Alcohol. That lone ingredient can, more than music, decoration or incontinence, make or break a party. Too much of the wrong stuff or, worse, not enough, and it’s Molotovs rather than Manhattans. Keep your peeps merry with a cocktail or two. Words: Mark Robertson

Cosmopolltan What’s in it? Vodka. Cointreau. a splash of cranberry juice, wedge of lime to garnish. Couldn't be simpler. What does it taste like? Sophisticated. Real strong at first but gives way to a sweet, citrusy tang. If this drink was a theme party it’d be . . . A Sex And The City style extravaganza. Difficulty O. Booziness O... Drinkability .000

What’s in it? Peach Schnapps. champagne, no ice.

What does it taste like? Expensive. Originally made with fresh peach juice which has been replaced in time by the alcoholic equivalent. A novel. if sugary twist on straight fizz.

If this drink was a theme party it’d be . . . An evening at the Playboy Mansion.




White Russian

What’s in it? Vodka. Kahlua. milk. What does it taste like? Creamy. A splash of coffee. a hint of vodka and dairy overload. once you‘ve got over the notion that something so innocent can get you so rubbered you can't stand up . . . If this drink was a theme party it’d be . . . A Coen Brothers Movie Party. The beverage of choice of ‘The Dude' in The Big Lebowski. Difficulty COO

Booziness COO

Drinkability 00.0

What’s in it? lvlidori, Vodka. Pineapple juice. Easy to make in large quantities. What does it taste like? Nectar. A fruit smoothie laced with Refreshers. If this drink was a theme party it'd be . . . Hawaii Five-O Party. A couple of jugs of this and it'd be ‘book 'em Dan-O'. Difficulty Boozlness Drinkabillty

Long Vodka

What’s in it? Vodka. Angostura bitters. lime juice. lemonade. Shake in a few drops of Angostura, roll around the glass. empty out. fill with ice and fling in your liquor.

What does it taste like? Bittersweet. Angostura gives any sticky glassful a bitter twist making your guests feel like they're getting something a little more decadent.

If this drink was a theme party it’d be . . . A classic

movie villain's world domination evening.

Difficulty COO.

Booziness O.

Drinkablllty 0..

All cocktails listed can be sampled at Oxygen, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh. Thanks to Debbie-Lee Young and Don Tate for their help.