Baptism: Tipples

As you can see, we like colourful drinks! Photograph by Gillian Gamble, 2011.
As you can see, we like colourful drinks! Photograph by Gillian Gamble, 2011.

Have you ever noticed that a lot of Christian events will be focused around food? Alpha has a meal; Christmas & Easter are food-filled festivals traditionally; even the old style tea and quiche is for some reason integral to Church of England parish events.

Well, to be honest, in this Bear household we aren’t much different: we do very much enjoy an excuse for good food and fun. However, we also realise that people like tasty things in a glass too. I’m not speaking of purely alcoholic drinks, personally I don’t partake, but if I’m going to throw an event I’d rather serve something interesting than just basic wine/cider/beer.

My choices for the day were:

Pimms Deuce

We all know the classic Pimms is a must for most summer outdoor events. The fizz, the fruit, and the colour all lend themselves to cocktail glasses, dresses, and chilling out. However, because I’m awkward I decided to make a slightly less common version of the happy tipple.

This was easy (Pimms obviously wants you to buy, make, and enjoy their drink so recipes are easy to find) and contained the following in a large hand-decorated glass bottle:

1/5ths Pimms
2/5ths Orange Juice
2/5ths Cranberry Juice
This was then ready in advance having prepared it the day before. On the morning of we chopped some orange segments and strawberry slices, which could be put in the glass at the time of pouring.

The result was a beautiful sunset ombre colour drink whilst in the bottles, and a tasty fruity alternative to the wine on offer. I also took a couple of spare bottles to a hen party, and not only had it kept nicely in the bottles for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but it went surprisingly fast too!

Apple & Mango Smoothie

This was mainly created for my sister. Finding juice that she can have (due to a citric acid allergy) is ridiculous, because even if it is not lemon flavoured, there will be some in it anyway. Apple juice is mainly fine but mango is near enough impossible to find as pure mango juice. So we needed a plan and so we started by chopping fresh mango (we had sliced but if you’ve got the time a whole mango would be great) into very small chunks and then blending it into a pulp. I added a little apple juice to it at this stage so it would blend nice and evenly.

Next we put this into a bottle using a funnel and more apple juice. This was far more experimental and so you may want to go by taste. You are looking for a smoothie kind of texture, maybe a little more liquid. This ideally should be served over ice to give you a fresh and cool drink in the summer sun.

This drink went far quicker than anything else… which was probably more frustrating for my sister than anything else…

Pink Lemonade

I would love to have set the drinks up like this, but they were almost this colour in the bottle! Photograph by Gillian Gamble, 2011.
I would love to have set the drinks up like this, but they were almost this colour in the bottle! Photograph by Gillian Gamble, 2011.

This was a simple cheat way of making a very pretty, and surprisingly tasty, drink for a summer do. Pink lemonade is often just raspberry flavoured fizz but this frustrates me quite a lot. Pink lemonade is surprisingly easy from scratch, but we did cheat a little.

By chopping up fresh raspberries into teeny little bit and then funnelling them into a bottle using lemonade it ends up mixing together and colouring itself pink. With clear bottles you end up with what looks like potpourri floating at the top. As you pour it out you should have little tasty pieces of raspberry to drink with the fizz.

This was possibly the only pink thing I can remember from the day, but seemed to go down well. We were out of bottles (there were originally 10 large bottles) by the end of the day, and will be one I repeat soon. If you’re looking for a particularly special glass of juicyness you could always add a sprig of mint for a little bit more of a natural coolness.

These simple drinks were pretty easy and didn’t take long to make up but were worth the effort!

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