Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, sports-tournament party or summer birthday bash, you’ll want to make bartending duties as easy and time-efficient as possible.
Which is where pitcher cocktails come into their own. The trick is to chill and infuse the base ingredients ahead of time, ready to top up with soda/sparkling wine and fresh herbs/garnish just before serving.
The classic summer cooler. You can keep it simple by pouring Pimm’s No. 1 Cup over ice before topping with good-quality lemonade or ginger ale in a 1:3 ratio. Add sliced oranges and lemons along with strawberries and cucumber, then add ice and bunches of mint before serving. Alternatively, you could create your own fruit cup base in-house using equal quantities of gin, orange curaçao and vermouth.
This Cuban cocktail is a solid choice for a summer party. Prepare it by muddling slices of lime with sugar syrup and mint leaves in a bowl using the end of a rolling pin – a good rule of thumb is to have the same number each of limes, tablespoons of sugar and mint sprigs – before leaving to infuse for an hour or two. When you’re ready to go, add white rum (350ml rum is about right for 6 limes/600ml soda in a 2-litre jug), plenty of ice and top with sparkling water, stirring to combine with a long spoon. Serve in highball glasses with extra ice and lime slices.
A refreshing wine-based cooler that’s easy to adapt to individual preferences. The classic recipe blends red wine with brandy and lemonade but a lighter, more summery option pairs a bottle of white wine with a glass of ginger wine and a slug of elderflower cordial. Add some peach slices, thinly sliced limes and a handful of raspberries to the jug and pop into the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle. Just before serving, tip in lots of ice and top with 600mls of sparkling water. Garnish with edible flowers,
To make it even easier, Edmunds can provide litre bottles of Mojito cocktails (and plenty of others) by post, ready to serve – just add soda water on the day.