Our summer BBQ get-togethers are no longer a run-of-the-mill burger and beer occasion, many of us prefer to spoil our guests with that home-shaken cocktail, a perfect accompaniment to your lavish marinated selection of meats and fresh herby salads!
You don’t need to be related to Tom Cruise or have a chemistry degree to make mouth-watering cocktails at home. Here are our tried and tested tips on elevating your drink from a regular to a spectacularly perfect cocktail:-
Bash ice with a rolling pin
No special bar equipment required – to crush ice just pop the ice cubes in a freezer bag grab your rolling pin and bash!
Honey instead of sugar
No sugar syrup? Replace with two teaspoons of sugar or a squeeze of honey. We love our local Great Tilkey Essex Blossom Clear Honey
Use egg cups
Egg cups double up as a great measuring cup for your choice of alcohol
Use your fruit bowl for inspiration
Add your favourite fruit to personalise your cocktail – strawberries are particularly good for adding to Gin Liqueurs for a little sweetness
Add a bit of extra zing switch the soda water with ginger ale when muddling your Mojito
Chill your glasses in the freezer for a few minutes before making your cocktail not only does this keep your drink cool for longer but it looks great too!
Add your favourite ingredients
Add a teaspoon of jam or some fresh berries to personalise your Caiproska. You can mix these to suit any flavour preference. We love Tiptree’s Strawberry with Champagne Conserve!
Stock up on limes
The key ingredient for many cocktails is a nice big, juicy lime.
Stay local – pick up a local liqueur
We love Tiptree’s new English Damson Liqueur or their Little Scarlet Strawberry Liqueur just add a strawberry and a dash of prosecco (now in-store)
Shake it in a jar
The ultimate secret weapon for cocktail-making is jam jars! They’re great for shaking up cocktails and they double up as a great glass to serve your creation in
Grow your own herbs
Mint is so easy to grow just remember to plant it in a pot to avoid it taking over your garden. Check out our easy steps to growing your own herbs
Serve up our very own version of the classic Mint Mojito
What you will need
50ml Barcardi Superior Rum
A handful of mint
30ml elderflower pressé
Teaspoon of local honey
- This is the perfect refresher with the added elderflower pressé it really zings!
- Cut your limes in to 4 quarters and pop 2 into your iced tumbler and muddle them to get out the juice
- Then bruise the mint by popping a small handful between your hands and clapping and add on top of the lime quarters
- Now add the rum
- Add a teaspoon of honey
- Top up with the ½ and ½ soda and elderflower pressé
- Muddle together with a spoon
- Now top with your crushed ice and serve with a slice on the side
Download our recipe here Wimbledon Murray Mint Mojito
Our take on Marinated Rib of Beef
You’re familiar with steaks, burgers and beef sausages, but have you thought of serving marinated beef ribs? Perfect for sharing, they’re the latest foodie favourite, and with good reason. They are succulent and extremely tasty but supereasy to prepare and barbecue.
This is simply the most delicious marinade…made easy with our Stubbs marinade
For the marinade
- 1/2 cup Stubb’s Beef Marinade
- 3 tablespoons whiskey
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Ground pepper
Rib of Beef (preferably from your butcher)
Preparing beef ribs
TOP TIP: Simmer the ribs before marinating and char-grilling – it helps to remove the fat, tenderise the meat and it means less time on the barbecue.
Place the beef ribs in a large saucepan with enough water to completely cover the ribs.
Bring the water to simmering point slowly over a low heat. Simmer gently, partially covered for 1 hour. This will ensure they tenderise rather than toughen.
Remove ribs from water and coat in the marinade.
Stand for 30 minutes or marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Making the marinade
- This can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Chop the shallot, fresh thyme finely and pop in a bowl
- Add the rest of the ingredients
Barbecuing the ribs
Because the ribs are thick, and are only on the barbecue for a short time it is best to bring them to room temperature before barbecuing.
Barbecue ribs over a moderate indirect heat for 10-12 minutes turning often and basting with the marinade throughout cooking until ribs are golden brown.
Download the recipe here: Our take on Marinated Rib of Beef
Creating some ambience
These smoking chips will add the distinctive flavour of Jack Daniel whiskey to all your grilled foods.