Make the most of the last month of summer with cool, trendy cocktails and easy-drinking mocktails. Try these three for starters…

There’s nothing quite like a couple of cool cocktails to kick start your weekend! Think simple tipples jam-packed with fresh herbs, citrusy concoctions filled with ice and salt-rimmed martini glasses topped with frozen margaritas. Not drinking? If you’re off alcohol for Febfast or simply taking a break you can still get in on the action with refreshing mocktails that taste just as moreish as the real deal. Here are three drink ideas and the key ingredients for each. Cheers!

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The spirit: gin

Tim Jirgenson from Vintage Cellars says gin is the must-have spirit of the season. “Everyone just wants gin!” he laughs. “Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Rosebery produces a gin, vodka and white rye spirit, which are all really popular.” The Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ($69.99) features a host of Australian native ingredients, too, including blood limes, river mint and Dorrigo pepperleaf. Yum!

Try it in…
The Golden Ticket. It’s a simple stirred drink,” says Nigel Weisbaum, sales and marketing manager at Archie Rose Distilling Co. “Simply add all the ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice and stir it until the marmalade is dissolved. Then pour over large ice cubes in a tumbler and garnish with a lemon twist.” See the recipe below, courtesy of Archie Rose.

Ingredients:
60ml Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
5ml Laphroaig 1/4 cask
2 dashes of chocolate mole bitters
2 tsp breakfast marmalade
5ml PX sherry float

You’ll need:
Old fashioned glass and a fancy lemon twist to garnish

Method:
Stir down and double strain.

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The spirit: whiskey

A versatile spirit that is perfect for transitioning into the autumn months, whiskey is another trendy ingredient to add to your tipples. “Standard whiskeys are really popular with our Jewish community,” explains Tim. “The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve ($49.99) is a really nice entry-level blended whiskey that tastes great.”

The spirit boasts delicate aromas of citrus fruit, including zesty oranges and pears, plus a hint of candy and toffee apple. When the spirit was launched last year at a private penthouse in Sydney, a tipple called The Founder’s Keepers cocktail was served on arrival.

Try it in…
The Founder’s Keepers cocktail: A take on the whiskey Collins made with The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, peach liqueur, Lillet Blanc, apricot jam, lemon juice and soda water.

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The ingredients: basil and grapefruit

Love mojitos but not drinking alcohol? Basil is the perfect summery herb to liven up non-alcoholic drinks, while grapefruit has a bitter sweetness and can help kick-start digestion and boost weight loss (if you’re watching the kilojoules!).

Try it in…
Pink Grapefruit & Basil Mojito

Serves 1
This refreshing summer mocktail has delicious sour notes. Freshly juiced pink grapefruit gives off a lovely aroma. Served in an elegant tumbler, this is a very pretty drink.

Ingredients:
caster (superfine) sugar
lime wedge
7 basil leaves
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
150ml (5oz) freshly squeezed pink grapefruit
juice
basil ice cubes, to serve
soda water

Equipment:
Tumbler, small plate, muddler

Method:
Sprinkle a little caster sugar on to a plate. Run the lime around the rim of the glass and dip in the sugar. Put the basil leaves into the glass with the demerara sugar and muddle. Add the grapefruit juice and ice cubes, and top up with soda water.

This is an edited extract from The Mocktail Manual by Fern Green published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP$24.99. Contact Book Review to order.

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Stop in at Harris Farm Markets, Vintage Cellars and Woolworths to pick up everything you need to make these yummy cocktails and tasty mocktail.