We've had a wonderful summer here in Scotland and that's a rare thing. We've had sunshine all through May and June and it looks like it's going to last through July too.
Typically a Scottish summer is a dreich affair with lots of rain and the occasional sunny day. So this year we can't believe our luck and we're all outside as much as possible.
We've even hit some of our highest temperatures in June for 23 years, with the waterproof coating of the Glasgow Science Centre melting into black gloop that ran down the sides in the 31 degree heat.
Making the most of a Scottish summer
BBQs and picnics are happening everywhere and everyone is a bit pink and wearing a lot less clothes than usual. It's a lot of fun, but can be a wee bit eye-opening! Yes some people go a bit to far with the stripping off and wearing scanty clothes when they see a bit of sunshine.
I've shared a lot of lighter food like wraps and salads lately, which would be great for sharing at a picnic or for a lunch enjoyed outdoors, but this time around I thought I would share my new fruity cider cocktail, which would be great to share with friends in the garden or at a BBQ.
I don't think you can get more summery than chilled cider, raspberries and mint.
This simple cocktail can be made in the glass or in a jug to share. I made enough in my recipe for two using one can of cider, but you can scale it up or down to suit.
Cider - a soft drink or alcoholic?
Here in the UK cider is an alcoholic drink made with fermented apples (and sometimes other fruit, pear cider is very popular here too). If it's non-alcoholic ie just squeezed juice we call in fruit juice or more specifically apple juice.
I believe in America apple cider is a soft drink and hard cider is alcoholic.
So again there is confusion between our two great nations.
Elsewhere? I have no idea, so do let me know what you call apple juice and cider.
I used Weston's Laid Back Cider from M&S for my cocktail which comes from Westons who have been making cider since 1880, but they also have a new Bramley Apple and Pear Cider from Woolten Farm which you could also use.
Summer Drinks Range at M&S
Marks and Spencer have a whole range of Craft Beers and Ciders in their summer range from golden ales, to fruit beer, pale ale, porter, IPA and lager. All in 330ml cans in pretty summer colours.
They all cost £2 each apart from the Laid Back Cider which is £1.60 and are perfect for BBQs and picnics.
Use your loaf!
The Earl Grey Pale Ale and the Raspberry Fruit Beer are part of the Use Our Loaf range which are made from surplus crusts from the M&S sandwich factory, which I think is such a cool idea and cuts down on waste, which has to be a good thing.
Gin, fizz and soft drinks
M&S also have two small batch colour-changing gins in their summer range. British Rose or British Lavender Dry Gin, as well as a range of fizz, summer cordials and sparkling summer soft drinks including Sparkling Raspberry & Elderflower Pink Lemonade, Sparkling Rhubarb Ginger Beer (which I missed last time, but am definitely buying on my next visit) and Sparkling Summer Cup Mocktail.
BBQ inspiration =
How to make this cider cooler
Simply add the raspberry cordial (I used M&S Scottish Raspberry Cordial) to the glass or jug (depending on how much you are making) and top with a handful of fresh raspberries. Next add a few sprigs of fresh mint and ice cubes, then top up with chilled cider.
For the best flavour use a cocktail stirrer or long dessert spoon to mix well and smoosh (I think the technical term is muddle) the raspberries and mint a little, so you can really taste the flavours.
It's fruity and cooler with a little fizz. Just perfect as a summer drink.
Make it non-alcoholic
To make it non-alcoholic you can use sparkling apple juice instead of cider. Which is great for the kids. Just add a stripey paper straw before serving and watch their faces light up when they are passed their own cocktail (mocktail).
cocktail, cider cocktail, raspberry cocktail, apple cider, raspberry cordial, summer cocktail
drink, alcohol, cocktail
cocktail, Scottish, British, English
Yield: 2 cocktailsAuthor: Jacqueline MeldrumPrint Recipe
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Scottish Raspberry & Mint Cider CoolerA summery cocktail with the flavours of raspberries, mint and apple cider. A simple cocktail that can be made in a glass or a jug for sharing.
- 100g raspberries
- 8 ice cubes
- 6-8 sprigs fresh mint