Slur Your Way Into Summer
Try out a new tipple with The Tab’s snazzy recipes for sophisticated drinks.
Here it comes again – one side of the Sunday Sandwich of Summer term. Caesarean Sunday marks the last guilt-free day of revelry before a filler of hardcore revision, terminating with Suicide Sunday in the somewhat distant future. This weekend is arguably your last chance to get a tad messy – and with the weather beginning to perk up, and the novelty of 'revision' beginning to wear off, it’s time to get adventurous with your drinks. Hence, we present the definitive(ish) guide to what you should be mixing to make the most out of summer in Cambridge:
This drink looks brilliant, tastes wonderful, and won't break the bank. The only downside: if you happen to be male and are caught holding one of these, you will open yourself to ridicule for years to come.
Ingredients: A few raspberries, Cheap white wine, Lemonade.
Directions: Crush the raspberries in the bottom of a wine glass. Fill half way with white wine, and top off with lemonade. Add a couple of cubes of ice if the mood takes you. Sip, and look sophisticated.
• Looks like something that'd set you back £15 in a cocktail bar.
• Easy and quick to make anywhere.
• You can probably still manage some work following one or two of these.
• Also looks like you just walked out of Sex and the City – not necessarily desirable for the 50% of us sporting a Y chromosome.
• Probably not boozy enough to help you lose the guilt of not revising.
The quintessential tequila cocktail. Ideal for using up that bottle of Jose Cuervo you bought in freshers week but you were never drunk enough to do shots of. Great for sipping on a lawn. Comes with the warning that this will hit you like a 1000 page textbook to the face.
Ingredients: 1.5 shots Tequila, 1 shot Triple Sec (or Cointreau), 1 shot Lime Juice (fresh is better, but you can get bottles of the stuff in Sainsburys' baking section).
Directions: Chuck all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake. Serve in a cocktail glass. Drink, and prepare to write off the rest of the day.
• You get to look like you know what you're doing wielding a cocktail shaker.
• Guaranteed to be too strong for lots of people. Hence, there's always leftovers to minesweep.
• Lime Juice was used to ward off scurvy in the olden days, so this definitely counts as one of your 5 a day.
• Makes anything productive a write off for the next 24 hours.
• Tequila and triple sec are somewhat pricey.
• Unless you're a dedicated alcoholic, you're unlikely to have a cocktail shaker to hand at all times (in which case, just mix it together in a glass).
Exam term in Cambridge would be a lot more fun if Cambridge were in Cuba, right? Well, this classic drink is the next best thing. Sit back, relax, and forget about the impending doom of Tripos papers.
Ingredients: Soda Water, 2 shots white rum, 5 or 6 mint leaves, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1.5 shots Lime Juice (Fresh is definitely necessary for this.)
Directions: Bung the mint, sugar and lime juice into a long glass and gently crush together. Chuck in the rum, stir until the sugar dissolves, and then top up with ice and soda water. Put on your most relaxing music (I go for Cuban jazz with this one), and disappear into the Caribbean. (N.B. By replacing the soda water with cava/prescco/champagne, you can persuade your friends that you're absolutely loaded. Ginger beer also works well as a replacement for soda water.)
• Really, really, bloody good drink.
• Always impresses friends.
• With a bit of preparation, can be made anywhere (I made this on a punt half way to Grantchester last summer)
• Can be a bit of a chore to make.
• Lots of ingredients, and some of them go off pretty quickly (mint leaves only last a few days), so if you want this, you'll almost certainly find a trip to Sainsbury’s is necessary.
You've spent the day in the Library, you're gagging for a drink, but the bar's closed (It's a sin that my college library is open later than the bar…), and the cupboard's almost bare. One anti-oxidant rich option is this tipple, a variation on the martini-esque Cosmopolitan.
Ingredients: 1 shot Vodka (cheap as you like), 1.5 shots Triple Sec (or Cointreau), Cranberry juice,
Directions: Add all the ingredients in a nice big glass. Whack in some ice, give it a stir and you’re off. For a twist, leave out the triple sec and just have vodka and cranberry. So it's basically just vodka plus mixer. Oh, to be underage again…
• Tastes like Gummi Bears.
• Simple to make with relatively few ingredients (I discovered it upon chucking together some ingredients from the remnants of a drinks cabinet).
• Tastes like Gummi Bears.
• If you have time, money, or dignity, you can do better than this.
The Spanish know how to do summer. Siestas (check), great beaches (check), paella (check), sunburnt Brits (erm…). So we thought that Sangria would be the answer to all our summer drinking needs. Turns out the Castilians let us down somewhat in this regard.
Ingredients: Cheap red wine, Lemonade, 1 or 2 shots of brandy, A couple of tablespoons of sugar, Whatever fruit you can lay your hands on.
Directions: Half fill a jug with wine, then chop all the fruit nice and small and bung it in. Chuck in the brandy and sugar, and top up with ice and lemonade. Serve to people you don't like very much.
• Good way of using up left over cheap red wine.
• Not very good.
What really needs to be said about this classic British drink? As far as we're concerned, if there's still a tiny glimmer of sun left in the sky, it's Pimms O'Clock. For all those international students who have never tried this, make sure you don't leave the country until you have.
Ingredients: Pimms, Lemonade, Cucumber, mint, strawberries, and whatever other fruit you can lay your hands on. (Oranges and apples always work well, and personally I feel that chucking in some kiwi fruit makes it more exotic.)
Directions: Pimms. Jug. Fruit. Lemonade. Ice. Sorted. Quantities vary – the bottle says 1 part Pimms to 3 parts lemonade. Turns out, 1 part Pimms to 4 or 5 parts lemonade is a marvellous hangover cure, while 1:2 is great for getting a party started. If you drink 1:1 you're more of a man than Bear Grylls.
• Simply can't be faulted. Phenomenally good summer drink.
• Probably counts as one of your 5 a day.
• Will practically be forced down your throat 24/7 come May Week.
• At £18 for a litre bottle, it's a bit pricey. Try the ALDI alternative, or replace the Pimms with a mix of 4 parts cheap gin, 4 parts red vermouth, 2 parts triple sec/cointreau along with a dash of Angostura Bitters to taste; a similar flavour that doesn't break the bank.
• Very easy to con yourself into thinking it's really a soft drink, which we're told may be bad for your health.
• Makes one of us want to rave about how good all things British are, to the extent he feels he should be voting BNP…
Disclaimer: The Tab can take no responsibility for any reader’s inability to revise after having followed the instructions and/or recipes within this article. Any exam failures should instead be put down to poor planning and the willingness to get drunk instead of revising, which you (probably) would have done anyway.