It feels like a lifetime ago that we were sipping a lukewarm pint in a sweaty pub on a week night. While pubs, bars, and restaurants are starting to reopen in many places, not everyone feels comfortable venturing out just yet. 

Just because you don’t feel ready to paint the town red, it doesn’t mean to have to forego your love of a good stiff cocktail after a long, hard week. If you spent lockdown working on your culinary and mixology skills to pass the time, then this collection of cocktail recipes is right up your street. 

None of these cocktails is particularly complicated. You won’t catch me whisking any egg whites or extracting any obscure fruit juices for something that’ll take me about seven whole minutes to drink. But if you’re in need of a good spritz to lift the spirits, a piña colada to carry you away, or just a good old fashioned Negroni, we’ve got you covered. 

Negroni 

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

This Quarantini cocktail recipe collection would be incomplete without a Negroni. The Negroni was invented in 1919 in Florence, Italy, by Count Camillo Negroni who wanted to make his favourite cocktail, the Americano, a little bit stronger by using gin instead of soda water. 101 years later, thanks to the international treasure that is Stanley Tucci, the Negroni has been firmly cemented as the unofficial cocktail of 2020. Sadly this article doesn’t boast an engaging tutorial from The Devil Wears Prada star, but this very simple recipe will have to do.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 25ml gin
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml sweet vermouth

Everything in this recipe is equal parts, so it’s very straightforward. Pour your three components into an ice-filled rocks glass and stir five times. Add a nice slice of orange for garnish.

The Cornish sunset spritz

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

Whoever said liking gin isn’t a personality trait is sorely mistaken. This recipe from Cornwall gin distillery Tarquin’s Cornish Gin is somewhere between a gin and tonic and an Aperol Spritz. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 50ml Tarquin’s blood orange gin
  • 100ml sparkling wine
  • Dash of sparkling elderflower (or sparkling water and elderflower cordial)
  • Dash of soda water

Fill a wine glass with lots of ice, add gin and sparkling wine and elderflower, lightly stir then top with soda water. Garnish with a large orange wheel.

Frosé

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

Listen, the heart wants what it wants, my friend. Our lockdown cravings have taken us to some wonderfully basic places and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

This cocktail recipe, which makes two glasses of frosé, comes from Salvatore Russo, head of wine at Heliot Steak House in London’s West End.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 180ml rosé wine (the fruitier the better) 
  • 120ml rosé vermouth (Belsazar is Russo’s favourite) 
  • A large handful of fresh strawberries 
  • 15ml agave syrup 
  • Ice, to fill the blender

Throw it all into your blender, blitz until slushy, and then pour into a large glass. Spoon optional.

Watermelon mojito

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

If the weather is particularly clement, your beverage should reflect that. Temperatures soaring? Time for a watermelon mojito, methinks. If this year’s holiday is you and the paddling pool in the back garden, allow this tipple to transport you away. This recipe by James Cochran, head chef at 12:51 restaurant in London, makes two servings.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup (boil equal parts sugar and water and let cool completely)
  • Handful of mint 
  • 4 measures (25ml each) white rum 
  • 8 measures (25ml each) juiced watermelon
  • A cocktail shaker or jug

Into the cocktail shaker or jug, squeeze the juice of half a lime and add simple syrup. Grab a handful of mint and clap between your hands to release the essential oils and flavour, then add to shaker. Add four measures of rum and eight measures of watermelon juice and then shake. In a chilled glass, add crushed ice and pour over watermelon mix. Garnish with mint and lime wedge. 

Gin elderflower spritz

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

Spritzing should be a verb in my humble opinion. And the activity is the marker of a summer well spent, to be quite honest. If you’re a gin lover looking for a refreshing summer tipple, this is right up your street. Plus, this recipe happens to be unbelievably easy! This recipe uses Bathtub Gin, but you can also just use any good gin you have at home. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 50 ml Bathtub Gin 
  • 150 ml elderflower pressé

Pour the ingredients over ice in a wine glass. Garnish with a lemon slice. 

Celtic Remedy 

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren't ready to go to bars just yet

Fancy something more autumnal? Try this invention by award-winning mixologist Walter Pintus: the Celtic Remedy. Made with Scottish gin Caorunn and Campari, and garnished with apple and blackberry, this cocktail recipe’ll make you feel like you’re rambling the Highlands on a blustery autumn day. You can replace the gin with whatever you have at home — ideally a gin from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, or somewhere Celtic. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30ml Caorunn Gin
  • 10ml Campari 
  • 2.5ml cider vinegar  
  • ¼ apple 
  • 1 blackberry
  • 10 ml sugar syrup

In a shaker, muddle the apple and the blackberry together. Add the rest of ingredients and shake. Double strain over ice and garnish with another blackberry. Cocktail tip from Pintus: “If you don’t have a shaker, a clean, empty jar will do the job, just remember to seal it before you start shaking — and be sure to strain all the fruit out before serving.”

Bottoms up!

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