When the lovely people from Diageo got in touch asking if I'd write a blog post about cocktails it wasn’t too much of a hard decision to make, especially when they mentioned martinis – one of my favourite cocktails due to the many different flavours and guises it comes in. I love an espresso martini after a big dinner, and never say no to a fruity or spicy variety when I'm out for drinks with the girls. As it’s National Martini Day (yes, that’s a thing – a very good thing) coming up on the 19th June, I wanted to share a recipe for my absolute favourite martini. It’s the perfect cocktail for hot summer evenings, and has a bit of spice, a little sweetness and is utterly refreshing.
Makes 2 chilli, passion fruit and cucumber martinis
For the syrup:
6 passion fruits
2 red chillies
100g caster sugar
100ml water
For the cocktail:
100ml Smirnoff vodka
25ml fresh lemon juice
50ml cucumber juice (blend a cucumber then strain the juice through muslin)
To serve:
1 passion fruit, halved
2 slices of red chilli
Make a passion fruit and chilli syrup by chopping the chillies and taking the seeds and juice from the passion fruits. Add to 100g sugar and 100g water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes then leave to steep overnight. Pour the liquid through a sieve into a cocktail shaker and add the vodka, lemon juice and vodka. Top up with ice and shake til cold. Pour the cocktail mix into martini glasses, top with half a passion fruit and a slice of chilli to serve.
If this doesn’t tickle your fancy then there’s loads more martini ideas, recipes and inspiration here.

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