We don’t think we’ve ever heard of a cocktail than sounds more fun than the Waggledance Punch… It’s a cocktail that would definitely stay up way past its bedtime, dancing the night away and behaving very badly. From Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends, this is just one of the tantalising cocktail ideas featuring in the acclaimed bartender’s first book. The founder of London’s award-winning White Lyan and Dandelyan bars, there’s no doubt that Chetiyawardana is a man with some serious expertise and imagination when it comes to delicious drinks. Whether you’re an alcohol aficionado, amateur mixologist or just interested in trying something a little more adventurous than your regular G&T’s, Good Things to Drink is a book to fire up your cocktail-making imagination. From modern takes on classic tipples to brunch cocktails and warming drinks for wintry evenings, intriguing ideas simply explained plus beautifully-photographed pages make Good Things to Drink a delight from start to finish. Now, back to that Waggledance Punch.

waggledance punch

This is as fresh as they come: quick to assemble and equally quick to disappear. It’s a combination of flavours that just works every time, but it’s still complex enough to warrant an extra cup. It’s also a showstopping drink to serve and easily caters to a group. When put together properly it bears no resemblance to those frat-boy concoctions that lurk in tubs in the corner of house parties. It’s perfect to drink outdoors, and if you don’t have a punch bowl, a soup urn or large pot works grand.

1 orange
3 litres/120oz boiling water 3 lemons
3 ripe peaches
8 shots (200ml/8oz) sugar syrup
1 bunch mint
1 bunch lemon verbena
500ml/20oz gin
2 litres/80oz cloudy apple juice
2 bottles chilled prosecco

good things to drink

To make the orange block, start the day before. Slice the orange thinly and put in an empty ice cream tub or similar. Fill with boiling water, allow to cool and freeze overnight.

Peel then juice the lemons, and stone and slice the peaches. Set the juice and peach aside. Add the lemon peel with the sugar syrup and half the mint and half the verbena leaves to a jug or bowl. Blitz with a stick blender (or in a food processor), then strain through a sieve.

good things to drink cocktails

Add your infused sugar syrup, lemon juice, peach and all the remaining ingredients – except the prosecco – to a punch bowl or soup urn. Mix well (be careful not to tear the herbs). Add the block of orange ice, then the two bottles of prosecco. Stir gently then ladle into cups. Try to get a slice of peach and a few leaves of herbs in each serving.