If you’re planning a party, add a dozen bottles of The Duchess non-alcoholic gin & tonic to the bar station, and go mad with the garnishes.
For the horticulturist guest … a few sprigs of freshly cut rosemary and thyme enhance the garden-inspired extracts in The Duchess Greenery. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, loads of ice – ideal for a sunny day in the garden. Romance in the air? The Berry Burst is simply a few raspberries and a sprig of mint in The Duchess Floral, garnished with lime zest. For a very Christmassy drink, pour The Duchess Botanical into an ice-filled glass and add either a sprinkling of star anise seeds and some thin orange peel, or some cardamom seeds and one or two cinnamon sticks. Details: drinktheduchess.com
Dress up that drink
Garnishes can make or break a cocktail … alcoholic or otherwise. Some of them are purely for aesthetic reasons, others add aromatics and flavour. A glass of soda with a splash of flavoured syrup goes from ho-hum to let’s-do-the-salsa with the addition of a mint sprig and a lime wedge. Set aside a little spot on the bar, make a display and let your guests go mad. Easiest (and most common) is a citrus peel – orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit. Make sure you give it a good twist before dropping it into the drink, allowing the oils to spray and add flavour. A bowl of maraschino cherries is a must, as are fresh berries – strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry. Pomegranates are great, and very festive. For tutti-frutti cocktails, have slices of pineapple, peach, melon balls and coconut meat. Balance all the sweet options with olives, cucumber ribbons, and have loads of herbs – mint, rosemary, basil and thyme all work well. And don’t forget the pretties … rose petals, pansies, violas, lavender, nasturtiums.