December must be the most unproductive season in the working calendar, unless of course you’re in the drinks business!
The festive season signals mass celebrations of office parties, family get-togethers, girls nights out, guys nights out, date night out… you get the picture.
At the heart of any good party is an inspiring cocktail list, and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit, than with a festive menu of drinks.
Whether you’re hosting or toasting, here are three sumptuous cocktails, and the best time to serve them:
A Thanksgiving Eggnog
While Thanksgiving isn’t a thing in the UK, it is still a widely held tradition in America, while growing in popularity on our shores. Held on 22 November this year, the annual celebration brings together families, traditionally in celebration of the harvest season.
Eggnog is a typical cocktail that one might serve up during this celebration, with a delightful creamy froth perfect for the colder nights.
This great recipe can be kept in the fridge for up to three weeks to enjoy.
Large free-range eggs
Liquor (this tends to be made with bourbon, but you can use rum or brandy – or combine your favourite blend, there’s no rules!)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate out the egg yolks into two bowls
Whisk the egg whites using a mixer until you get soft peaks. With the mixer still whisking, gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar until you get stiff peaks
Next, mix the egg yolks and a ¼ cup of sugar together, beat until dissolved before adding the milk, cream, liquor and a few sprinkles of grated nutmeg. Beat together fully mixed.
Using the mixer, fold the beaten egg whites into the mix and chill before serving
Christmas Party Spirits!
A Christmas party calls for a signature Christmas drink, and they don’t get more delightful than Christmas pudding vodka.
This beautifully fragrant drink brings out all the festive-feels with seasonal fruits used to give it an unmistakably sweet flavour. Serve with your favourite mixer or drink it neat.
Sticks of cinnamon
Teaspoons of ground mixed spice
Cherries for decorating
Mixed peel (chopped)
Light muscovado sugar
Litre of vodka
Grate your citrus fruit into a bowl, then squeeze in 2 tablespoons from each of the lemon and orange.
In the meantime, using a dry pan, gently warm up the spices on a very low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Once heated, add all the ingredients to the pan and take off the heat.
This is best left to rest for a few days in the fridge, stirring the mix daily.
When ready to serve, sieve the liquid and enjoy neat over ice, or combine with club soda or sparkling lemonade for a fruity festive treat!
Christmas Morning Bucks Fizz
You know you’re all grown up when the first thing you reach for on Christmas morning is a glass of Bucks Fizz, and not the presents!
The perfect way to start your Christmas Day, this easily-quaffable combination of fresh orange juice laced with champagne, dates back to the early 1920s, taking its name from the infamous Bucks Club in London.
Using three parts champagne and two parts orange juice, it’s also one of the easiest drinks to serve.
A bottle of Heidsieck & Co. Monopole 2007 Gold Top Champagne (£19.99 from Majestic Wine Warehouse) is the perfect tipple to pour. You could also use Comte de Senneval Brut from Lidl which is a steal at just £11.99. Alternatively, you can use Prosecco, or just buy a shop-bought mix, but where’s the fun in that!
Best Sipped by the Fire - Cranberry Old Fashioned
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas snuggled up by the fire, then a Cranberry Old Fashioned is the perfect winter drink. With the unmistakable notes of cranberry, this brings a festive twist to a much-loved favourite. Its warming bourbon undertone is perfect for those brisk winter nights!
Tablespoons of cranberry sauce (whole berry)
Cranberries to garnish
Mash the orange wedge with the sugar cube and a dash of bitters using a muddler, in an old-fashioned glass
Fill glass with the crushed ice and add the bourbon, cranberry sauce and a dash of club soda
Give a quick stir, top with cranberries and serve!
If you are hosting Christmas for family or friends this year and need recipes for the masses, then check out our The Big Christmas Punch article, teaching you how to make Apple Prosecco, Winter Pimm's, Santa's Punch and more!