Summer cocktails

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Strawberry limeade
Makes about 1½ litres
Combine 250ml water and 200g sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over a high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. In a blender, combine the cooled simple syrup with 240ml freshly-squeezed lime juice and 600g sliced strawberries. Blend until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the strawberry limeade into a pitcher. Stir in 350ml sparkling water. Taste and add more water, if necessary. Cover and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve garnished with ice cubes, sliced strawberries and lime wedges.

Per serving:
167kcals, 0.6g fat (0g saturated), 41.9g carbs, 39.1g sugar, 1g protein, 2.2g fibre, 0.01g sodium

MAKE IT YOURS:
For a more grown-up flavour, add a 5cm piece of peeled, grated ginger with the lime juice and strawberries.

 

Aperol spritz
Makes 1
Place a handful of ice cubes in a large wine glass. Half-fill the glass with sparkling wine. Add Aperol to fill two-thirds of the remaining space. Top up the glass with soda water. Stir to combine and garnish with an orange slice. Repeat as desired.

Per serving:
168kcals, 0g fat (0g saturated), 2.7g carbs, 1.5g sugar, 0.1g protein, 0.4g fibre, 0.004g sodium

The spritz is a ubiquitous Italian cocktail, often served as an aperitivo or a pre-dinner drink.

 

Cucumber mint gin fizz
Makes 1
Combine 250ml water, 200g sugar and a handful of torn mint leaves in a small pot and bring to a boil over a high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and allow the mint to infuse the syrup for 30 minutes. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and discard the mint leaves. Store the minted syrup in the fridge until ready to use. When ready to serve, place some ice cubes in a tall glass and add 30ml lime juice, 60ml gin and 30ml of the minted syrup. Top up with sparkling water and garnish with sliced cucumber and lime. Add some more minted syrup to taste if desired. Serve immediately.

Per serving:
285kcals, 0.2g fat (0g saturated), 34.7g carbs, 0.7g sugar, 0.2g protein, 0g fibre, 0.036g sodium

This recipe will make 250ml simple syrup – enough for eight drinks!

 

Pineapple mojitos
Makes 2
Place 120g fresh pineapple chunks, 10 mint leaves and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle using a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon. Add some ice and shake together with 120ml light rum and the juice from ½ a lime until chilled. Strain into two glasses and top with soda water. Garnish with pineapple chunks and mint leaves.

Per serving:
186kcals, 0.3g fat (0g saturated), 13.5g carbs, 10.6g sugar, 0.8g protein, 1.6g fibre, 0.009g sodium