For a long time in my teens, making cocktails consisted of mixing together the dregs stolen from my parents’ liquor cupboard, and more recently combining things from my own cupboard and hoping for the best. However, if "beach-ready hair" and dinners I just "threw together" have taught me anything, it's that happy accidents take planning and preparation. Now, I mix to impress.
I have a few tricks up my sleeve to fake my cocktail-making panache. A simple spirit and mixer can look adventurous and instantly more appetising with the addition of a celebratory garnish. Edible flowers are available this time of year from Waitrose, health food stores and your neighbour’s window box. We won't tell. Also try coating the rim of a glass in anything that’s lying around, from sherbet to salt; invest in fun-shaped ice cube trays and put your glasses in the freezer to cool them, because as long as the drinks are ice cold, everyone's happy.
Try the six novel cocktail recipes ahead with the tips above and keep your friends and family refreshed and impressed all summer.
Photographed by Roxana Azar