Secret gardens and summer tipples 3 comments

Here’s a wee guest post from the good folks at, a fab site with lots of ideas for cocktail recipes. It’s summer, the weather might not be (ahem) perfect, but we all owe ourselves a little R&R time. The Silver Fox and I are still trying to recreate the great cocktails we had on honeymoon in Cuba last summer. Happy times!

With the recent birth of our little baby cub Felix Jude Kean, The Silver Fox and I have loads to celebrate this summer, so here’s hoping for several excuses for back garden parties over the next few months.

Dig out the deckchairs, pack that picnic bag and enjoy a few summer tipples – cheers!


Great cocktail recipes for a picnic or garden party this summer

Enlightened civic planning plus the odd drop of nourishing rain: that’s why Edinburgh is one of Europe’s greenest cities. Most famously, the Meadows, Arthur’s Seat and the gorgeous Botanic Garden are scattered among the classic stone buildings. But there are little gems that break up the terraces too: a patchwork of hidden gardens nestling right in the heart of the city.

Dunbar’s Close, with its 1600s-style network of topiary, paths and geometrically perfect beds is one such gem. Then there’s Johnston Terrace garden, a tiny but perfectly formed wildflower meadow in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle that’s run by the Scottish Wildflower Trust. Let’s not forget the herb gardens, such as Chessels Court too. There’s lots of hidden gems tucked away amidst the Old Town tenements – lots of tiny little spots that might just be the perfect sun-trap.

A summer classic

Find that perfect spot, and you’ve the ideal setting for a few drinks with friends. Use it as inspiration to find your own hidden green patch and enjoy a civilised afternoon in the sun! You’ll need a big bag of ice cubes and a cool bag, plus some tumblers or wine glasses. Bring a knife to cut some fruit – and stick it into that fruit so you’re not an accident waiting to happen! Plus take along a rug or a blanket – something comfy to sit on is a must!


Pimm’s and lemonade  is a summer classic: lightly spicy, bubbly and bursting with fruit. And plenty of fruit really does do the trick. Orange, cucumber, strawberry and fresh mint are the classic garnishes, but you can use what you want, provided it holds its shape when chopped. Experiment with other herbs too, such as fresh leaves of aromatic basil to give off a strong scent when bruised.

For a non-alcoholic drink with plenty of great taste, The Schweppes Mojito  is a fabulous fruity combination. A gorgeous blend of apple, lime, elderflower and fresh mint, it has a fruity tang that really is like bottled summer.

And if you really want to impress, try The Secret Garden , an aptly named luscious little fruity number. A late summer cocktail recipe, it mixes blackberry, ginger, vodka, lime and a welter of fresh summer berries all mashed and then served together in a jam jar – useful because you can shake the drink with the lid on!  Or a long glass will do. Enjoy these drinks on a lazy summer afternoon – wherever you find your perfect green hideaway.


The Secret Garden

50ml Smirnoff No. 21® Vodka

120ml Ginger Ale

25ml Blackberry Cordial

8 pieces Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries

1 wedge Lime

1 sprig Mint Sprig

Muddle blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in a glass or jam jar. Add ice, Smirnoff No. 21 and stir. Top up with ginger ale and drizzle over blackberry cordial. Garnish with a wedge of lime and sprig of mint.

Check out for more delicious summer cocktail recipes!

Enjoy your drinks responsibly folks.



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