E Q U I P Y O U R G A R D E N B A R
If you're a lover of classic cocktails, fruity punches or the odd glass of fizz, then there's no reason why you can't sip your favourite summer drink in the comfort of your own garden.
With summer still in swing, it doesn't take very much to set up your own outdoor bar to make the most of the sun. Here's a few tips and ideas from the experts on equipping your own garden bar for your next garden soiree.
But how do we bring home that bar-tending magic of the professional cocktail bar? After dipping your toes into the world of mixology, you'll discover that half the fun of drinking cocktails is the mixing of them.
C O C K T A I L C R E A T I V I T Y
"I would definitely serve the Strawberry Rosé Punch. It’s such a crowd pleaser. It’s really refreshing, but still really well balanced with Cocchi Americano. Cocchi has bitter components to it, so it’ll help be that backbone, but the punch is not bitter like a Negroni. And it’s in a punch bowl so if you’re throwing a party, people can help themselves."
From a Caipirinha to a Sidecar, the only way to truly enjoy the craft of cocktails at home is to experiment for yourself. Invest in a cocktail mixing set and investigate some online mixologist blogs to discover the dynamic and evolving world of mixing.
We are particularly in love with cocktail guru Ashley Rose Conway and her website Craft and Cocktails. Ashley is a huge supporter of making fresh summer fizz and has a favourite summer party drink to offer;
F L A V O U R S O M E A C C E S S O R I E S
No garden soiree is complete without fresh fruit or herbs on hand to add flavour and flair to every drink served. By having just a few sliced limes or grapefruits and a few leaves of mint or rosemary, it's easy to create a large variety of different cocktails and decorative garnishes.
American art director and food enthusiast Amy Johnson spends a great deal of time experimenting with drink garnishes. In her highly successful 'She Wears Many Hats' lifestyle blog, Amy encourages unusual fruit and herb combinations. Our favourite suggestion is sliding blueberries along a rosemary sprig to create an extra special garnish.
"They are the perfect extra something for party punch, cocktails, lemonade, iced teas, smoothies, and even simple refreshing water. Not only are they colorful, but the fragrant rosemary smells lovely when enjoying the beverage of choice. The healthy blueberries to snack on is an added plus!"
C H O O S E Y O U R G L A S S E W A R E
Any seasoned bartender will tell you that at least 20 different glasses are required behind any bar to cover long, short and specialist drink combinations. 20 might be a lot, but there are definitely a key number of styles that are a must have.
MATCHING PITCHER AND TUMBLERS. For punches, homemade lemonades and iced water on those extra hot days.
LONG DRINKS. Highballs, slim Collins glasses and the classic tumbler will cover those slightly longer drinks with mixers.
SHORT & HIGH COCKTAIL GLASSES. High stem martini glasses, the rounder coupe glass and the slinky margarita will cover your short cocktail needs.
OTHER STAPLES. With a few rocks glasses for the whisky drinkers, flutes for the fizz and stylish wine glasses, you'll have everything covered.
L E T ' S G O O U T S I D E
If you're ready to take the bar into the garden, then just take a moment to consider how to make the experience a touch easier.
KEEPING COOL. You might want to invest in outdoor refrigeration to keep drinks cool and close at hand for easy serving, such as an outdoor fridge or ice bucket.
DECORATIVE SERVING. Jam jars, enamel cups or glass pitchers can become chic holders of spare fruit or extra punch, allowing easy access to topping up drinks mid-conversation.
TAKING COVER. Come rain or shine, sometimes we need a bit of cover to withstand all the elements and keep on drinking. Umbrellas, parasols and canopies can ensure nothing stops you from enjoying successive homemade blueberry bellinis.