Do It Yourself (DIY) Cocktails: Quarantine & Chill!

Do It Yourself (DIY) Cocktails: Quarantine & Chill!

Bar None

with Debbian Spence-Minott

Thursday, April 09, 2020

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The mandate to 'quarantine and chill' is still in effect and now, coupled with a periodic curfew, simply means we are definitely home for longer hours. For many people, staying at home for these extended periods might feel rather strange as they are used to getting dressed up, patronising particular venues, meeting, mingling and chilling outside of home. People have begun to reminisce about “when outside was a thing”. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your perspective — outside is no longer a thing, as our focus remains inside. So, today I share with you how to pass time by making your own cocktails. Even though the cocktails I will share here contain alcohol, please note that you can make most of these drinks without alcohol. Remember, we still have the responsibility to drink with care so that our experience even while in quarantine and at home remains pleasurable. Let's get started!

Creating Your Garnish

So, you want your cocktail to look as appealing as possible. In addition to completing the drink, you can add a decorative element to your presentation. I am certain that in many of our homes there are oranges and limes. To create a lime or orange wedge, simply cut both the top and base so that the fruit sits flat on a counter. Then cut the fruit in half vertically. Slice in pegs or half-moons each half into four pieces. To create a lime or orange wheel, simply cut the fruit across the diameter so that you have a complete circle. You can then store the garnish in a glassware of your choice, until ready for use. Now that your garnishes are prepared, let's start creating our cocktails.

Today we will create five cocktails: Fuzzy Navel, Long Island Iced Tea, Piña Colada, Frozen Mango-Strawberry Daiquiri and Martell Kingston.


The Fuzzy Navel

Build this cocktail in your glass.

In a highball or juice glass add: 2 oz Absolut Elyx vodka, 2 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz orange juice, 1 oz peach schnapps (optional), then add ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.


Long Island Iced Tea

Shake, then build cocktail.

Add ½ oz Appleton White/Genesis (40abv) rum, ½ oz Avion tequila, ½ oz Absolut vodka, ½ oz Beefeater gin and ¼ oz lime juice to a shaker. Add ice, then shake for about 5 seconds.

Pour the mixture in a highball or hurricane glass, top up with more ice as desired then pour cola to the side.

Garnish with either a lime wheel or wedge.


Piña Colada (Frozen)

Blend this cocktail.

In your blender, pour 2 oz of Piña colada mix, 2 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz Whispering Breeze Coconut Rum and ¾ oz simple (clear) syrup. Add ice, then blend until smooth. Pour the blend into a hurricane glass and garnish with an orange wheel, or pineapple slice.

Mango-Strawberry Daiquiri (Frozen)

Blend this cocktail.

In your blender, pour 1 oz strawberry daiquiri mix, 1 oz of mango mix, 1 ¼ oz of Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, ½ oz simple syrup, ½ oz lime juice. Then add ice and blend. Pour ingredients in poco grande or hurricane glass. Garnish with lime wheel or wedge.


The Martell Kingston

Build this cocktail in your glass.

In a cognac or old-fashioned glass, muddle an orange wedge (leave the orange in the glass) then add 1¾ oz Martell VS cognac. Then, add ice and top off with Fever Tree ginger ale; add 3 drops of Angostura Bitters for complexity. For additional garnish, add another wedge of orange to the cocktail.

Join me on Instagram (@debbiansm) as I demonstrate step-by-step how to make these cocktails. Remember to have fun, follow the ounces of alcohol suggested (your drink should not contain more than 2 ounces of alcohol — individually or combined), and of course enjoy your cocktails responsibly!


Readers' Grapevine Club: If you are new to wines and want to join us on our wine discovery, then this is for you. On the third Thursday of each month, I will highlight your feedback on our grape variety/vine of the month. The Grapevine of the month is merlot. There should be a bottle somewhere lying around the house. Share with me your feedback on what you thought about the wine and your overall wine experience.


Readers' Feedback:

Extraordinary wonder and joy are interwoven through ordinary life, seek for them relentlessly. Please share with me your wines, spirits and cocktail experiences or comments on the above article at, or follow me on IG @debbiansm #barnoneja.


Debbian Spence-Minott ‑ An Alumna of the US Sommelier Association; CEO of the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines; President, Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited; Marketing Studies Lecturer – The University of Technology, Jamaica

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