra lychees.


Prep 15 mins | Cook 15 mins | Makes 8

Coat 8 fresh pineapple wedges in ¼ cup brown sugar. Cook in a hot frying pan, 3 mins each side, on high until caramelised. Cool. Meanwhile, divide 2 cups mint leaves and wedges from 4 limes between 8 tall glasses. Using a cocktail muddler or a rolling pin, pound limes and mint leaves until juice and flavour is released. Fill glasses 2⁄3 full with crushed ice. Add ¼ cup to each glass, top up with ½ cup each pineapple juice and ginger beet. Serve with pineapple wedges, mint sprigs and lime slices.

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Prep + Freezing 25 mins | Makes 8

In a jug, combine 400 ml coconut water and 3 grated cucumbers. Pour into a snap-lock bag. Remove air, seal, freeze overnight. In a saucepan, stir 2 cups water, ½ cup caster sugar and 15 bruised kaffir lime leaves on low until sugar dissolves. Boil 5 mins. Set aside 20 mins to infuse. Strain and cool. Pound cucumber with syrup, 1 cup gin and grated zest and juice 2 limes. Pour into 8 glasses. Serve with cucumber and extra kaffir lime leaves.


Prep + Freezing 10 mins | Makes 8

Freeze 750 ml rosé in a large snap-lock bag overnight. Pound with a rolling pin to break up. Process with sorbet in a blender until slushie consistency. Divide between 8 glasses. Serve with strawberries and raspberries if preferred.


Prep 15 mins | Makes 8

In a bowl, using a mixer, beat 330 ml cream with 1 tsp vanilla bean paste to soft peaks. Place a large ice cube into 8 shot glasses. Pour 30 ml cold espresso, 2 tbsps bourbon and 150 ml cola into each glass. Top each with vanilla cream. Add a maraschino cherry to serve.


Impress guests with these mixologist tips

● Use fresh ingredients

Always use fresh juices when you’re mixing high-quality spirits – and the same goes with everything else. Seasonal garnishes include fresh lime for caipiroska or a slice of cucumber for gin and tonic.

● Shake it like you mean it!

It sounds obvious, but thorough shaking makes sure ingredients are incorporated together correctly.

● Measure everything

Keeping to specific amounts is crucial in ensuring your drink isn’t too sweet or too strong. Even at home, measuring can balance everything.

● Choose clear ice

Ice is a huge deal – there is nothing worse than a cube melting before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy your drink! The clearer the ice the better, plus always refill cubes for a longer-lasting, refreshing drink.