Like most ladies - heck, let's not be sexist here - like most people, I enjoy a cocktail or two.
And as delightful as trendy cocktail bars are, the drinks are often so displeasingly pricey. £8 a pop? Not for this student.
I've recently discovered, however, that it's relatively simple to have a go at concocting your own. And I don't just mean mixing vodka with cranberry juice, adding a mint leaf and calling it a cocktail.
Of course, making your own is also a million times cheaper than going out.
Oh, and it's fun!
I'd seen Funkin cocktail mixers behind the counters in bars, so when they got in touch asking if I wanted to try out some of their products on a few Halloween cocktail recipes I was unsurprisingly keen.
I also figured this was the perfect opportunity to get the girls over for some spooky cocktail fun. Which was obviously never going to be even remotely spooky.
Still, in the spirit of student procrastination, my flatmates and I decked the flat with, um, boughs of fake cobwebs...
|The tea did not escape untouched|
|God, we really need to clean|
|There's only so much you can do with a student kitchen|
|Yes, we have a colour-co-ordinated tea shelving unit. Duh.|
It was actually the night before Halloween so most people weren't going all-out on their costumes, but I couldn't resist an excuse to pile on the glitter and backcomb my hair to within an inch of its life.
|I thought my housemate Holly looked particularly awesome.|
Actually, what am I talking about? The fun had most definitely already started with the party prep.
The consumption began, shall we say.
No, wait. I'd definitely been nibbling while getting everything ready. But who can resist the call of the cocktail sausage? (Appropes for a cocktail party, eh?) A stronger woman than I.
What with all the work involved in the final year of a degree, it's proving slightly tricky to find time to hang out with the friends you don't see in classes, so as the alcohol flowed, so did the conversation.
We may not have had everything on Funkin's recipe cards, but when we all clubbed together and bought bottles in groups, we had more than enough to play with.
First up, we made the Brazilian Zombie, and we even had all the ingredients for this one!
100ml Funkin Brazilian cocktail mixer
50ml Dark Rum
There was a general consensus that this was the best one of the night and was certainly a good way to start.
Cocktail number two was called Dead Celeb Cooler.
25ml Vanilla Vodka
25ml Kahlua (although we didn't have that)
100ml Funkin Hollywood cocktail mixer
It wasn't quite as sweet as the first one, but most of us liked it more after adding a drop of grenadine.
Cocktail three, Ruined Daiquiri, was enjoyably strawberrylicious and really tasty, if not as good as the first. And by this point in the night I'd clearly had enough cocktails that I forgot to take a picture. Oh well. But it contained:
25ml Campari (we didn't have that either)
100ml Funkin Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail mixer
The Funkin mixers definitely made the cocktails seem more professional than if we'd just used standard juice, and they were certainly tasty. I also really like the fact that the mixers are 100% natural and contain only fruit. And they're so quick and easy to make!
We may have been drinking out of cardboard (but Halloween-themed) cups, but a cocktail always feels a little more sophistiqué than most other beverages, don'tcha think? And hey, we all work super hard so I think we'd totally earned a night off.
It was a really fun night and made a great change from going out. I always love having people over for a bit of a shindig too. Why not try it yourself some time?
Thanks to Funkin for the mixers, but this opinion is, as always, honest.