Now that University seems nothing more than a hazy dream and all you friends are buying houses, getting married, or saving their pennies to ‘invest in the future’, the concept of ‘having a cheap night in’ has irrevocably changed.
It’s no longer acceptable to pour every available spirit in the house into a bucket and then ending the night asleep behind the sofa with the bucket on your head. When you invite you friends over for cocktails you want to make a drink you can all enjoy.
If you follow these five rules you'll create a cocktail night to remember.
1. Learn to make a cocktail you love with each base spirit
This is a tip-top tip, because if you have a cocktail up your sleeve for each different base spirit then you are not tied into buying only a certain type of alcohol at the supermarket. This means you are free to buy whatever spirit is on sale when you go shopping.
2. Don’t skimp on the extra bits
By this we mean the syrups, the juices, and the slices of fruit. There’s a good reason for this, and it’s not just about adding the extra touches to make the drink that much more ‘special’ (although this is also true). It’s actually because, if you can't afford the best quality spirit, then a good fruit syrup or squeeze of lime juice is vital when it comes to developing the flavour.
3. Learn to love a long drink
You might be a dry martini girl (or boy) at heart, but they go down too smoothly and too quickly! If you’re looking for your money’s worth look at long drinks. Gin and tonic, whiskey and ginger, or sangria are all great examples. All are relatively easy to make, don't contain too many ingredients, and are made to be sipped slowly. You drink fewer of them and they go further!
4. Prosecco is always OK. Always.
Prosecco is the queen of all drinks and is great in every cocktail. Any cocktail that tells you that you need champagne is lying. You can get a nice bottle of prosecco for around six pounds and in most cases it is a perfectly adequate substitute for champagne.
5. Make cocktails with few ingredients
A great way to keep the costs down is to make a cocktail with few ingredients. By keeping it simple you also keep the flavours cleaner. A curl of cucumber in your Gin and Tonic is all this simple drink needs. Or try a caipirinha; arguably the simplest cocktail ever, with just rum, sugar, and lime. A poor man’s Kir Royale is also a winner. A glass of prosecco with a dash of Kir looks fancy and the cost is negligible.
At the end of the day, no one can tell you what to drink or how to drink it. It’s your night in, your budget, and they’re your friends. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Mixing all these drinks together is almost as much fun as drinking them anyway.