For a long time in my teens, making cocktails consisted of mixing together the dregs stolen from my parents’ liquor cupboard; more recently, it involved 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.