Sip, splash & sizzle!

I am back on track and smelling the roses again, or should I say the sea from my open office window…which, makes me think of granadilla ice-creams and…yip, you guessed it – cocktails! Summer is slowly turning on its charms and I cannot think of a happier place than being on a beach basking in the warm glow from a sinking sun.

Sun-kissed and all-set for summertime soirees, one cannot ignore the power of a well-mixed, carefully concocted cocktail to round off, prelude, interlude or simply indulge in the day past and/ or the events to come. Whether it be in your favourite bar, in a dazzling outdoor setting or in your home – cocktails are taking on a whole new meaning as mixologists perfect and experiment with fresh fruits, herbs and spices, flavoured spirits, natural colourants and attention to detail in presentation so as to tailor them to any customer and/ or occasion! Being one of our summer trends, and in continuation of the brilliant “best beaches” blog by Eat.Art this month – how could I not explore further!

Through my digging, it has become apparent that the craft of creating a cocktail in this day and age is somewhat of an art form – and certainly requires flair, a delicate hand and a good understanding of complimentary flavours given that there are just so many ingredient options.

These are the few that appealed to me~

  • CINNAMON SNAP: Smirnoff® Cinna-Sugar flavoured vodka/ lemonade/ ginger beer

– add the vodka and lemonade to an ice filled rocks glass, shake well, top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel and stick of cinnamon
– perfect for an urban roof-top party

  • MINI MONCHICHI: vodka/ Italian herb liqueur/ 100% fresh orange juice

– stir all ingredients together over ice then strain into a tall shot glass and serve with a funky candy-striped straw
– perfect for a quirky kitchen ‘tea’

  • ROSEMARY MANDARIN SPARKLE: Moon Mountain® vodka/ mandarin (or naartjie) juice/ lemon juice/ honey syrup/ brut champagne/ rosemary

– bend and rub a sprig of rosemary before dropping it into a mixer glass and adding the mandarin, vodka, lemon and honey syrup (made by combining a generous spoon of honey with a splash of hot water and allowing to dilute then chill). Fill with ice and shake well before straining into a martini glass and topping off with a splash of chilled champagne. Garnish with another sprig of rosemary
– perfect for an elegant pre-reception wedding party

  • GG&T: Grapefruit wedge and freshly squeezed juice/ gin/ tonic water/ bitters

– a different take on a classic – combine gin and tonic water in a highball with ice, top off with grapefruit juice and a splash of bitters; and garnish with a chunky wedge of grapefruit
– perfect for any casual get-together on a warm afternoon

  • MERRY MINT JULEPS: caster sugar/ fresh lemon juice/ chilled sparkling wine (suggest: Spanish Cava)/ fresh mint

– sophisticated and simple – create your syrup by gently heating the sugar in a pan with lemon juice, allow to cool. Pour the syrup into your flutes, top up with chilled sparkling wine, stir quickly and serve with mint tucked into the top
– perfect as a welcome drink for a birthday bash

We would be delighted if you would share your secret cocktail concoctions with us…and send us some feedback and pictures from your experiments with our above suggestions.

Nan_blog pic

Written for eat.art by: Nancy Hoepner  – Magpie Creative

Only slightly exhausted mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual arts, design and marketing and is the owner of Magpie Creative. Having worked with the eat-art team before, she is thrilled, and slightly bewildered to have been asked to (take time out from juggling and) add some spice to the eat.art blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.

nancy@magpiecreative.co.za | http://www.magpiecreative.co.za  https://www.facebook.com/magpiecreativecapetow

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