Raspberry gin in a bottle and two glasses

10 drinks projects to try in lockdown

Looking for a new lockdown kitchen activity? We've got plenty of fun drinks ideas to keep you busy, from making your own kombucha and kefir to flavoured spirits, cider and cordials.

When you’ve exhausted every box set and book on your bookshelf, why not learn a new skill? Not only will it expel potential boredom, but you’ll be rewarded with drinks that taste all the more delicious with the knowledge you made them yourself. Whether you’re fascinated by ferments, want to turn foraged goods into cordial or have dreams of being a master of mixology, we’ve got lots of projects you can try to get you through lockdown.

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Keep yourself occupied with even more cookery ideas with our top 10 foodie projects to try in lockdown. Become a bread pro with our tips for making sourdough and pizza, or get green fingered growing your own herbs. They may come in handy for flavouring some of these tipples…

1. Kombucha

This refreshingly tangy, effervescent drink is becoming more popular by the day. Made by fermenting tea with sugar and a ‘scoby’ (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), it is perfectly easy to make at home from scratch. Follow our kombucha recipe for easy step-by-step instructions on brewing and flavouring this fermented drink. Our expert guide on how to make kombucha covers the process in more depth, from the different stages of fermentation to sourcing scobies, developing different flavours and troubleshooting.

2. Kefir

Another increasingly popular fermented drink, kefir is made from milk and thought to be packed full of beneficial probiotics. It has a strong, sour taste similar to yogurt – one of the benefits of making this at home is that you can control the level of flavour. You don’t need much equipment to make it, but kefir grains are essential. Follow our simple homemade kefir recipe and read our in-depth guide on how to make kefir.

Looking for more fermentation projects? Try our recipes for sauerkraut and kimchi.

3. Cider

Missing a crisp pint of cider at your local? Learning how to make your own might ease the pain. With a few simple pieces of equipment you can turn a glut of apples into a brilliant bevvie, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. From tips on selecting apples to juice extraction, fermentation and maturation, this expert guide covers everything you need to know about how to make cider.

4. Mead

Travel back in time with some homemade mead – a fermented alcohol made with honey. Learn how to make mead at home, along with top brewing tips and advice on essential equipment from the experts. Experiment with added fruit, spices or grains to make your mead totally unique.

5. Gin

It’s surprisingly straightforward to craft your own gin at home. No prior knowledge necessary, this compound gin only needs a few ingredients. The secret to perfection is starting with a good-quality vodka for the base, which is then infused with juniper berries and botanicals.

After mastering how to make gin, try infusing your blend with some fabulous fruity and floral flavours. From autumnal sloe gin to summer berry infusions, we’ve got plenty of recipe ideas in this article on how to make flavoured gin.

6. Flavoured vodka

Another delicious addition to your lockdown cocktail cabinet, neutral spirits like vodka are perfect for using as a base to create boozy infusions at home. Fruity, herby, crisp or spicy – we have a flavour to fill up your glass. Learn how to make flavoured vodka by infusing the alcohol with various ingredients and expertly matching your flavours. We’ve also got some fun recipe suggestions, from fruity raspberry vodka to sweet Turkish delight vodka.

Want to try some other bases? Discover more ideas on how to make flavoured spirits.

7. Dairy-free milks

Want to try a dairy-free alternative to cows milk? Oat milk and almond milk are great substitutes and are easy to make at home, as well as being budget-friendly. Both of our recipes use just one ingredient – either porridge oats or almonds – which are soaked overnight in water before being blitzed up and strained. Learn how to make dairy-free milk, as well as how to sweeten the resulting mixture and use up the leftover pulp in bakes.

8. Cordials

We’ve seen a large surge in people foraging for wild fruit and edible flowers since the first lockdown. Plan for the emergence of spring bounty by learning how to make your own cordial.

One of the most popular infusions is elderflower cordial, which can be mixed with sparkling water to create a cooling elderflower pressé, or added to wine, gin or champagne for a floral tipple. Read more tips on how to make cordials, and what they can be mixed with.

9. Iced tea

Imagine it’s summertime with a glass of refreshing iced tea. It’s super-simple to whip up a jug of our citrusy iced tea, which you can sweeten with sugar or syrups, or infuse with herbs, fruit or florals. Find lots more recipe suggestions and tips in our guide on how to make iced tea.

For another cooling beverage you can make at home, try our easy lemonade recipe.

10. Dalgona coffee

Not familiar with dalgona coffee? This smooth and creamy whipped drink was a social media sensation during the first lockdown. With just three simple ingredients and basic kitchen kit, you can whip up this frothy marvel in minutes. It’s delicious served hot or cold, and looks equally Instragrammable either way. Watch our video for step-by-step instructions on how to make dalgona coffee.

For more homemade caffeine kicks, why not learn how to make a frappé or iced coffee? Check out our collection of coffee recipes for barista-style flat white, cappuccino and latte recipes.

Try more of our fun food and drink projects…

How to make the perfect smoothie
Top 10 most popular cocktail recipes
A guide to sloe gin
How to make mulled wine
Our most cheerful cake recipes
Fun baking projects for kids
How to make slime

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Have you tried any new projects during lockdown? Leave a comment below…