It’s that time of year again! I have no doubt that many of you will be indulging in a tipple or two over the coming weeks. Why not add a different dimension to this festive period — and impress your family and friends at the same time. Here are three of my favourite festive recipes for you to try at home this Christmas.
Mulled wine at Christmas is the law, or at least it should be. My advice for this recipe is choosing the right wine. Stay away from lighter reds such as Pinot Noir or Merlot, as the subtle flavours will be lost. I’ve gone with an Australian Shiraz, it is full bodied, with sweet and spicy flavours that will combine perfectly with the winter spices in this recipe.
2 x 70cl bottles of Australian Shiraz
50ml Tawny Port
50ml Grand Marnier or Cointreau
5 tablespoons of sugar
2 Oranges, sliced
1 teaspoon of cloves
2 star anise
2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 cinnamon stick
Put all ingredients in a large saucepan and gently heat for 20 minutes, do not let it boil as the alcohol will evaporate. Serve hot in half pint jugs or sturdy wine glasses with a slice of orange and a star anise.
Another warming recipe for those cold winter nights and a well known cure-all for all of the nasty colds that make their rounds at this time of year.
I’ve chosen Aberlour 10-year as my whisky of choice; it is very good value for money and easily found in most supermarkets. The rich fruit and spice characters of this whisky are ideal for this drink.
2 teaspoons runny honey
60ml Aberlour 10yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky
15ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Teaspoon grated ginger
Add all ingredients to a half pint jug or coffee mug, top up with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.
The Snowball cocktail found fame in the 1970s. The original recipe calls for Warnicks advocaat liqueur, lime juice and lemonade; however, I believe this cocktail deserves a bit of an update. This easy recipe is a sure Christmas party favourite.
I’m removing the lemonade from the recipe and adding some local luxury with Nyetimber English Sparkling wine because, well, why not? it is Christmas after all!
The beautiful brioche notes in the Nyetimber work fantastically with the velvet creaminess of the Advocaat.
60ml Warnicks Advocaat Liqueur
10ml lemon juice
Shake both ingredients briefly with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top up with Nyetimber Classic cuvée. Simple!