While we are all in lockdown, so many of us are turning to make our own cocktails at home, and the internet is chock full of masterclasses by mixologists across the world. But most people don’t have a fully stocked bar, and even if we’ve filled a trolley full of delicious drinks during an ‘essential’ shopping trip, there’s always something in a recipe that isn’t so readily available at Tesco!
So if the mention of the word ‘grenadine’ in a recipe sends you into a panic, we’ve come up with some tips and hints on how to still create classy cocktails with some ingredient replacements. And it’ll probably end up being cheaper too.
If you’re looking to upgrade your cocktails-in-quarantine skills, then take note of these replacements for hard-to-find ingredients.
It’s simple enough to make a sugar syrup with equal parts of caster sugar and water and vigorously shaken, or use honey. Another idea is to melt down some boiled sweets to gain a flavoured syrup. Perfect for a twist on an Old Fashioned.
If you’re missing sweet red vermouth, try a red wine with a touch of soft spices, such as cinnamon or clove. These add nice vinous and fruity flavours to the cocktail. It has a different taste than an original Negroni, but it is so good.
Use chunks of pineapple give your cocktails extra froth from the protein in the fruit. Another idea? If you’re already hoarding chickpeas, use the juice (called aquafaba) and you’ll never notice a difference. A plus is that it’s a vegan option.
Lemons and limes
If you’re running low on citrus fruit, you can stretch out the ones you have. Put your juiced lemons of limes to good use by using the oil from the skin. Place the juiced segments in a bowl and cover with sugar, before letting them sit for a day or so.
The acid breaks down the sugars to create a lovely citrus syrup. After the first day, add a little hot water to dissolve the remaining sugar, and you’re good to go!
Hopefully, this will keep you going until we can all enjoy happy hour cocktails in Covent Garden again!