Whether it’s a strawberry daiquiri in the sun or late night espresso martinis, you’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy the occasional cocktail. The BN1 team certainly aren’t any different.

We’ve all done it. We’ve had a tough day and turned to whatever liquor we have left in the cupboard. It’s usually not one we’ve bought, someone’s left it in our kitchen. It’s not something we’d usually drink. Cue the lightbulb moment. We’re going to make cocktails. But it’s late and we’re tired and we’re not walking to the shop. In goes a dash of whatever fizzy drink is lurking in the fridge, a squeeze of lime, perhaps some blackcurrant squash. Voila! We’re so proud of ourselves. Until the confusion when, upon that first sip, we realise: This does not taste good.

We’ve all tried to recreate our favourite tipple in the comfort of our own home, so why are they never as great? We got the experts in to give us some tips. We welcomed Simeon and George from Drinks Abode into the office for an evening of cocktail making fun. A mobile bar company, they provide services for corporate and private events, including weddings. Bringing with them their portable, fully stocked bar, they set up shop in the office with tables set for us to give it a go.

Drinks Adobe 2Upon everyone’s arrival we were greeted with Peach Bellinis, a combination of peach puree and Prosecco. Bubbles in hand, we gathered round the bar to watch a demonstration of our first drink of the evening, the mighty Espresso Martini. Perfect to sip along with dessert, this cocktail is rich, simple and completely delicious. Simeon stressed the importance of using fresh coffee and steering clear of the instant variety, so a shot of espresso was the first ingredient into our mixers. It was then joined by gomme (sugar syrup), vanilla vodka and Kahlúa before being shaken with ice. Once mixed, it could be strained into a martini glass, ready to be dusted with coffee grinds for an extra hit of flavour. It was heaven in a glass, smooth and strong but still sweet.

Next up was something a little more fruity – a Lychee Mai Tai. Straight from the Tiki bars of Hawaii, this is a rum-based cocktail with a tropical twist. The juice of two limes were first in the cocktail shaker, before being joined by spiced rum, lychee liquor, pineapple and orange juice. Two cocktails in, it was difficult to differentiate between the sunshine yellow of the pineapple and the warm tones of the orange. Tipsily confused, we’re fairly certain some people ended up with double of the same juice. But if they taste nice, who cares? Shaken with ice, it was then poured into a glass and finally topped with grenadine. These were so tasty they were gone in a flash, we had practically inhaled them before Simeon even had a chance to choose whose was best.

Drinks Adobe 1Enthusiastically, we skipped back to the bar for the next demonstration. This next concoction was one of Drinks Abode’s own creations, Summer Breeze. We combined crème de cassis, cherry brandy and vodka before shaking with ice. Once we had poured this into a glass, Simeon taught us a new trick in order to create layers within our cocktails. As we poured our sparkling wine in, we held the bottle top against a spiral spoon, which the liquid cascaded down. This created a fading effect from one colour to the next. Very pretty and even more tasty. This cocktail was the cherry on top of a fantastic evening.

Simeon and George are alcohol’s answer to Ant and Dec – a chirpy double act, unafraid to crack a joke. They have a clear passion for their business and the drinks they create. This pair are likeable but their drinks really are loveable.

Drinks Abode taught us that with the right ingredients, a lot of shaking and a bit of enthusiasm, even us mere mortals could create drinkable cocktails. Which will come in really handy when I open my cupboard one day and find a bottle of lychee liquor.

www.drinksabode.co.uk