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Drinks: Please plenty with punch

Image from the Guardian

Image from the Guardian

When the words ‘cheap cocktails’ are uttered, I’m sure most of us have some terrible memory of some rancid ‘hold your nose’ concoction served to us at an indecent hour and state.

Well, not all cheap cocktails have to be muck; punch is the ideal way to treat your guests to a delicious cocktail without it costing the price of a small oil rig.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had some delicious summer drink recipes in the Guardian at the weekend including a refreshing German punch called ‘Erbeerbowle’ and a lovely looking Ginger lemonade that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. You can check out these recipes below and a couple more here.

If you are after something a bit more adventurous, how about a meat-based cocktail? As bizarre as it sounds, the modern mixologists, or bar tenders to you and I, are tampering with meat-infused drinks.

Taken from the book ‘The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails’ by Tony Abou-Ganim, some of these concoctions include a ‘Meat & Potato Martini’ which includes; vodka, Worcestershire sauce and Peychaud bitters and a ‘Wingin’ It’ which features; chicken stock, lime juice, carrot juice, a bloody mary mix, tequila, tabasco, ginger syrup and garnished with a celery stalk stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese!

Well if you are tempted by meat-infused cocktails; why not start with the good ol’ ‘Irish Bacon Sour’. Otherwise why not try a less mind-blowing tipple. All recipes are below.


Serves about 16


  • 1kg strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, unwaxed if possible
  • 1 bottle crisp white wine, chilled
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
  • Lemon balm or lemon verbena, to garnish


  1. Put the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle on the sugar. If you don’t have an unwaxed lemon, wash the lemon well in warm water. Peel off thin strips of the zest with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Finely chop one peeled lemon zest strip and add the lemon juice and chopped zest to the strawberry bowl. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  2. Pour off the strawberry juice into a bowl and put to one side. Tip the strawberries into a large jug, pour over enough of the wine to cover and refrigerate again for another two hours.
  3. Shortly before serving, add the strawberry juice, the remaining wine and the sparkling wine. Serve either in a punch bowl decorated with the remaining strips of lemon, or pour into glasses and serve with lemon zest strips and sprigs of lemon balm or verbena.

Ginger lemonade

A perky, refreshing drink that’s just the thing to quench the thirst after a long morning in the garden. The infused syrup will keep, sealed, in the fridge for a few days – add the lemon or lime juice and sparkling water just before serving.

Serves about six.


  • 1 big handful fresh mint leaves, stems removed, chopped, plus a few sprigs for serving
  • 1 piece fresh root ginger, about the size of a large thumb, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp floral honey
  • 90ml fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Still or sparkling mineral water
  • Ice cubes
  • Slices of lemon or lime, to serve


  1. Combine the chopped mint, ginger, and honey in a medium bowl. Add 450ml of boiling water and leave to steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a measuring jug, pressing down on the solids with the back of a ladle or spoon to get out as much of the infused liquid as possible. Add the lemon or lime juice and enough cold still or sparkling water to make the liquid up to one litre.
  2. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour over the lemon/limeade. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon or lime slices, and serve.

Irish Bacon Sour


  • 3 tbsp apple-bacon-infused whiskey
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp egg white

To make the apple-bacon-infused whiskey

  • 2 green apples
  • 7 slices thick-cut bacon, fully cooked and excess fat removed
  • 750 ml whiskey


  1. Chop apples and mix with bacon and whiskey in a pitcher. Refrigerate for 72 hours. Strain and freeze overnight. Remove the excess fat and store in bottle.
  2. Build in a pint glass and shake vigorously with fresh ice until shaker is frosted. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a strip of bacon with a quarter of a boiled egg across the top of the martini glass.

One Comment

  1. Wow. I thought I had quiet a few punch dirnks ( on my site of classic cocktails but the closest to a meat-based cocktail that I’ve seen is a Beef Tea:

    Not sure about the Wigin, but bacon makes just about everything better, so why not!?