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European cocktails perfect for kick-off

We've rounded up 5 winning drinks to get you in the Euro 2024 spirit!

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It's summer and Euro 2024 is on, making it the best time to have family and friends over and enjoy a drink or two watching the footie. We know that beer's the beverage of choice for most football fans, but why not shake up your next matchday party with some fancy cocktails you can whip up at home instead?

We've lined up five pitch-perfect European cocktails that we're sure will be real crowd pleasers. With a whole range of flavours, there's something for everyone! And if you've got a few designated drivers at your gathering, we've suggested how to make alcohol-free versions of each cocktail so they can still feel like part of the team.

Let's kick things off with a juicy cocktail from Italy, as they're the reigning European champions after all. Yeah, sorry for bringing it up...

The Aperol Spritz is a classic Mediterranean drink made with Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water — first created in 1919 by the Barbieri brothers in Padua, Italy. Aperol's an orange and herb-flavoured liqueur that gives the cocktail its unique, bittersweet taste. Then the Prosecco adds a bubbly texture, while the soda water helps to balance out the bitterness of the Aperol. With its vibrant orange colour and refreshing taste, it's the perfect potion for warm summer days watching the action.

Ingredients:

  • Prosecco

  • Aperol

  • Soda water

  • Orange

  • Ice

How to make an Aperol Spritz:

It's as easy as 3-2-1 when it comes to making an Aperol Spritz:

  1. Get a large wine glass and add some ice.

  2. Pour in 75ml of Prosecco.

  3. Add 50ml of Aperol.

  4. Add just a 25ml dash of soda.

  5. Finish it off with a slice of orange.

And that's it! Three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one part soda — so you can work out how much you’ll need to use when prepping a larger batch for everyone to enjoy. There's no stirring or shaking required either, making it one of the easiest cocktail recipes in the world.

Make it a mocktail: Replace the Prosecco with some alcohol-free champagne (or sparkling wine), and use Lyre's non-alcoholic Italian Spritz instead of Aperol. Regular orange or grapefruit juice is a good Aperol sub too, and easy to pick up in any supermarket.

Want ice on demand?

You can forget about buying a big bag of ice cubes from the supermarket or using those fiddly ice trays if you have an American-style fridge freezer. These super cool appliances have dispensers that can fill up your glass with fresh ice in seconds!

You can never count Spain out in a big footie tournament. They're one of the most successful national teams ever and always electrifying to watch. So, when it's time for their next big game — how about serving up some Sangrias?

Made with a blend of red wine, brandy, and chopped fruit, this refreshing ruby-coloured punch is a centuries-old Spanish staple that's perfect for sipping on a hot day. We're sure it'll stir up some excitement with its sweet flavours, so get that large pitcher out of the cupboard and prep a big batch. Because we know that guests will keep coming back for more!

Ingredients:

  • Red wine (ideally Spanish!)

  • Brandy

  • Orange juice

  • Orange

  • Lemon

  • Strawberries

  • Cinnamon powder

  • Sugar

  • Ice

How to make a Sangria:

Sangria is one of those drinks you can quite literally chop and change however you like. You can add all sorts of fruits and use rum rather than brandy, or lemonade instead of orange juice. But this simple recipe should score big with your family and friends:

  1. Cut your orange, lemon, and strawberries into thin slices/pieces.

  2. Fill your large jug with some ice, then add your fruit and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

  3. Pour in about half a cup of brandy, then a cup of orange juice.

  4. Stir what you have and fill up the rest of your jug with red wine.

  5. Sprinkle in about a tablespoon of cinnamon powder and stir again.

  6. Put the pitcher in the fridge for a couple of hours and allow those ingredients to infuse.

Make it a mocktail: To create a virgin Sangria, use red grape juice instead of wine and leave out the brandy. If that sounds a bit flat, add sparkling water to give it some fizz.

Keep your wine cool

Red wine is the star of the show when it comes to a Sangria. And if you're something of a wine connoisseur, why not get a freestanding wine cooler to keep all your favourite flavours aging and tasting their best?

Are France the faves to win Euro 2024? Probably, although that nasty knock Kylian Mbappé took to his nose won't help their chances going forward. So, if you're a French supporter feeling down after that opening game — how about lifting your spirits with a French Martini?

And okay, despite its name, this sweet cocktail isn't actually French (it was invented in New York back in the 1980s). But the key ingredient that makes it so "French" is a Chambord raspberry liqueur, which has been produced in France since 1685. So we think it qualifies!

This liqueur is then mixed with vodka and pineapple juice to create a well-balanced drink that still packs a punch. And it's usually garnished with a strawberry wedge or raspberries for that classy finishing touch.

Ingredients:

  • Vodka

  • Chambord raspberry liqueur

  • Pineapple juice

  • Strawberries (or raspberries)

  • Ice

How to make a French Martini:

You'll be serving up French Martinis like a pro if you follow these short steps. Just remember — shaken, not stirred:

  1. Combine all your ingredients (except for the garnish) in a shaker filled with ice.

  2. Shake well, then pour into a Martini glass.

  3. Garnish with a strawberry or pop in a couple of raspberries.

Make it a mocktail: Raspberry or blackcurrant syrup will probably come closest to replicating the taste of that Chambord liqueur. And if you can find non-alcoholic vodka, you'll be onto a winner! If not, try some white grape juice instead.

Will it blend?

Reckon more than a few of your guests will fancy a French Martini? Save time and prepare a batch with a blender. Just pour in about 160ml of vodka, 80ml of Chambord liquer, and 240ml of pineapple juice. Then when it's all mixed, you should have enough to fill up about 4 or 5 glasses. You can also chuck in some frozen mixed berries to make sure it comes out the blender nice and cold.

Germany's hosting Euro 2024, so of course they had to make our list. And it's no secret that they're a liquor-loving nation, with the average German drinking almost 92 litres of beer, more than 20 litres of wine, and around 5 litres of spirits each year according to SharpGrid.

There are plenty of unique German cocktails we could have picked. Like the Glühbier hot beer cocktail, or the exotic swimming pool cocktail with its dreamy turquoise colour and shredded coconut sprinkles. But as it's the summer, no one's going to turn down a Schlammbowle creamsicle punch cocktail.

Featuring bite-sized fruit pieces and juices, sparkling wine, vodka, and vanilla ice cream — this lush German punch also doubles as a delicious dessert. And you can top it all off with some hundreds and thousands to add some extra colour.

Ingredients:

  • Vodka

  • Sparkling wine

  • Fruit juice (can be peach, orange, pineapple, or mango)

  • Peaches

  • Pineapple

  • Vanilla ice cream

  • Hundreds and thousands

How to make a Schlammbowle:

We'd recommend prepping this in a big punch bowl so everyone can help themselves:

  1. Cut your pineapple and a couple of peaches into bite-sized chunks.

  2. Add the fruit to your punch bowl, then pour in 2 litres of fruit juice, 500ml of vodka, and 500ml of sparkling wine.

  3. Stir everything, and add some ice to keep your cocktail batch chilled.

  4. When serving, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkles.

Make it a mocktail: For an alcohol-free take on the Schlammbowle, substitute the vodka with refreshing white grape juice. Then replace the sparkling wine with some fizzy water. It’ll still have a beautiful taste that’ll go down well.

Make your own ice cream

Shop bought ice cream can be amazing, but if you really want to wow your friends and family — make some fresh ice cream at home with an ice cream maker. Just add your mixture and one of these will create the perfect consistency for your cocktails.

Is it coming home this year? Well, after reaching the final at Euro 2020 and coming into the 2024 tournament as the bookies' favourites — it very well could. We've got a star-studded lineup after all, with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and Phil Foden all itching to make history for England.

But which English cocktail should you serve up to your guests during the next nail-biting game? We reckon an Espresso Martini should go down a treat, especially at half time to get everyone's energy levels back up. That’s because it combines vodka, Kahlúa coffee liqueur, sugar syrup, and yup — a freshly-brewed espresso…

And there's an interesting story behind this delicious drink too. It’s claimed to have been created in the late 1980s by Dick Bradsell at Fred's Club in London, when a young woman (rumoured to be Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell) asked for "something to wake me up". We won't finish the quote (as it's NSFW), but feel free to look it up!

Ingredients:

  • Vodka

  • Kahlúa

  • Sugar syrup

  • Espresso

  • Coffee beans

How to make an Espresso Martini:

Here’s how to make an Espresso Martini that’ll perk you and your guests up in no time:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

  2. Add 50ml of vodka, 30 ml of Kahlua, a strong shot of espresso (let it cool down a bit first), and 10ml of sugar syrup.

  3. Shake until the outside of the shaker starts to frost.

  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled Martini glass.

  5. Garnish the drink with a few coffee beans.

To make enough for everyone, you can add a greater amount of each element (as long as they're relative) into a blender and mix them up. You should still get that signature froth on top too!

Make it a mocktail: You can mimic the coffee liqueur flavour with alcohol-free Lyre's Coffee Originale and some vanilla syrup. Then try and find some non-alcoholic vodka to fill the rest of the glass.

Espresso, you say?

There's a shot of espresso needed to make this cocktail kick. So how about adding a coffee machine to your kitchen arsenal that'll whip up a quick cup?

More ways to fuel your fan spirit...

You'll need some grub to go with your cocktails. That’s why you should check out our grilling around the globe piece, featuring world-class BBQ recipes that'll make your next matchday party all griller no filler.

And if your telly’s in need of an upgrade, we’ve also rounded up some top-scoring TVs for UEFA Euro 2024 that’ll give you and your guests a grandstand view.

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Toast to victory!