In the last few weeks we’ve covered a couple of ideas for summery drinks to serve at back garden get togethers and weekend barbecues. But obviously you’re going to have to feed your guests too. Line the stomach and all that! Meat, salad, sauce, bread and an open flame usually takes care of the savoury aspect of proceedings and its easy enough to judge whether you’ve made enough to cater for everyone, but what about when it comes to something sweet?

Nothing says dessert for a crowd like a trifle. They’re crowd pleasers and really simple to put together. Either make one in a huge bowl that you know will feed everyone, probably the easiest and fastest option. Or if you want a fail safe way to ensure portions for all, you can use individual glasses to ensure there’s plenty for each guest. This will be a little more time consuming but it saves you dishing up on the day, and this is a dessert that keeps well so can be made ahead of time. Clear dishware is always best as it means you get to see the pretty layered effect 🙂

Since we are all about the drinkies here at Bottle In A Box, these recipes call for a good old glug of booze. So these trifles are strictly for the grown ups!


Mixed Berry Trifle




This is not one for the designated drivers as it’s made with Vodka Jelly as well as the traditional sherry and packs quite a punch.



  • 2 x 85g packets of strawberry jelly powder mix
  • 200ml Raspberry vodka
  • Chilled apple juice
  • 500g fresh berries plus extra for decoration
  • 500ml vanilla custard
  • One large jam swiss roll
  • Sweet sherry
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons of icing sugar plus extra for decoration




1. Add jelly crystals to a mixing jug and add boiling water as per the instructions. The second step will call for cold water. At this stage, substitute in the 200mls of vodka and make up the remainder of the cold water amount with apple juice.

2. Cover the jelly and refrigerate until it’s beginning to set, stir in the mixed berries, pour the mixture into your trifle dish, cover and return to the fridge until completely set.

3. Spoon a thick layer of custard over the jelly.

4. Slice your swiss roll into round slices and arrange in a layer on top of the custard. Drizzle the cake layer with sweet sherry.

5. With a hand mixer, whip the icing sugar and cream until it forms soft peaks. Top the trifle with the cream and cover. Return to the fridge to rest overnight.

6. Before serving, top the trifle with mixed berries and dust with icing sugar.


Banana Rum Trifle




The lovely Caribbean flavours in this trifle just scream summer.



  • 360ml spiced rum
  • 250g white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 loaf banana bread
  • 500ml vanilla custard
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2tsp icing sugar
  • 8tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 170g brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 6 bananas cut into ½ inch rings
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 200g mango chunks
  • 200g pineapple chunks
  • Small handful of chopped walnuts




1. Toss your mango, pinapple and a handful of banana slices in a couple of teaspoons of rum and a squeeze of lemon juice, cover and place in the fridge.

2. Make a rum simple syrup by heating 230ml rum, 250g white sugar and a cinnamon stick until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick

3. For the banana layer, melt the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large skillet or pan over a medium-high heat. Toss the remaining bananas in lemon juice and add to the skillet, stir gently to coat the slices well and cook for about two minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining rum and carefully ignite with a match. Allow the flames to die out, stir and cool.

4. Slice the banana bread and arrange ½ the slices in the bottom of a trifle dish, drizzle with ½ the simple syrup mixture.

5. Layer on 250g of custard, Top custard with ½ banana mixture

6. Place the remaining banana bread slices on top and drizzle with the rest of the rum syrup.

7. Layer with the rest of the custard and follow with a layer of remaining banana mixture.

8. Cover the dish and chill for at least two hours.

9. To serve, whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Top the trifle with cream, dollop on the fruit chunks and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.


Pick your favourite and treat your guests to something sweet this summer!