As the Mardi Gras celebrations get underway in New Orleans, it's the perfect excuse to dust down those bartending skills, and get muddling, shaking and stirring, wherever you are.
Below we've rounded up some of our best mocktails and low-proof cocktails, from the marga-cheater to the LOWgroni, as well as the fail-safe three-ingredient classics that all say it's party time.
And, if you want some great food to go with your cocktail menu, check out Mardi Gras food you can eat at home.
While you're working your bar magic, why not listen to our new podcast: Yankee goes Gumbo.
Mardi Gras Cocktails
Low-Proof Cocktails and Mocktails
If you want to tame a classic Margherita, try the Marga-cheater with the same flavour profile but without the alcoholic kick. To make a perfect Marga-cheater, all you need is 1 1/4 oz tequila, 3/4 oz triple sec, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, salt for rimming the glass and a slice of lime. Pairs well with tacos and pico de gallo.
Watch how to make a Marga-cheater in the clip below:
If you love this traditional Cuban highball, but not the foggy start to the morning after, try the low-alcohol mojito, or the LOWijto as we call it, which captures those zingy flavours, without the headache. All you need is 1 1/2 oz Cuban rum, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, 3 bar spoons of white cane sugar, 3 sprigs of fresh mint and sparkling water.
Find out how it's done in the clip below:
The ever-popular cosmopolitan is given a low-alcohol makeover in this tried and tested version, the perfect cosLOWpolitan which retains the thrill without the forgetfulness. You will need 1/2 oz squeezed lime, 1/2 oz triple sec, 1 oz vodka, 3 oz cranberry juice, orange peel and ice.
If an Italian negroni says 'aperitivo' time to you, try our sweet and bitter alternative in a LOWgroni. It's just as balanced, but without the hazy after-effects. All you need is 1 oz red vermouth, 1 oz bitters, 1 oz gin, half a slice of fresh orange and ice.
Going alcohol-free doesn't necessarily mean missing out. Enter the Shirley Temple mocktail, a playful, happy drink, and looks great served in a chunky Collins glass with brightly-coloured paper straws.
Master this classic three-ingredient cocktail for sunshine in a glass and you'll know why the Eagles dedicated a song to it.
Maybe Sammy in Sydney (no.11 on the World's 50 Best Bars list) shares the recipe for 'lady luck', one of their most popular cocktails. Think fruity notes like mango, orange, maraschino in this simple, elegant high-ball.
Want to keep it simple and strong? Then go for a classic gin-forward gimlet and you're in good company. Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler popularised the cocktail in their stories.
The Moscow mule, or vodka buck, will put some spice in your night. Wonder why it's usually served in a copper mug? Discover the cocktail's history ready to impress your guests.
If bourbon whiskey is your drop, try out a refreshing mint julep, with expert tips from Tom Macey.