For January’s temporary teetotalers, it’s been a long, sobering month.
If you managed to stay on the wagon and resisted all temptation for the a mid-month knee’s up then it’s time to celebrate with something a bit stronger than a milkshake. So dust off a jar of maraschino cherries, pop open a couple of umbrellas and get your shakers at the ready – here are five classic cocktails to kick start February.
Scoff all you like, but there’s a reason Advocaat still has a huge market, and that’s because it tastes of childhood in a glass, a decadent, creamy concoction that slips down oh so easily. If you’ve ever made an American soda float (vanilla ice cream and fizzy pop) but felt it needed a wee kick, the Snowball is the drink to do it. Plus it's the perfect way to polish off that bottle that’s been hanging around since Christmas.
The wake up call
The days might be cold, dark and short and if a cup of tea simply won't do it, give yourself a real wake up call with an Espresso Martini. All you need is a shot of vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and sugar syrup and you’ll have the energy to make it through the day. And don’t forget to garnish with three coffee beans for good luck
The exotic European
There’s no room for Brexit in a glass, so let’s embrace our European cousins while we can. Oranges and lemons: for a flavour of blood oranges so intense you’ll feel like you’re in Sicily, add a drop of Solerno for a deep, rich resonance, or Cointreau, for a subtle French flavour. Limoncello may be languishing in a cupboard as a holiday impulse buy, but add it to ice, gin and lemon juice for a zingy and refreshing party piece.
A real celebration
Make mine a Champagne Cocktail... And there’s no better way to celebrate February than with this classic drink. Serve the Champagne straight up with a shot of brandy, a sugar cube and a couple of dashes of bitters.
To make your heart fonder…
Finish off with an Absinthe cocktail. It’s been around for generations, but saw a bit of a revival around 20 years ago, particularly in the very cool bars of Prague. Try it with sugar and water, a classic, or mix it up with Solerno, Vermouth or gin.