Christmas is a time for giving – and also a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. What better way to celebrate this most joyous of holidays than giving guests a great cocktail. There are many evergreen cocktails which have stood the test of time – as well as some innovative new approaches to celebratory tipples that add that little bit more enjoyment to Christmas.
Here are a few choices that will have you joining the man with the sack of gifts in a hearty ‘ho, ho, ho’.
1. The Snowball.
Combining Advocaat and Babycham sounds like a brilliant idea. However, take the mixture and mix it with finely crushed ice and you end up with a classic 70s cocktail that delivers every single time. If you feel like adding to the alure then add a dash of ginger spirit and a sliver of ginger root to the mixture.
This remains a firm favourite across the globe for a very good reason. It is simply delicious, warming and filling at the same time – and when made correctly it is also light, creamy and refreshing. Take a stab at making homemade custard and combine with some good quality brandy (rum or whiskey are perfectly acceptable substitutes) and you will be approaching Christmas cocktail nirvana.
3. Festive Whiskey Sour.
The recipe for the prototype Whiskey Sour can be found in the ‘The Bartender’s Guide: How To Mix Drinks’ written in 1862 by Jerry Thomas. However, as is normal drinks often under an evolution. Here’s one of the newer versions of this classic – one that is a visible embodiment of Christmas joy. Add a measure of crushed ice into a tumbler style glass over crushed ice. Use your finger or a paintbrush smear honey around the rim of the glasses. Use a paintbrush to apply edible gold glitter to the rim of each glass.
Next, take an appropriate measure of lemon and orange juice and add a smaller measure of simple syrup and place in a shaker. Agitate and then pour over the crushed ice.
4. Mulled Wine.
The definition of a cocktail is an alcoholic drink spirit (or a spirit) mixed with other ingredients. So Mulled Wine definitely fits the bill. However, there are also numerous variants when it comes to this festive tipple. A great version of this cocktail contains a light red wine and Cointreau. 1 Bottle of wine to 150ml of Cointreau. Peel in some orange zest and add a small amount of star anise. One of the advantages of this cocktail is that it can be served either chilled or warmed for a more traditional seasonal treat.
5. The Mint White Russian.
This is a seasonal take on a classic. If you are going to be decorating with imitation candy canes or serving the real thing, then chances are that you will appreciate this new twist on an old favourite. You should use peppermint vodka and mix in Kahlua to taste. A dash of vanilla adds that little more depth of flavour.