Summer parties are the perfect time to serve cocktails – which are always best enjoyed whilst relaxing in the sunshine awaiting a barbecue feast!

We’ve picked five of our favourite cocktails for summer celebrations this year, from the totally traditional to the more unusual. Serve these up to your guests and you’re on to the ultimate summer party.

Our Top 5 Summer Cocktails

Negroni

The Negroni is one of this year’s most fashionable drinks, and once you try one you’ll see why. It was invented in Florence, Italy in 1919, at Caffè Casoni, ex Caffè Giacosa, now called Caffè Cavalli. Count Camillo Negroni invented it by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The cocktail is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel.

Mint Julep

A mint julep is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular. It originated in the southern United States, probably during the eighteenth century.

The Gimlet

The gimlet is a refreshing cocktail and a popular choice for summer parties. The description in the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye stated that “a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else”. You could switch the gin for vodka to create a Vodka Gimlet, or add flavours to complement the gin, such as cucumber.

Strawberry Punch

For informal entertaining you can’t beat punch! A strawberry variation is perfect for the Great British Summer. Punch as introduced to the UK from India in the Seventeenth Century – the word punch is a loanword from Sanskrit पञ्च (pañc), meaning “five”, as the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices.

White Sangria

Perfect for barbecues, picnics and summer parties at Syon, white sangria is the Australian version of its better-known Spanish counterpart. There are a number of different whites you can try when you’re mixing up this punch. For instance, try a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a Riesling from Alsace, a Pinot Gris from Oregon, an unoaked Chardonnay from Australia, or an Orvieto from Italy.

For more party tips or to book your summer event call us on 0207 378 2930 or email events@gardenroom‑syon.co.uk.

photo via Margaux Keres