Summer cocktails

Cocktails as we know them date back to the 17th century in India, when tea, citrus and spices were mixed to create a ‘punch.’  We can thank the Americans, particularly New Yorkers & Bostonians, in the early 1800s, for adding a degree of sophistication – creating toddies, flips, slings, juleps.

It was designed as a ‘cock-our-tail-up’ – a morning reviver to settle the stomach, popular among the horse-y set. As American bars became popular in Europe’s big cities, so the cocktail culture spread. Dublin’s Jury’s Hotel was advertising its “large American bar” in 1900. Ice was inexpensive in the US at the time, but considered a luxury in Europe.

The term mixologist was crated initially as a joke in 1856, but is now widely used to describe a cocktail-mixing specialist bartender.

Early cocktails mixed included the Manhattan (created for a New York banquet in 1874), the Martini in the early 1900s (reportedly for a traveller heading to Martinez, near San Francisco).

Vodka and vodka-based cocktails took the US by storm in the 1920s and 1930s – the Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, Screwdrive and Vodka martini came of age. Ian Fleming made James Bond a vodka-drinker – very sophisticated at the time.

In the 1980s cocktails became slightly old-hat. And then came Sex & The City in the late 1990s. Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite tipple, the Cosmopolitan, recruited a new generation of cocktail-drinkers.

This brings us up to now, a time when cocktails and summer go hand in hand! 

Channel a continental summer vibe with summer drinks like Aperol Spritz – 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1 part soda. Mix gently in a tumbler or large wine glass and top off with plenty of ice and a wedge of vitamin-rich orange.   (Can you believe, Aperol is the official global spirits partner of Man Utd….a new way to celebrate United, indeed!).   Save €5 on Aperol in Molloys - it's now €15.

Or kick back and watch Andy Murray sweat it out at Wimbledon, with a glass of Pimm’s in your hand. (Strawberries optional)…. Or be an Alpha Male and sip your Pimms at home, while watching Dublin hockey Westmeath on July 12th at Croker!

Pimms: 1 part Pimm’s No. 1, 3 parts lemonade, 1 sprig mint, 1 slice each of cucumber & orange. Mix with plenty of ice in a tumbler.

 Classic cocktails stand the test of time, like Cuba Libre, which was created in the 1890s by an American GI stationed in Cuba, which was struggling for independence.

Cuba Libre: parts fresh lime, 2 parts rum, topped up with ice & Coke and a thick slice of lemon.

 Many Dublin mixologists are tired of making Mojitos, but they always hit the spot!

Mojito: 1 part lime, 2 parts golden rum, 1 dash sugar syrup, topped up with soda water and sprig of mint (crush the mint to release the flavours).

Check out our great value on spirits in Molloys, in July 2015:

Smirnoff 1 litre - reduced to €28

Bacardi only €21.99, save over €3.

Jack Daniels €25.99, save €3.76

Sambucca Vaccari only €24, save €5.99