As a student, I’ve done my fair share of drinking throughout my academic career. This summer, however, I’ve been inspired by the Tipsy Bartender and have decided to lend my hand to making drinks as opposed to just drinking them. There’s something about a handmade tipple that tastes so much better than the ones you get at the students’ union bar… maybe it’s in the measures.
Here’s what I’ve learnt on my journey to create the best summer beverages.
FYI, if you’re currently living in halls, maybe skip this step. I strongly advise sticking with kid-safe plastic cups when living in university accommodation. Trust me on this one – it’s coming from experience.
On the other hand, if you’ve moved out into private accommodation, why not treat yourself to some funky glassware to make pres that little bit more sophisticated?
You can always rely on a fancy tumbler to redeem your homemade concoction, especially when you’re just starting out and the gradient on your staple Sex On The Beach isn’t quite right.
2. The gift that keeps on giving
Next time you head to the off-licence in search of a bottle of their finest wine with the highest alcohol percentage and lowest price point, consider going for one of those gift sets of different flavoured spirits. Now, before you scorn the suggestion of trading your trusty 75cl bottle of Echo Falls for a bundle of 5cl miniatures, hear me out.
Not only are the dinky bottles really cute, but the variety of flavours pose countless opportunities for cocktail making. Lemon vodka provides the perfect base to a homemade Cosmopolitan, and if you really can’t go without the vino, pass the Prosecco.
3. Metal straws
Thanks to Blue Planet, using a plastic straw is basically equates grounds for social ostracisation. Avoid becoming a pariah and nab yourself some reusable metal straws for your next cocktail masterclass and/or wild night out.
Something sleek and metallic really adds elegance to your drink; much like a pretty glass, they work wonders for making a simple spiked seltzer look bougie. Gone are the days of boring (and bitter) Tesco Value vodka and cokes. Extra style points for rose gold or oil slick designs.
4. Ice cool
Ice is nice. Ice is especially nice in a refreshing summer tipple sipped on the cramped fire escape around the back of your student flat. But do you know what’s even nicer? Pimped-up ice cubes.
Upgrading your drink with flavoured ice cubes is deceptively easy; all it takes is an ice cube tray and some ingredients of your choice. A personal favourite combination is raspberry and mint leaves – pop them in the tray and fill with water to add to your Lidl’s finest pink gin and sparkling water.
And for when you’re feeling a bit tender the morning after, they’re great for popping in your water bottle for a fruity infusion.
5. The garnish
Ok, I appreciate that an impromptu night out might not call for decorating the rims of your glasses with sugar and lime wedges, but a fancy summer bbq is the perfect opportunity to make use of the leftovers from your smoothie-making session. When it comes to upgrading your spiked seltzers, there’s nothing a piece of colourful fruit can’t fix.
Don’t be wasteful either! After squeezing the juice into your drink, make the most of your fruit – adding a curl of lemon or orange peel is easy and visually impressive. Can’t be fussed with the fresh stuff? Frozen berries work great and they cool down your drink at the same time.
If you’re more of a dessert drink kinda gal, crushed up Oreos pair nicely with Baileys, or – when you’ve got a cause for celebration – ring donuts fit just perfectly over your straw for a yummy finishing touch to a boozy freakshake! Cheers to that.