Creating an Iconic cocktail evening at home

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Had a long, hard week? Polishing off the bottle of wine from the back of the cupboard just won’t cut it? Perhaps you need something a bit stronger, something to get those creative juices flowing, and taste buds tingling? The answer of course is - homemade cocktails! Take some inspiration from our Iconic cocktail menu, as well as our tips on creating the perfect cocktail evening ambience at home!

Iconic Cocktail Menu

Pina Colada

This cocktail will bring you that gooey holiday feeling we all won’t be feeling for a while! Just one sip will transport you to a white sand beach: feeling the warmth of the sun, and thinking about nothing but the sound of the rolling waves before you. We recommend this drink if you are not a fan of the cold, dark nights. Get that heating up, take one sip of your Pina Colada (eyes closed) and Ta-Da… you’re in a tropical climate!

INGREDIENTS

  • A generous 60ml of white rum
  • 120ml pineapple juice
  • 60ml coconut cream
  • Wedge of pineapple to garnish (optional)

Smokey Old Fashioned

This cocktail is not for the faint-hearted! It’s rich and smoky in flavour, and is to be accompanied by a cigar. Sip this cocktail in a dark, moody setting to really unwind and reflect on life. This drink can be sipped amongst company, but it can be equally enjoyed alone. TV and mobile phones off - it is called the old fashioned after all!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 3-5 drops tobacco bitters
  • A squeeze of fresh orange juice (1tbsp)
  • 1 large ice cube (or 2/3 small)
  • 2 oz whiskey (65ml)
  • Orange peel for garnish (optional)

Espresso Martini

A classic cocktail for any occasion. It’s sweet, with a sassy kick, made from a rich blend of vanilla and dark chocolate. This cocktail is the perfect after-dinner treat to accompany your dessert of choice (although we must say, the more chocolate involved, the better). This cocktail also comes with the great bonus of making you feel more awake, the shot of espresso will soon have you buzzing with party spirit!

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 100ml vodka
  • 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee
  • 50ml coffee liqueur of choice
  • 4 coffee beans (optional)

French Martini

This sweet concoction has ‘girls’ night’ written all over it! The great thing about the French Martini is how easy it is to make. So why not make a huge jug of it!? The more the merrier, right? Although, we must warn you to drink with caution: you can drink this like juice, but the 40ml vodka will nevertheless creep up on you!

INGREDIENTS

  • 40ml vodka
  • 20ml Chambord liqueur
  • 60ml pressed pineapple juice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish (optional)

Cocktail evening set-up

Perhaps we are biased, but we believe every cocktail night needs the right lighting to really set the mood. Whether you are enjoying your cocktails alone, with friends, or with a date - you want to feel relaxed and cosy, and therefore creating the right ambience is key.

Hosting a group of friends?

In this scenario we advise having a brighter light that is not too glaring, but that will also not have your guests falling asleep after one too many. An option here may be turning the main ceiling light off, but having a floor lamp on. A large floor lamp will emit greater light than a table lamp, but will still leave the room feeling cosy.

It is natural for the tone of the evening to change throughout the night. At first, the conversation will most probably be sophisticated small talk. After a few drinks, the music will get louder, those classic tunes will inevitably come on, and the dance moves will come out. Eventually, the evening will change again, to a more intimate ambience; perhaps sharing one too many secrets after one too many! With all these changes, the lighting should ideally change as well. The perfect solution to this is dimmable bulbs. Start off with your bulbs on their max brightness and gradually dim the lights as your cocktail evening unwraps.

If the cocktail evening is just for two, perhaps a first date, an anniversary celebration or maybe just a celebration that the kids have gone to bed and stayed in bed! Whatever it may be, the ambience here should be romantic. To create a romantic feel, we recommend warm white bulbs with a low watt (25056). Alternatively, we have a selection of candle bulbs that are designed to give off the look of a flame from a candle. If you are after a vintage feel, these bulbs are the ones for you!