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Beyond the Beer

Beyond the Beer


The Season of Outdoor Drinking


We Brits have never really quite got our act together when it comes to louche outdoor living. On the odd occasion that summer does show up our attitude is very much; quick- run outside the sun is shining and who knows how long it will last. And whilst you’re at it grab me a beer.


But really, if the sun has gone to the effort of actually shining and being all warm, and sunny why not make an effort yourself? How fabulous does an Elderflower Gin sound? Pretty fabulous if you ask me.


And a Blackberry Fizz? So much more enticing than yet another glass of supermarket sauvignon.


So read on, you’re just a shake and a shimmy away from summer fun. Your gin terrace will never look back.


Elderflower Gin


Elderflower blooms are all over hedgerows in June – you could even go the whole impressive hog and make your own cordial. Failing that Bottlegreen do a great version. Summer in a glass.


elderflower gin



30ml elderflower cordial
30ml Tanquery, or Bombay Gin
handful of mint sprigs, slightly crushed
plenty of ice
chilled tonic water


Stir the cordial, gin, and mint, together. Strain into a heavy bottomed tumbler filled with ice, add tonic water to taste, stir and finish with a sprig of mint.


This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living.


Peach Vodka


It’s true this one takes a little more prep but mix this as a pre-dinner cocktail and your guests will coo with delight.


peach vodka



4 large peaches, stoned and halved

2 tbsp rosemary syrup

plenty of ice

2 tbsp lime juice

90ml vodka

1 tbsp honey



For the rosemary syrup

450g sugar

500ml water

3tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves.


To garnish

4 slices of peaches

2 rosemary sprigs


To make the rosemary syrup, put all the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and rest for 20 minutes. Strain into a glass and refrigerate until chilled.


Meanwhile puree the peaches, sugar and lime, using a hand blender or food processor. Pass the puree through a sieve, using the back of a spoon.


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add the peach puree, rosemary syrup, lime, vodka and honey. Shake. Strain into two heavy bottomed tumblers filled with ice, add lemonade and a splash of water to taste, stir and finish with a couple of slices of peach and sprig of rosemary.


This recipe is adapted from Verses from my Kitchen.



Blackberry Fizz


This is a zinger and will quench even the most desiccated, sun scorched palate. For sipping under a parasol – possibly in solitary indulgence, equally with a gaggle of chums.


blackberry fizz



50ml Vodka,

12.5 Chambord

12.5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

handful blackberries

ginger beer


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka, Chambord, lemon juice and blackberries, 6-8 is good. Shake. Strain into a heavy bottomed tumbler filled with ice, add ginger beer to taste, stir and finish with a few blackberries and sprig of mint.


As sampled at the Indigo Yard, Edinburgh.


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