How to take cocktails on holiday

We love going on holiday in the UK – staying on home turf is ideal to go walking, explore rural areas, try new restaurants, lighting a fire and staying in to cook. Oh, and it’s BYOB! Typically we would pack some beers, wines, and maybe gin and tonic along to the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales.

Our haul when we spent three days in Wales last year… we may have slightly over-packed on the booze front.

I’ve been thinking about what a ‘capsule larder’ of ingredients could be, to make the most of what you pack and allow some flex in the sort of drinks you could make in a home away from home, rather than just sticking to G&T. I’ve reviewed loads of recipes and distilled down to this list of ingredients and cocktails, to hopefully please most people you’d go on holiday with – there’s even a non-alcoholic drink on there!

Of course, if you stay at holiday cottages like we do, it’s very unlikely you’re going to arrive to a suite of different glass options and a handy canelle knife. Work with what you’ve got – measure your spirits in an egg cup, garnish with whatever’s in the fruit bowl, and serve the drinks in any vessel that holds roughly the right amount of liquid!

The ingredients larder

  • Cobbler shaker (a 3-piece, with a built-in strainer)
  • Ice cubes
  • Spirits: Gin and White rum
  • Sweetness: Simple sugar syrup (you can make your own) and Honey
  • Citrus: Lemons and Limes
  • Freshness: Raspberries, Cucumber and Mint
  • Fizz: Champagne (you could go with a Prosecco) and Soda water
  • Froth: Eggs

The cocktails

  • Bees Knees – Short, sharp, zingy.
    • Coupette glass, gin, lemon, honey.
  • Clover Club – A gin sour livened up with raspberries.
    • Coupette glass, 2 measures gin, 3/4 measure lemon, 3/4 measure sugar syrup, 5 raspberries, 1/2 measure egg white.
    • Add all ingredients to a cocktails shaker and dry shake (without ice); add cubed ice and shake again; strain into a small glass and add more raspberries to garnish.
  • Tom Collins – A classic: I’ve seen this referred to as a classic ‘men’s cocktail’, whatever that means! One for the lads on tour I suppose.
    • Highball glass, gin, lemon, sugar syrup, soda water.
  • Mojito – A good party drink if there are a few of you on holiday together!
    • Highball glass, white rum, lime, sugar syrup, soda water, mint.
  • French 75 – Arguably a Tom Collins with a champagne top. Perhaps this is the cocktail for the ladies!
    • Flute glass, gin, lemon, sugar syrup, champagne.
  • Sloe-Ho – A long, fresh, non-alcoholic number.
    • Highball glass, lemon, sugar syrup, soda water, egg white.
  • Cucumber Cooler – Similar to a Mojito, with the distinct and refreshing taste of cucumber; definitely one for summer.
    • Highball glass, 2 measures gin, 1/2 measure sugar syrup, 1/2 measure lemon juice, 5 cubes of cucumber, soda water.
    • Muddle all of the ingredients except the soda water inside the tall glass; fill the glass with ice and mix, then top with the soda water. Garnish with cucumber slices and fresh mint.
  • Raspberry & Honey Bellini – A small change to a glass of champagne can make it even more celebratory and delicious!
    • Champagne, honey, raspberries.
    • Blend honey and raspberries together, and simply add a little bit of this mix to the bottom of a flute of fizz.
  • Fix – simple in name, strong and sour in nature.
    • Short tumbler glass, gin, lemon, sugar syrup.
  • Raspberry & Mint Daiquiri – Most people will know this as a very sweet drink, but actually stripping back to basics helps this drink retain it’s sophistication.
    • Coupette glass, 2 measures white rum, 1 measure lime juice, 3/4 measure sugar syrup, 5 raspberries, 5 mint leaves.
    • Shake all ingredients, very well, over ice in your shaker; strain into a coupette glass (use a tea strainer to remove all of the raspberry seeds), then garnish with a mint leaf and a raspberry.

It’s going to be a while until our next holiday so I might work on fine-tuning the list before I get the suitcase out, but this is a good foundation to build on. There are plenty more classic cocktails you can make here too, and opportunities to make some up too. I was thinking a honey & raspberry bellini might work? I need to get experimenting…