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The four most poignant and powerful times of the year in our view are the changes of the seasons where the light, weather, air and mood all start to feel a bit different, but you can’t quite put your finger on why or what.  It’s difficult to define; saying goodbye to the last days of summer, a season we dream of on those cold winter days and nights.  Summer is here and then gone - a mix of bittersweet emotions with layers of excitement about all the joys of nature that lie ahead with Autumn arriving on our doorstep and the anticipation of a brand-new chapter of life, with many pages of new stories to unfold.

There’s a saying that ‘August is the Sunday of summer’, and we couldn’t really sum up all of the above feelings better.  So much change happens over the summer which we don’t really realise until we begin moving into the new season.  We’ve all grown a bit in many different ways, the freedom and experiences of trips, long sunny days and that wonderful feeling that ‘anything is possible’ enriches the soul and fills us up with so much goodness and positivity to take forward into Autumn. 

It really is one of the most special times of year and we can’t think of any better way of paying tribute to those blue-sky days and long balmy nights where everything feels so happy and carefree than an end of summer festival.

We say festival… we really mean ‘party’ but we’d certainly be big fans if an end of summer festival became a ‘thing’, for us all to celebrate in our own different ways.  We know that last weekend in August has definitely become the date for those last blast style events.

It could be a simple sundown supper outdoors for two with cocktails or you might want to scale it right up to a BBQ, outdoor party or picnic in the park.

However you plan to say goodbye to those seasalt, sand and sunshine days and welcome  the golden treasures that Autumn brings in all its glory, we’ve got the perfect list of great shake and stirs for you to surprise and delight.

Whether you go large or keep things cosy we recommend doing it in the most simple, stylish way possible (that’s our ‘Gin Genius’ kicking in – we do not sweat the small stuff!), so here’s a few quick and easy showstopping sips to make summer’s last hurrah one to enjoy and remember.

Highland Honey

Mmmmm.  Honey, lime and Chartreuse are your ingredients for this sweet and sour delight!

Caorunn Highland Strength Highland Honey

Raspberry Rhubarb Highball

Seasonally fruity, the refreshingly tart, intense raspberry sweetness is complemented perfectly by the mellow tanginess of the rhubarb and our signature rowan berry.

Caorunn Raspberry Rhubarb Hi BallFloradorable

Awaken your tastebuds with a combination of ginger, Scottish raspberry and lime – it’s what late summer afternoons were made for…

Caorunn Floradorable with bottleHighland Herbal Highball

Nodding in the direction of Tom Collins, this one’s a classic citrusy, zesty refresher.CAO HS Highland Herbal Highball

Pink Lady Spritz

Crisp, fresh and full of citrusy zest with just a hint of juniper spice; a special summery seltzer to toast the end of the season.Caorunn Pink Lady Spritz Bottle

Don’t forget the ice!

How many times have we exited our own party to go get a bag of ice?  Emergency ice runs be gone!  Award-winning mixologist Walter Pintus who has created this very simple ‘drink hack’ which will go a long way to keeping your guests (and their drinks), nicely chilled.

Creating bar quality is more complicated than it looks – it involves a process called Direct Freezing where the source of energy is pulled directly from one side only (we are so not there for that vibe…).

Fortunately for us, Walter’s given us all we need to do that in seven simple steps.

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 You Will Need

  • A 5 Litre Ice Cooler Box
  • A Home Freezer
  • A Spoon or a Fork and a Knife
  • 24 Hours
  • A Mallet/A Rolling Pin

Step by Step

  1. 1. Remove the lid from the ice cooler box.
  2. Fill the ice cooler box with tap water and place it in the freezer. Mc cocktails 003
  3. After 24 hours, remove the ice cooler box from the freezer.
  4. Let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Flip the cooler upside down in order to extract the block. Tip: Do this on your kitchen sink.  You will notice that in half of your block, the ice will not have completely solidified. Instead, you will have a very thin layer of ice with unfrozen water inside. Mc cocktails 007
  6. At this stage you can simply break down the thin layer of ice and let the water escape. As the ice is very thin you can do this with a fork or with a spoon.Mc cocktails 009
  7. You will now have a huge block of crystal clear, bar quality ice. To cut the ice, first score the block carefully with a knife, then using a mallet or rolling pin, bang gently on the knife to create smaller blocks. Portion the smaller block into cube sizes of your choice and get mixing with a spoon, straw or stirrer!Mc cocktails 015

Raising a glass to what was a glorious summer – watch out for some warming, apple-based, sweet and spicy tipples to toast the arrival of Autumn in next month’s blog post!

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