Shake things up to welcome spring

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With a cocktail shaker and a few ingredients, these gin and vodka based cocktails are easier to make than you think ...

SPRING KIWI KICK

Celebrate spring even more with a zesty cocktail made with a vodka from the Ukraine, the birthplace of this clear spirit. Try Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve (£29.09, 70cl, www.thedrinkshop.com), a wheat vodka with a soft palate and twist of black pepper on the finish that’s been awarded a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competiton. Here’s the recipe to surprise your guests...

60ml Staritsky & Levitsky, dash of ginger syrup, 1/2 kiwi, 1 inch fresh ginger, 25ml pineapple juice, squeeze of lime

Muddle the 1/2 kiwi, ginger syrup and fresh ginger in a mixing glass. Add the vodka, pineapple juice and generous squeeze of lime. Shake over ice and double strain into a chilled coupette glass. Garnish with kiwi and ginger.

HENDRICK’S DREAM TIME MARTINI (serves 3)

For a Mad Hatter’s tea party, Hendrick’s Gin (£26, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) suggest serving a spring cocktail in a teapot. A Scottish gin with infusions of cucumber and rose petals, the aromas are in tune with the flowering bulbs outside.

150ml Hendrick’s Gin, 60ml lemon juice, 33ml lavender honey syrup, vintage teapot

To make the lavender honey syrup: infuse 20ml honey with 10ml boiling water and a teaspoon of dried lavender, stir until honey dissolves completely & mixture has infused lavender. Half-fill the teapot with ice. Add the gin, lemon juice and syrup, stir briskly and allow to sit for approx one minute. Stir again before pouring into chilled tea cups without ice (can always use a tea strainer!). Garnish with lemon zest.