Happy Hour At Home

When the credit crunch was in full swing in 2008, it was hailed that ‘staying in is the new going out’, yet it seems that the trend is only now really starting to take hold.

During the credit crisis, everyone, even students were expected to cut back on the spending. Being flash and drinking at some of London’s nicest bars and clubs almost became ‘un-cool’.

In response to this, the big drinks companies poured a hefty amount of cash into advertising their drinks to be enjoyed at home instead of in bars. It would appear that this took a few years to have any kind of effect on the masses.

It has never been more popular to mix your own cocktails at home rather than going to a bar or club and letting the bar staff mix it for you. So much so that consumption of spirits rose by over six per cent last year.


Of course, making cocktails at home has its advantages. For one, you are not tied to convention and can make your drink of choice as strong, or weak as you wish. You can personalise your drink just the way you like it without having to shout at the top of your lungs for the bartender to hear you and then still probably get it wrong.

Also due to the huge amount of funky new cocktails recipes on the net, you can try things that you normally wouldn’t order in a bar without having to worry about wasting money on drinks you may not like.

Not to mention the fact that sometimes it is just nice to be at home with friends rather than at a bar, where you have to queue or listen to what can sometimes be terrible music.

Yet, if we are being completely honest, the most pertinent reason holding us back from going out is the cost. At the end of the day, buying cocktails anywhere – especially in London – can be a rather pricey affair. Picking your bar of choice can easily land you in the £10 range for a single drink and you can easily spend more than that. Making a cocktail at home sure seems like a more wallet friendly option.

As much as all the aforementioned is true, the problem is that a bar is well stocked with all the necessary drink and the same probably cannot be said for your own place.

Some of the most popular cocktails contain some weird but wonderful ingredients that would require most people going out and getting them, which can add up to quite a fortune.

Take the hugely popular Sex on the Beach for instance, amongst the Vodka, cranberry and orange juice, did you know it included peach Schnapps?

Do you spy any peach Schnapps at your place?


MartiniClassic cocktails are a required taste in comparison to the newer drinks [Even some of the more basic ingredients can be absent in many homes. Triple Sec’s such as Cointreau – an essential ingredient in a good Margarita is something many don’t have. Even Martini is rarely seen outside of bars these days.

Needless to say, this shouldn’t put anyone off making his or her own cocktails. There are loads of recipes out there that don’t require a lot of these more obscure ingredients. If you can muster up a cocktail shaker, a bottle of vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whisky and maybe one or two of the more popular liqueurs, you can well be on your way to making some fantastic drinks.

Yes, as mentioned, it will initially cost you a lot more than one night out but in the long run, it can also save you quite a bit of money. Also, what could be more fun than trying to mix some of your favourite drinks with a few friends and seeing who can make the best drink?

One issue with all this is that a lot of people complain that the drinks do not taste the same at home. A lot of the time this is just due to the way the drinks are made. Using fresh citrus fruits can make a huge difference to the taste of a drink, it gives it an edge that bottled lemon or lime juice can never give you.

The same is true of mixers. Using that bottle of cola which has been in the fridge for a few days and is pretty much flat won’t taste good by itself let alone being mixed into a cocktail.

The best way to go about this is to go online, find a recipe for your chosen drink and follow the instructions.  There is no reason not to add your own twist but if you follow them as they are set out and within a few attempts, chances are, you will end up with a fine drink to rival any London bar.

Why not try your hand at making a Strawberry Daiquiri.

All you need is :

2 oz white rum

1/2 oz triple sec

1 oz lime juice

1/2 tsp sugar

1 cup ice

5 strawberries

Blend and then serve in a garnished glass.

To see more cocktail recipes go to cocktails.about.com.