Pre-drinks: Cocktail pitcher ideas

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Photo – Alex Tanton

WHEN trying to hydrate and ‘desoberise’ a group of friends, cocktails initially seem like they take too much time and effort to work, but whipping up a big batch in a pitcher is an easy way to feed cocktails to a room of people: whether it’s for pre-drinks or a party. Pretty much any cocktail can be modified to pitcher size, but the following three are perhaps the most straightforward to put together at short notice:

Purple Rain

Fill a 1L pitcher halfway with ice cubes, add 100ml of Blue Curaçao (around £12 in Morrisons and Co-Op), 200ml of Cherry Sourz (around £12-13 from CK’s and Spar) and 50-100ml of Gin (prices vary, but the cheapest can be found for around £10 per 70 cl at Lidl). Top up with lemonade and serve. Despite its simplicity, its deep purple colour always makes it a strong choice aesthetically.

Mojito

Mojitos can be a little more time consuming, but they are cheap and still fairly straightforward. Chop 3 large limes (about 30P each at most supermarkets) into quarters and muddle (mash gently) with 40 mint leaves (which can be found for around 70-90P at Morrisons, Co-Op and occasionally Lidl) in either the base of the pitcher or in a separate glass if reaching the bottom of the pitcher is difficult. Mix a quarter of a tea cup of sugar and 75ml of water in a small bottle, shake vigorously until the sugar has fully diluted and then add to the mixture. Half fill the pitcher with ice and add 100-200ml of White Rum (prices vary but the cheapest can be found for around £10 per 70 cl at Lidl and is the only real expense with this drink) and then top up with sparkling/soda water. Straws are very much advised because the floating mint and lime always risks getting in the way.

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Photo – Alex Tanton

Woo Woo

Half fill a pitcher with ice, add 200ml of Vodka (prices vary but the cheapest can be found for around £10 per 70 cl at Lidl), 200ml of Peach Schnapps (£5.50 at Iceland) and 400ml of Cranberry Juice. As an off-shoot of the Sex on the Beach cocktail, it’s the most versatile cocktail here. Coconut Rum (Also available at Iceland for £5.50) or Midori (£11 per 50 cl at Morrisons) can easily be added, either replacing or alongside the Peach Schnapps, whilst Orange or Pineapple Juice can replace some of the Cranberry Juice. Thanks to its fruity flavours, just about any fruit-based liqueur or juice can be experimented with.