Top 5 Spring/Summer Cocktails & Canapés

Winter hibernation time is over and us home-birds are now unfortunately going to have to leave the nest and socialise. I know, awful right? I’m personally not that chuffed with the idea of this for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’ve been getting a little too creative with my meals! By this I mean that rather than your average 3 possibly 4 meals a day, I now have around ten (so yes, I’m carrying a little holiday weight) and also, I’m not willing to listen to my friends whinge about all the New Year’s resolutions they started and promptly dropped. I won’t bore you with my other excuses, I think the main issue is that I get too comfortable in my own home. And it’s this thought that sparked the idea for this blog, as I’d like to believe I’m not the only one who feels this way.

You social butterflies out there might be wondering why on earth anybody would want to stay in their house rather than go out, but allow me to enlighten you. To begin with, you only have to invite people you actually want to see, so you can stop worrying about that pointless small talk you’d have to make with that distant college friend that you don’t really like. You also choose the food, drink and music for the night, so you get exactly what you like and the best part is you don’t have to pay for any transport or wait around in the cold and/or pouring rain for a bus or taxi that may or may not turn up!

What better way to impress your guests than providing them with a selection of the finest cocktails and canapés? They’re classy, fun and easy to make. I’ve delved deep into the internet and pulled out some of the best recipes combinations I could find. So, without further ado, here are my selections! A lot, if not all of these recipes require a few pieces of equipment especially made for making cocktails, lucky for you we’ve got you covered.

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1.The Mojito & Prosciutto and Melon Skewers

Who doesn’t love mojitos? They’re like refreshing Slushies for grown-ups, all crushed ice and mint leaves. This cocktail has actually been popular for over 500 years, and legend has it, it was invented by Pirates (We don’t actually know this for fact, but its fun to believe so..). There are a million and one different varieties of Mojito recipes floating around out there, this is my personal favourite from The Bar; its simple and classic- just the way it should be! This serves one person…

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Ingredients:

-50 ml White Rum
-1 dash Soda Water
-2tsp of Caster Sugar
-2 Lime Wedges
-1 Mint Sprig

Directions:

1. Muddle sugar and lime wedges together in a glass.
2. Press down on 2 wedges of lime and 2 teaspoons of caster sugar in a tankard or jar using a large spoon or pestle to extract flavour and aroma.
3. Pick 12 leaves from a sprig of mint and place in the glass. Press down gently on the mint, together with the sugar and lime.
4. Add crushed ice so the glass is ¾ full, then add the rum and soda and stir.
5. Top up with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Now to soak up some of that alcohol and keep your guests in order, you need to serve some canapés. To go with the minty mojito, we thought these Melon & Prosciutto Skewers from Taste would be perfect.

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Equipment:

-12 cocktail skewers.

Ingredients:

-350g rockmelon, seeded
-12 slices prosciutto
-12 fresh basil leaves
-12 cherry bocconcini, drained
-Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1.Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop 12 balls from rockmelon.
2.Fold up each slice of prosciutto into a bundle.
3.Thread the rockmelon, prosciutto bundles, basil and bocconcini onto skewers. Drizzle with oil to serve.

2. Champagne Flutes & Mini Eggs Benedict

This has got to be my all time favourite combination of cocktails and canapés ever, infact, be careful if you decide to serve this duo as your guests may become incredibly hard to get rid of. I mean, theres good and then theres ‘miniature-egg canapé’ good. This cocktail recipe is from Esquire, again, it’s simple yet effective.

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Ingredients:

-1/2 ounce cognac
-1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
-4 ounces Champagne

Directions:

Pour cognac and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute.
Top up with champagne. (told you it was easy!)

Now for the Mini Eggs Benedict, from Good House Keeping.

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Ingredients:

-Oil, to grease
-12 quail’s eggs
-3 standard thin-cut white bread slices
-1 mayonnaise or ready-made hollandaise
-2-3 ham slices

Directions:

Bring a medium pan quarter-filled with water to a simmer. Grease a lipped baking tray, then put the tray on top of the pan to heat up.
Carefully crack all the quail’s eggs into a bowl, then gently pour the eggs on to the hot tray, moving the yolks so they are not touching one another. The steam will cook the eggs in 3-5min.
3. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices. Use a 3.5cm (1½in) round cutter to stamp out 12 circles of toast. Top each circle with a dab of mayonnaise or hollandaise.
4. Next, stamp out ham circles with the same cutter and put one circle on each toast stack.
5. When the egg whites are cooked (and the yolks are still soft), lift the tray off the steam. Use the cutter to stamp around each yolk and use a palette knife to transfer the egg circles to the stacks. Crack over some black pepper and serve.

3. The Tropical Combo

If you’re a sufferer of O.H.D (Obsessive Holiday Disorder, yes its a real thing..) then this is definitely the duo for you. I my self love nothing more than to be sat on a beach, cocktail in hand, sipping away my worries. This fruity, tropical cocktail and seafood canapé are practically guaranteed to make you feel as though you’re on your hols, trust me. The cocktail is of course Piña Colada, from the wonderful Martha Stewart, its surprisingly simple!

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Ingredients:

-2 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice
-3/4 cup cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
-1 cup light rum
-3 cups crushed ice
-4 fresh pineapple spears, for garnish

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except garnish in a blender.
2. Pour into tumblers, garnish with pineapple spears, and serve immediately.

Whats more tropical than prawns? Heres a miniature prawn cocktail canapé recipe from Delicious.

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Ingredients:

-2 tablespoons good-quality low-fat mayonnaise
-1 tablespoon low-fat Greek yoghurt
-1/4 cup tomato ketchup
-1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
-1/2 iceberg lettuce
-18 round wafer crispbreads
-18 small cooked prawns, peeled, deveined
-18 flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions:

1.For the cocktail sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, yoghurt, tomato ketchup, lemon juice and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside.
2. Take the greenest leaves from the iceberg lettuce, roll them up and thinly slice into shreds.
3.To serve, top each crispbread with a tiny smear of cocktail sauce, a good pinch of shredded lettuce and a prawn. Drizzle with remaining cocktail sauce, top with a parsley leaf and serve with lemon wedges.

4.The Sweet Tooth

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a savoury canapé, but sometimes after dinner style nibbles are definitely my favourite. This is a delicious duo for those of you that crave a little sugary treat sometimes. The cocktail is from Style Me Pretty Living and is not for the faint hearted, serve in our glass Kilner Jars as mentioned in the equipment you may need links I posted above.

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Ingredients:

-2 scoops vanilla ice cream
-1-4oz bottle root beer
-1 oz dark rum
-2 Tbs salted caramel sauce, plus more for garnish
-maraschino cherry, optional for garnish

Directions:

1. In a glass or mason jar, drizzle 2 Tbs salted caramel sauce working your way up the sides of the glass as well.
2. Pour in 1 oz of dark rum.
3.Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream and slowly top with root beer.
4. Garnish with a cherry, sip and enjoy!

WARNING: IF YOU’RE ON A DIET DO NOT READ ON.

These canapés may be the best looking I’ve ever seen, and yes, I’m aware thats a bold statement.. They’re from Mom Spark, the pictures speak for them selves.. wow!

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5. Dry Martini & Pesto

So of course, this blog wouldn’t be complete without a Dirty Martini, its arguably the suavest of all the cocktails, and I couldn’t resist putting it in! This recipe is from Liquor.

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Ingredients:

-2.5 oz Gin or vodka
-0.5 oz Dry vermouth
-0.5 oz Olive brine

Directions:

1.Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice.

2.Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

3.Garnish with 2 olives.

To go with it, the delicious Pesto Halloumi Canapé from Lins Food:

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Ingredients:

200g halloumi

2-3 tbsp pesto

3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Cut the halloumi up into little blocks, pat them dry with a kitchen paper.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
3. Fry the halloumi pieces, about a minute each side is all that they need, until they’re golden brown.
4. Top with a tiny dollop of pesto (half a teaspoon), and place half a cherry tomato on top. Serve immediately.

So there you have it, my 5 top combinations of cocktails & canapés for home entertainment this Spring/Summer, please let us know if you make any of these combinations, or if you have your own recipes that you would like to share, by tagging us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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