Trip to the Gyp: Cocktail Edition

We’d get a first in drinking, even if we don’t in our exams

At the moment it seems near impossible to have an evening out in Cambridge without either booking five months in advance, or condemning yourself to standing on the street outside Spoons for an eternity.  So, a boozy night in could be a fun (and affordable!) alternative.  Besides, what could be more vibey than spending a dreamy summer’s evening lying on the grass sipping cocktails?

So, purely in the name of student journalism and out of our own noble selflessness (and definitely not so that we had an excuse to spend an evening drinking during exam season) we have written you the ultimate guide to making cocktails that taste good, yet don’t need a thousand expensive liqueurs.  We each made one round of drinks, then brutally rated them like an episode of Masterchef, so that you can decide for yourself which you’d like to try.

Before you begin

We decided to splash out on some paper straws and cocktail umbrellas.  Since our college in their infinite wisdom has decided not to give us freezers, we had to buy ice from Farawaysbury’s and rush back to college before it melted.  Torn up mint leaves made us feel extra sophisticated, so we would recommend investing in that.

Sex on the Beach

Add ice, 45 ml vodka, 30 ml peach schnapps and 60 ml orange juice to a glass.  Gently pour in 60 ml cranberry juice down the side of a glass, to get that famous orange and red gradient.

Alexa, play my beach playlist (Image Credit: Claudia Cox)

Taste – 5/5

Appearance 4/5

Texture – 4/5

Easiness – 3/5

Cost per glass – £1.25

This was miles nicer than the pitchers of sugary slush you get in Spoons.  It tasted like actual fruit, and the texture was silky smooth.  Peach schnapps is also delightfully cheap for a liqueur, so we saved lots of money by making this at home.  Although this requires no fancy equipment, it was more difficult than we thought to get that iconic sunset gradient.  That definitely didn’t affect the flavour, though!

Raspberry Dream

Whizz up ice, a handful of raspberries60 ml white rum, 60 ml tonic water and honey in a liquidiser.  Garnish with a handful of mint leaves if you’re feeling bougie.

Fruity cocktails count as one of your 5 A Day, right? (Image Credit: Claudia Cox)

Taste – 5/5

Appearance – 4/5

Texture – 3/5

Easiness – 3/5

Cost per glass – £2.00

The raspberries tasted perfect – sweet but not sickly, zingy but not sour.  One member of our group was not a fan of the seeds though, so if you like your drinks completely smooth, this might not be the one for you.  The requirement of a liquidiser means that this isn’t accessible to everyone, but if you do have this equipment it’s definitely worth the effort.

The cost is slightly higher than the other cocktails because fresh raspberries are so expensive (student loan coming through though), but if your college has shown more common sense than ours and actually given you a freezer, you could use frozen raspberries instead and this would bring the cost down significantly.

Piña Colada

We made this by blending ice, 60 ml white rum120 ml pineapple juice, and 60 ml coconut cream in a liquidiser to make it extra refreshing.  However, the blender definitely isn’t essential – you could easily keep the ice as cubes, and just pour everything straight into the glass.

Colour co-ordination is everything (Image Credit: Claudia Cox)

Taste – 4/5

Appearance – 4/5

Easiness – 4/5

Texture – 3/5

Cost per glass – £1.60

This is a classic cocktail, and for good reason – the pineapple and coconut combination tastes like you’re on holiday somewhere drastically more interesting than your Cambridge gyp.  The rum did tend to sink to the bottom of the glass after a while though, so it needed stirring every now and then.

Gin and Tonic

Add ice and 60 ml gin to a glass.  Squeeze in lime juice.  Pour in 180 ml tonic water, and more lime juice.  Top with a sliced-up strawberry and torn mint leaves.

Please admire the nail varnish (Image Credit: Claudia Cox)

We initially intended for this to be the sweeter pink gin and tonic.  However, upon our return from the supermarket, we realised that it was in fact the bottle, not the gin, that was pink!  It still tasted fabulously refreshing though, so we’d recommend using either regular or pink gin.

Taste – 3/5

Appearance – 4/5

Easiness – 5/5

Texture – 4/5

Cost per glass – £1.50

Final Thoughts

We had a cracking time making these, and it was well worth the effort.  They tasted as good as the cocktails from a bar, and were a fraction of the price.

We would definitely recommend giving them ago!  If you do try any of our recipes, please send any photos to our Instagram.  We’d love to see all your creations!

Feature image credit: Maya Hodgson

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