BBQ Summer?

The Tab’s in-house booze-hound TOM MICHAELIS talks us through some summer cocktails. Recreational drinking does not mean you have a problem.

beer Butlins Caribbean cocktails Daiquirir G&T Gap Yah gap-year Gin india Malibu Margarita Pina Colada Sainsbury's SE Asia Tom Michaelis vodka Wine

With Easter term fading into distant memory, livers beginning to recover from the drunken antics of May Week, and the majority of us having forgotten what a proper hangover feels like, it’s high time to get a couple of drinks in.

A quick glance at The Tab’s recent articles would suggest that the majority of the Cambridge undergraduate body is country hopping in the Middle East, saving orphans from the jaws of evil bankers in Africa, or sampling the ‘delights’ of the Thai nightlife, so these cocktails are perfect for sipping by a pool somewhere halfway round the world. Alternatively, if, like me, you’re enjoying a classic British ‘summer’, then these drinks do a commendable job of masking the feelings of hate and jealousy you get when reading any one of The Tab’s summer blogs.

Mango and Elderflower Collins

The Empire was built on Gin (probably, though I have some historian friends who disagree), and since two years in Cambridge has left me sickeningly bored of G&Ts, I reckon this is the perfect cocktail recipe to take out to the colonies.

Ingredients: 2 shots Gin, 1 shot Elderflower Cordial, 1 shot Mango Juice, 1/2 shot of lime juice, Soda Water

Directions: Bung the Gin, Elderflower, Mango and Lime into a glass and mix them together. Add a couple of cubes of ice, and top up with soda water. Fly to the caribbean, find a nice beach, lie back, and enjoy.


• Perfectly refreshing poolside cocktail. Great after a hot day exploring a far flung city.
• The mango masks the unpleasantness of even the cheapest gin. Sainsbury’s basics all the way.


• May be diluted on contact with rain.
• Flights to the Caribbean can be expensive. For a cheaper alternative, try Butlins, although this could lead to an unpleasant aftertaste.


Personally, I feel that sugar is an unfortunate by-product of the rum industry. Fortunately, this classic rum cocktail finds a use for the stuff. With a 2:1 Spirits to Boring Stuff ratio, it’s pretty potent, so if you’re feeling dull you can mix it with fruit juice to make a refreshing long drink.

Ingredients: 2 shots white rum, 1 shot lime juice, 2 heaped teaspoons caster sugar. Optionally, juice of some sort – it works really well with innocent smoothies.

Directions: Either mix the rum, lime and sugar vigorously over ice until the sugar has dissolved, or, if you have a cocktail shaker, shake over ice until your fingers start to freeze to the shaker. Pour it into a cocktail glass (without the ice), sip, and wait for the alcohol to hit you. For something with a bit less kick, bung it all in a tall glass, and top up with some tropical fruit juice.


• You can get rum, lime and sugar almost anywhere in the world. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for such luxuries as fresh milk.


• I actually have no idea how the name is meant to be pronounced. Da-keery? Die-queery? This does seem to matter less after I’ve drunk a couple of them.

Tropical Mist

Piña coladas are the quintessential tropical cocktail, and no summer cocktails article would be complete without some mention of them. Unfortunately, the only recipe I’ve found that’s any good is a complete pain to make (it involves a blender), so here’s a cheap and cheerful alternative, with the added bonus that it’s an absolutely vile blue colour.

Ingredients: 1 shot Blue Curacao, 1 shot Malibu, Pineapple Juice.

Directions: Chuck everything into a glass with a couple of cubes of ice. Mix until it becomes a nice consistent colour.


• With a cocktail this bright, you’ll never lose your friends in a bar.
• Quick, easy and cheap. Much like a mail order bride.


• There is absolutely nothing classy about this drink – it’s sweet, tacky, artificial goodness.
• If you’re male, then drinking this makes you look about as effeminate as Gok Wan sporting a pink tutu. Not a look I personally go for…

Passionfruit Margarita

This cocktail divides opinion – if you like something sweet and refreshing, it’s probably not the one for you, but it’s got a good kick and a great passionfruit taste. If you use fresh passion fruit to make it, it definitely counts as one of your 5 a day.

Ingredients: 1 shot Tequila, 1 shot triple sec or cointreau, 1 shot lime juice, 1 shot passionfruit juice. (If you can’t find passionfruit juice, squeeze the contents of about 2 passion fruit through a strainer.)

Directions: If you have a cocktail shaker, slam everything into it with a handful of ice, shake hard, and strain into a cocktail glass. If not, mix it all over ice until it’s really cold, and then pour the liquid into a cocktail glass, leaving the ice behind.


• A couple of glasses of this should keep you going from lunchtime till sunset, wherever you are in the world.
• Lots of people don’t like it. If you do, then there’s no need to share.


• Unless you can find passionfruit juice (I couldn’t), it’s a bit of a pain to make.
• Lots of people don’t like it. If this is you, can I finish yours off?

Spiced Apple Pie

This is a really good, simple cocktail. If you’ve got nothing better to do with your time, you can make your own spiced rum – chuck some vanilla, a stick of cinnamon, a handful of cloves and some nutmeg into a bottle of cheap dark rum and leave for a few days, until it tastes good. Alternatively, if you’re really lazy, just omit the ‘spiced’ and use plain old dark rum.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 shots of spiced rum, apple juice, ginger beer (not ale)

Directions: Chuck the rum into a long glass, add a handful of ice cubes, and top up with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and ginger beer. If you’re feeling poncy, try sprinkling a bit of ground cinnamon over the top.


• Really easy to make – just bung everything together.
• Tastes great – everyone should love it.


• It’s not that alcoholic. Enough said.

Tom’s handiwork