THE BEVERAGE BROLLY – MAKE A COOL COCKTAIL UMBRELLA

Please be assured that the irony of the idea I am about to share is NOT lost on me when you consider that I’m often muttering and huffing that ‘I never have enough time’.

I’m ready for the backlash. If I have time to fuss and preen over these then, yes, I actually must have enough time. In fact so much time, that it might be time that I get a proper job.

But, parking this notion for a moment, and turning the key in the lock of a mind palace of uber-frivolousness, how about homemade cocktail umbrellas?

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Now these little show-offs have lots of jolly things going for them but first, and for balance, there are serious things they won’t do. They will not further mankind… not really. Each is a slightly embarrassing imbalance of something carefully conceived, delicately executed and purposefully styled up, but is, ultimately a disposable drinks accessory. Let’s be frank, they don’t help get the drink into your mouth any better either – indeed, quite the opposite.

And so to things these perky brollies do do. They’re going to lend some pretty serious creative boom to your drinks party (let’s clench our bottoms and go as far as to call them ‘game changing’). Selected appropriately, they help avoid the frightful moment when one similar coloured cocktail is placed down next to another; the very stuff of drink confusion nightmares. Employ a bespoke version to send a message to the drink’s recipient and blow their mind with your ingenuity, originality and thoughtfulness (see my marriage proposal brolly). But do please be wary of the equal possibility of them obliviously discarding said umbrella (and crashingly your love) in their haste to get bevvied up.

With these crafty delights, I have my tongue in my cheek. Being serious, they are from a world of effort that takes some getting used to. But once there, what’s not to like?

1. Get yourself some cocktail recipes. 2. Hang ten in your craft den. 3. Reappear rocking the most handsome tray of drinks.

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  • A selection of paper
  • Cocktail sticks and thinnish skewers (diameter not much bigger than your cocktail stick)
  • Scissors and pinking shears or cutting effects craft scissors
  • PVA glue, double sided tape, possibly some superglue
  • Decorations: pompoms, beads, pearls, doilies or cupcake laser cut wrappers
  • A needle and thread

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  1. Start by using a roll of tape to draw a circle on your paper.
  2. Cut it out using scissors, pinking shears or similar to jazz up the edges.
  3. Pattern side down, fold the circle in half. Open out. Turn 90 degrees and fold in half again, matching the existing fold lines up.
  4. In each 1/4 of the circle you need two more evenly spaced folds. I did it by eye, but you can use a protractor if you’re very serious about measuring.
  5. Then cut out two of the segments so the canopy takes shape but at the gap, leave a small lip on the edge to stick on the underside of the adjacent segment.
  6. Use a small piece of double-sided tape to join the edges together.
  7. Upturn the umbrella and on the inside, lay a cocktail stick in one of the folds, pointing into the middle, to make a strut. Trim the pointed end so you have both the desired amount poking out at the umbrella rim and also a little space inside the brolly to glue in your umbrella stick. Repeat this with the other nine (you might actually need a cocktail at this point).
  8. Glue in each strut using a line of PVA glue along the length of the stick. Allow to dry.
  9. Cut your skewer/umbrella stick to length and load with a dollop of glue. Stick it into the middle of the struts and press gently against inside of the umbrella canopy. Insert the umbrella stick into a blob of Blu Tack and stand up to dry.
  10. Now decorate away!

Photography & styling: Ruth Howes