Five Fiery Cocktail Recipes for an Indian Summer


It’s about this time of year that the weather can’t seem to make up its mind; just when it seems that winter is finally on its way, we’re hit with a sweltering heatwave – a true Indian Summer. Before it’s time to finally swap those flip-flops for slippers, why not make the most of the sizzling autumn evenings with some spicy cocktail delights?

We’ve put together a list of five alcoholic thirst-quenchers – with a kick – to help get your creativity rolling and your taste buds tingling. If these ideas whet your appetite for impressing your friends with your cocktail creations, you can always sharpen you bartending skills with a professional mixology session, with a company like Into the Blue (if only there was a gift-giving holiday coming up soon)…

Whether this is your first time whipping up a cocktail or you’re a seasoned pro, we’ve included a spicy concoction to suit every level of skill.


Summery Sangria


Change up your classic sangria recipe with an infusion of mango and peach. Crisp, fruity and refreshing, it’s easy to make and gives you a lighter option to enjoy during an autumn heatwave.

A pitcher of Sangria will need:

  • 1 chopped mango
  • 2 sliced peaches
  • 8 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • 80ml Simple syrup
  • 250ml Grand Marnier, chilled
  • 1 bottle Viognier, chilled

To make your Summery Sangria, simply mix the ingredients together in a pitcher, garnish with mango, peach and mint leaves before serving over ice.


Pineapple and Chilli Capiroska


If, like me, you’re a fan of the sharp sweetness packed inside a traditional Capiroska, try taking it up a notch with this spicy tropical twist. This one will need some kitchen preparation.
4 Pineapple and Chilli Capiroskas will need:

  • 1 small pineapple
  • 6 red chillies
  • 300ml water
  • 180g sugar
  • 20 cloves
  • 200ml Vodka

Serve with:

  • Rocks glasses
  • Ice cubes

To make your Capiroskas:

  1. Scrub the pineapple skin clean under running water, and remove the top and bottom (you won’t need them).
  2. Peel and core the remaining fruit (you might want to invest in one of these), and put the skin and core into a pan with 2 chopped chillies, cloves, water and sugar.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil on high heat, and cook (uncovered) for 30 minutes, then once it’s completely cool, strain the syrup to remove the chunks.
  4. Meanwhile, roughly chop the pineapple flesh, slice the remaining 4 chillies and crush them together in a bowl.
  5. Fill a quarter of each glass with the pineapple and chilli mixture, add 80ml of syrup and fill to the top with ice. Add 50ml of vodka and stir gently before serving.


The Massamanhattan


If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not try your hand at replicating this Thai-inspired cocktail from the New York restaurant, Kin Shop. It’s perfect for a fiery flavour on a hot afternoon, and will keep you warm even when the temperatures drop back down.
For the Massaman syrup, you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp. ground mace
  • 2 tbsp. coriander
  • 2 pieces of nutmeg
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 15 cloves
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 480ml water

For four cocktails, you will also need:

  • 250ml Rye whiskey
  • 80ml sweet vermouth
  • Ice cubes

To serve the Massamanhattan:

  • Rocks glasses
  • Angostura Bitters
  • A wide twist of orange zest

How to make the perfect Massamanhattan:

  1. Combine the spices in a pan, over a low heat and allow them to crisp for a minute or two.
  2. Add the sugar and water, and bring the syrup to the boil. Once bubbling, remove from the heat and let it sit for two hours. Strain before serving.
  3. Stir the rye whiskey, vermouth and 1½ tablespoons of massaman syrup over ice cubes for about 30 seconds.
  4. Strain into rocks glasses, add 2-3 shakes of bitters and garnish with zest. Here are some quick tips for creatively presenting your garnishes.


Spiced G&T

Spiced Gin and Tonic

If it’s too hot to be fussing in the kitchen making syrups, get straight down to business with a simple yet spicy gin and tonic.
Your Spicy G&Ts will need:

Serve with:

  • Highball glasses
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 orange, cut into thick wedges
  • Cloves

To make your G&Ts:

  1. Fill your glass to the top with ice, pour in 50ml of Opihr gin.
  2. Top up with tonic water.
  3. Pierce the orange skin with cloves and use to garnish.


Cajun Lemonade

Cajun Lemonade
Grown-up lemonade with a Deep-South twist. It’s fruity yet feisty; perfect for those sizzling Indian Summer evenings.
A jug of Cajun lemonade will need:

  • 350ml of white rum
  • 100ml of Pimm’s No. 1
  • 225ml fresh lemon juice
  • 100ml of simple syrup
  • ½ tbsp Tabasco
  • 500ml lemon and lime soft drink (chilled)

Serve with:

  • Pitcher and rocks glasses
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 lemon (thinly sliced)

To create your lemonade:

  1. In a sealable container, mix the rum, Pimms, lemon juice, syrup and Tabasco. Refrigerate for an hour or so, until chilled.
  2. When ready to serve, ensure the container is properly sealed, then shake to mix. Pour into ice-filled pitcher.
  3. Put 4-5 ice cubes in each glass, fill to ¾ line with lemonade, top up with soft drink and garnish with two lemon wheels.

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