Recipe Collections

5 simple cocktails for every occasion

Drinks at yours this weekend? Try these easy and delicious cocktails your guests will raise a glass to.
woman squeezing fresh orange slice into an orange cocktail

Brought to you by Cellarbrations.

Long weekends are made for entertaining and with one coming up, it’s a chance to relax with good food, a few drinks and great company.

If you’re the host, having a few entertaining tricks up your sleeve is the key to a successful get-together, not only so your guests enjoy themselves but so you can, too. Planning is all important, from having your food prep done and canapés ready when your guests arrive to a well-stocked bar cart and a few go-to cocktail recipes you can call on.

Having a well-organised, relaxed gathering will cement your reputation as a consummate host, so together with Cellarbrations, we’ve put together a few deceptively simple cocktail recipes you can shake up in no time.

1. Tinto de Verano

This refreshing spritz originated in Spain and, like its fruitier sister cocktail Sangria, it is red-wine based. Tinto de Verano is famously easy to make and even easier to drink. Perfect for a picnic with friends over a grazing platter of Spanish jamón, juicy olives, a wedge of Manchego and crusty bread, you can make a pitcher to serve six virtually anywhere.

You’ll need: 6 glasses filled with ice, lemon slices to serve.

How to mix: Pour one bottle of red wine into a jug or pitcher (we like the Pepperjack Shiraz for this, ideally, chilled). Top with 750ml of lemonade, or if you prefer it less sweet you can substitute with soda water. Garnish with a thick slice of lemon and serve immediately.

2. Classic Mimosa

From Melbourne to Manhattan, brunch is having a moment, so make your brunch gatherings memorable with all the trimmings. The classic Mimosa is a brunch essential that pairs superbly with your eggs benedict, croissants and shakshuka. It’s devilishly simple with just two ingredients but be sure to use good quality orange juice (ideally freshly squeezed) and a dry, full-bodied sparkling white, such as Grant Burge Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV for quality flavour and fizz.

You’ll need: Champagne flutes.

How to mix: Mimosas are a simple 50:50 ratio, so pour the orange juice to the halfway mark of your flute and top with sparkling wine.

3. The Long-Weekend Apéritif

A thoughtfully prepared welcome drink sets the stage for your guests. As this one’s name suggests, it’s an ideal apéritif to whet your guests’ appetites for a long lunch or a dinner party. The addition of a premium Japanese gin to this Gin Sling-inspired cocktail elevates the fresh, zingy palate of the classic recipe. We used Roku gin for its hints of yuzu and a slightly peppery finish.

You’ll need: A cocktail shaker, ice, short glass, fresh lime slices and sprig of rosemary to garnish.

How to mix: Pour 50ml Roku gin, 20ml fresh lemon juice, 15ml of sugar syrup and two dashes of aromatic bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to combine, strain and pour into a glass with ice. Top with soda water or tonic to taste and garnish with lime and a sprig of rosemary. Makes one, multiply quantities as required.

4. White Russian

If you’re looking for a cocktail with a caffeine kick, the White Russian delivers while also making an elegant dinner party alternative to dessert. Despite its name, this cocktail was born in Brussels, but gives a nod to Russia as vodka’s traditional home. Baileys and vodka pair beautifully in cocktails, and the addition of espresso in this mix makes for a rich finish on the palate with a mix of sweet and bitter flavours.

You’ll need: Short glasses whisky-style, cubed ice, a shot of espresso coffee.

How to mix: Layer 25ml of espresso into your glass, add ice and then pour 25ml of vodka over the ice (we used Smirnoff). Then, gently pour the Baileys over the ice to make a marbled effect. Garnish if desired and serve. Makes one. Tip: Make the coffee before your soiree so you can chill it ahead of time.

5. Raspberry Spritz

If you’re looking for something a little lighter to serve your guests with lunch, this fresh and fruity spritz is as pretty as a picture. Its key ingredient may be a drink synonymous with partying in our early 20s but bear with us. Perfect for grazing lunches when salads and warm weather are on the menu, this refreshing spritz is delightfully light and lower in alcohol than most other cocktails.

You’ll need: Tall glasses, ice, fresh raspberries, fresh lime.

How to mix: Fill a tall glass with ice, fill to halfway with a Raspberry Cruiser. Top with soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

It’s time to bring back the tradition of hosting at home. From low-key catch ups to elegant affairs, Cellarbrations has you and your guests covered.

Brought to you by Cellarbrations.

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