Bank Holiday Sun, Fun and Cocktails in your Dandara Garden

We’re all looking forward to catching some of the last rays of summer this bank holiday. As the solstice drifts back into autumn and a chilly winter, we’ll be reflecting on the difficult times behind us. With things returning to a sense of normality, we’re also excited to be using our gardens again, to properly see our friends and family after a while apart!

The majority of our beautiful, award-winning homes come with fabulous gardens and wonderful kitchens to host in. But as much as we’d like to lend a hand, the decor, food and drinks are all down to you. We’ve got plenty of great advice available on how to get your home looking good inside and out, and if you’re the type to host a party, odds are you’ve got some recipes to hand. But we understand that it might be a little harder to come up with a good spread of drinks.

That’s why we’ve collected some great recipes to enjoy by yourself or with friends (two cocktails, one mocktail and one great non-alcoholic party refresher) ahead of your bank holiday. If you’re mixing these on short notice and don’t have a cocktail shaker, a mason jar works great as a substitute.

Watermelon Lemonade

Minty, fruity, fizzy and refreshing! This watermelon lemonade is the perfect addition to a garden party: alcohol free and great for all ages, and sure to keep you hydrated and cool.

  • 2 small watermelons, or one large
  • 250 ml lemon juice
  • 1 litre sparkling water
  • 1 lime
  • fresh mint
  • 100g sugar (golden caster sugar works the best!)
  • crushed ice

How to mix it:
Scoop out the watermelons and put their flesh in a bowl, being careful to remove pips.
Mash the pulp through a sieve into a separate bowl, then blend with the sugar and lemon juice.
Once that’s all combined and looking delicious, stir in your sparkling water. You can then pour the lemonade into a jug to serve with glasses. Alternatively, a fun way to serve this drink is by using one of the watermelon shells, so make sure to save them for some extra flare.
Serve with lime slices, mint leaves and crushed ice. We recommend putting some crushed ice aside so people can choose how chilled they want their marvellous mocktail to be.

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martinis are a great way to keep your party going – and they’re easier to make than you might think.

  • 50ml coffee liqueur
  • 50ml freshly-brewed espresso coffee
  • 100ml vodka
  • 100g sugar (golden caster is once again our choice!)
  • ice cubes
How to mix it:
Put a small pan over medium heat, then add the caster sugar and 50ml of water. Stir constantly until it’s brought to the boil.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. We recommend putting your martini glasses in the fridge to help keep your martinis cold.
Once the syrup is cold, place about one tablespoon into a mason jar or a cocktail shaker with ice, vodka, espresso, and the coffee liqueur of your choice.! Shake it up until cold and incorporated.
Strain into your martini glasses, and decorate with coffee beans if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Blueberry Mojito

This fruity concoction does a great job at chasing away the autumn blues - with blueberries! It couldn’t be simpler to make, either.

  • 3 lemons, chopped
  • 100g of blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 350ml white rum
  • 600ml sparkling water
  • mint leaves and ice to garnish!
How to mix it:
This one’s simple: just add the blueberries, lemons and sugar into a jug and “muddle” them. For non-seasoned cocktail makers out there, muddling means gently squeezing and pressing the fruit to extract their juices and oils.
“Bruise” the mint leaves by pressing and squeezing them, then add your ice and mint leaves to the jug.
Proceed to pour your sparkling water and rum over the jug – stir thoroughly, and there you have it.

Passionfruit Mocktail Martini

We’re a big fan of this mocktail that still gives you that tasty cocktail feeling. This one makes a great use of alcohol-free spirits to give it that faux-boozy bite.

  • 3 passion fruits
  • 1 juiced lemon, or lemon juice!
  • 1 egg white, separated from the yolk
  • 100ml alcohol-free spirits
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar syrup
  • sparkling grape juice
  • ice
How to mix it:
Halve your passion fruits, then scoop the flesh from four of your passionfruit halves and put them into your cocktail shaker/mason jar. We’ll save the rest for garnish.
Add your lemon juice, egg white, spirit and syrup, then shake it until it’s nice and frothy. Proceed to add the ice to your shaker, and shake again until it feels cold.
What we’ll do next is something called “double straining”: this means straining your mocktail through both a strainer and a sieve. The strainer will catch the ice, and the sieve will protect you from pips.
Top your gorgeous, colourful faux-tinis up with grape juice and decorate with the remaining passion fruit halves. Colourful, frothy, and delicious.

Stay Hydrated, Have Fun!

It’s important to stay hydrated and refreshed in hot weather, so make sure to keep up your water intake and, as always, make sure to drink responsibly. If any of these delicious drinks sound tasty, we encourage you to give them a try this bank holiday. If you’d like to see how our superb homes help you host with the most, you can find out more about them here.

We also snagged up some delicious barbeque recipes that we encourage you to try, as well. You can find them here.

Sources/Full Recipes:
Watermelon Lemonade:
Espresso Martini:
Blueberry Mojito:
Passionfruit Martini: