Saturday night cocktails – it’s just ‘tidying up’ really…

So what if I don’t want to spend £9 on a cocktail on a Saturday night in a swanky bar in the city? It doesn’t mean that I’m dull, ‘square’ or poor – it just means that (for the second time in two days) I’d rather put that money towards a new garden gate. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not having a great time on a Saturday night because I’m probably getting up to all-sorts of things in the privacy of my own home. Okay, that came out sounding a lot racier than I intended it to, but what I mean is that I can enjoy a night of cocktails and glamour without having to leave the house and that’s exactly what my husband and I did last weekend.

thrifty night in ideas for retro cocktail making

We got out all the bartending paraphernalia that my husband loves to collect and that we now finally have a use for, then we looked through the drinks cabinet to see what we had left over after Christmas. See, I’m actually tidying up after Christmas by drinking these cocktails, honest. We nipped out to the shops to buy some lemons, mixers and lime juice – the missing ingredients for our evening of experimentation (again, sounds dodgy but it really wasn’t). We also picked up some bar snacks and popcorn, because I knew I’d get the munchies after a couple of drinks. That evening we surveyed our stash of ingredients and typed them into Google and before we knew it, we were mixing up cocktails we’d never heard of based on the suggestions of a search engine. The first drink was, rather unfortunately, the worst thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. Imagine chewing on the rind of a particularly pithy orange that has been soaked in nail polish remover. Delicious, huh?

cocktail making with retro babycham champagne glasses

But that didn’t stop us. Oh no. We had a go at mixing a limey, gingery, rum and whisky combo which was very tasty but also very strong and my husband made the most delicious drink of damson brandy (one of our home-made boozes – see the recipes here and here) and something fruity. If only I’d been paying better attention, or had a better memory after one-too-many drinks, then I’d be able to tell you what went into our cocktails and you’d be able to recreate them for yourselves. But that’s not really the point – I simply wanted to share with you the concept of having a night in on the lash, using up your existing stash of booze and being thrifty on a Saturday night. I’ve shared recipes for Cherry Amaretto, three festive cocktails and Amaretto Sours (which I also enjoyed making on this occasion!) on the blog previously so check out those bad boys! By the way, it’s even more fun when you have guests over and you can really show off with all the shaker-twirling and add loads of garnishes to the glass. Hubby enjoyed using the retro paper-fruit-straws that Father Christmas gave him in his stocking this year and I munched my way through half a tub of cherries, oops!

mix your own saturday night cocktails with cheap ingredients

Bailey’s and chocolate milkshakes were mixed as a yummy dessert – and tasted just like one of my favourite cocktails from the very expensive cocktail bar that I mentioned in the first paragraph. Although I don’t advocate drinking lots and should tell you all to drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation, I think that its probably safer if you’re drinking at home and can control the measures you’re having yourself. Plus, you don’t have to stumble too far into bed, and there’ll be none of this loitering around dark streets near the kebab shop and walking home with bare feet with your 6-inch heels in your hands while singing Tina Turner songs and doing ‘her legs’. Well, there’s an image of my ‘student experience’ that you’ll enjoy for years to come..!

Although I’d love to say that I do this every weekend, I definitely won’t be mixing cocktails this evening because I’m having a much more enjoyable night looking after my amazing nephew and we’ll probably have even more fun making a puppet show with his Chatty Feet socks again rather than knocking back the booze. Snort – I just made myself laugh with the idea of ‘socktails’ rather than cocktails 😀  Maybe I could mix up a fruit-squash mocktail for us? Apple cordial, anyone?

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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