You’ve spent the last few weeks lounging by a pool, exploring a tropical nirvana, discovering a new city or perhaps enjoying a beach paradise. No matter where you enjoyed your holiday there’s one thing they all probably had in common: relaxation, food, and cocktails! Coming back from a holiday can be a bit of a shock, so why put yourself through all that misery when you can ease yourself back into reality slowly. Invite some friends over, enjoy the last of these summer evenings and try out these delicious recipes for a perfect cocktail and scrumptious tapas so you can keep that holiday feeling going for a little bit longer…
OK, making your own cocktail probably isn’t as satisfying as having one made for you by the handsome and exotic barman while you dip your feet into the pool but this recipe is an absolute classic and never fails to impress. It’s perfect for a hot summer’s day and will go perfectly with your tapas. Make a pitcher but be sure not to drink it all by yourself.
10 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime - cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. If you don’t have a muddler you can use the end of a wooden rolling pin.
Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.
Who doesn’t love tucking into a lovely table piled high with tapas? It’s the perfect food for entertaining as you can please everyone, so crack out the nest of tables for some food to share. Here are some of our favourite recipes for you to try at home.
Warm chickpea, chorizo and pepper salad
1 tbsp olive oil
410g can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
250g jar roasted mixed peppers - drained and roughly chopped
handful coriander leaves - chopped
2 tbsp natural yogurt
Cut the chorizo into 3cm thick slices. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook the chorizo for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally until the edges start to crisp and it has released its red oil.
Tip the chickpeas into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until hot. Add the peppers and cook for a few minutes until everything's juicy.
Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander, ladle into two bowls and top each with a spoonful of yogurt.
Flash-fried prawns with chilli, lemon and parsley
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
300g large raw prawns - butterflied
2 garlic cloves - thinly sliced or chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
zest and juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley - chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Season the prawns and set aside. Cook the garlic over a medium to low heat until it just starts to colour. Increase the heat to high and add the prawns and chilli. Stir quickly and keep turning the prawns in the pan.
After 1 minute, pour in the lemon juice. Toss until the prawns are opaque for about 1 minute more. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and parsley and serve with crusty bread.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - chopped
227g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp sweet paprika
good pinch chilli powder
chopped fresh parsley - to garnish
2 tbsp olive oil
Prepare ahead by heating the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika, chilli powder, sugar and salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes until pulpy. Set aside for up to 24 hours.
To serve, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan oven 180C. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread over a roasting tin and toss in the oil, then season. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp and golden.
Tip the potatoes into dishes and spoon over the reheated sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with cocktail sticks around the dining table with your friends and family.