Twist of Lemon

If there's one thing that should kick-start Summer it's the sound of clinking cocktail glasses, that's why we've cherry-picked our favourite recipes from Flavours of Summer cookbook to help you sit back, relax and get the party started.

Watermelon Cooler

A cocktail that is sure to cool you down on hot afternoons. If you prefer your cocktails to be sweeter, you could substitute the vodka for white rum. Serve with some chunks of watermelon on the side for a complete refresher.

Ingredients

Serves 6
  • 1 large watermelon, peeled and cut into pieces
    (reserve 6 triangle slices, skin on, to garnish)
  • 125ml vodka
  • 60ml triple sec
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 3 limes
  • Ice cubes, to serve

Method:

In a blender, whizz up the watermelon pieces, then pass the purée through a very fine sieve/strainer set over a jug/pitcher. (Discard any bits or seeds left in the sieve/strainer). Stir in the vodka, triple sec and lime juice.

Put crushed ice into tall glasses before pouring the cooler over. Garnish each drink with a reserved watermelon slice, to serve.

English Summer Punch

Apples and cherries are a great flavour pairing and have been combined in desserts with great results over the years. The good news is, they work as well in a punch as they do in a cobbler or a crumble.

Ingredients

Serves 10
  • 1.5 litres cloudy apple juice
  • 125ml freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 200ml sparkling mineral water, to top up
  • 10 fresh cherries, to garnish
  • For the cherry infused syrup:
  • 125g cherries, pitted
  • 400g sugar

Method:

To make the cherry syrup, put the cherries in a blender and blitz for one minute. Put the blended cherries, sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan set over low heat. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Add the cherry syrup, apple juice, lime juice and mineral water to a large punch bowl filled with ice and stir gently to mix. Serve in tall, ice-filled glasses garnished with fresh cherries.

WILD BLUEBERRY CORDIAL

Wild blueberries are smaller than the ones that you find in your local store. If you live in an area where they grow, then harvest as many as you can. If you can't find wild blueberries, use shop-bought ones instead.

Ingredients

Makes 1 litre
  • 455g wild blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • For the syrup:
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 675ml water
  • Sterilised glass bottles with caps

Method:

Purée the blueberries, lemon juice and 235ml water in a food processor until smooth.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over a medium–high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool, then add to the blueberry purée.

Decant into sterilised bottles, seal and label. Store in the refrigerator for up to 12 months.

Photography: Ryland Peters & Small 2015