Entertaining at home is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to a more costly night out, and it doesn't have to involve hours of prep to get it right. After all, an evening (or afternoon) is made great by the people you spend it with. But the right canapé and a cocktail can definitely help, and there's nothing like a little fire to break the ice.
Whether it’s a large group or an intimate affair, candles can be used to create a variety of moods, ranging from festive to intimate. A few well-placed taper candles, a cluster of pillars or a trio of textured spheres - people love connecting around a flame, and all of these options will work equally well.
With that out of the way, let's turn our attention to cocktails. Sure you can stir up the old rum coke or gin & tonic, but why not try something a little, well, fresher. Read on and learn how to make one of our favourite cocktails:
The Yuzu Paloma
A floral spin on the traditional tequila-based classic, the Yuzu Paloma is a sun-drenched drink with a fresh finish. For the mocktail version, simply leave out the tequila.
For the lemongrass syrup
- 250ml water
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 stick lemon grass chopped and bruised
- thumb of ginger sliced
- 4 lime kaffir leaves sliced
For one Paloma
- 45ml tequila
- 20ml yuzu juice
- 20ml lemongrass syrup
- 90ml soda water
- sea salt
- a slice of lime for garnish
- Begin by making the syrup. In a small pot combine all the ingredients, and heat over a low temperature to allow the sugar to completely dissolve, about 10-15 minutes (don't stir or let it boil).
- When the sugar has completely dissolved, turn the temperature up until the syrup boils. Let it boil for a few minutes to thicken the syrup, then turn off the heat. Leave the mixture to cool and further infuse, then strain into a jar (removing the bits of lemon grass, ginger and kaffir leaves) and pop into the fridge ready to use.
- To make the Paloma, take a tall glass and wipe the rim with cut lime, then coat the rim in salt by dipping it into a plate of sea salt. Place a handful of ice in the glass, pour the tequila, yuzu juice and lemongrass syrup into the glass and stir. Top with soda and stir again.
- Garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy!