This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
When your relatives are gathered together, a cocktail is a great way to get everyone relaxed and into the spirit of Christmas. So why not delve into that drinks cupboard and make use of some of the bottles in there! Here are seven recipes you might like to try…
GINSECCO – with ever-popular elderflower
This particular ginsecco is an Elderflower Gin Fizz recipe from the Craft Gin Club. So many people seem to like elderflower, so pretty sure this one will be very popular with your guests.
INGREDIENTS (makes 2): 55ml gin, 30ml elderflower liqueur, 30ml lemon juice, prosecco and lemon peel twists to garnish.
METHOD: Pour gin, elderflower and lemon juice in a shaker and combine. Pour into champagne flutes and top with chilled prosecco. Garnish with lemon swirls and serve immediately.
NEGRONI SBAGLIATO – lighter than a classic negroni
Swapping gin for prosecco makes for a lighter version of the classic negroni. Recipe from Olive Magazine.
INGREDIENTS (serves 1): 25ml campari, 25ml sweet vermouth, 25ml prosecco, orange slice to serve
METHOD: Put the Campari and vermouth into a glass and fill with ice. Top with prosecco, gently stir to mix and serve with an orange slice.
CLEMENTINE MARTINI – refreshingly boozy
If you’ve got easy peelers going to waste, this citrussy sparkling cocktail is a great way to use some of them up.
INGREDIENTS (makes 10): Juice 6 clementines plus 2 for serving, 100ml vodka, 100ml cointreau, bottle of chilled prosecco, cava or champagne
METHOD: Put some Martini glasses (or champagne flutes) into the freezer. Mix the clementine juice, vodka and Cointreau in a jug, then chill for 1 hr (or up to 1 day). Thinly slice the 2 clementines to use as a garnish. To serve, put a clementine slice into each frosty glass. Fill almost halfway with the chilled jug mixture, then open the bottle of fizz and top up the glasses.
MULLED WINE – an oldie but a goodie
My son Hugo has requested I make this when he comes to stay over Christmas and I realised I had no idea how to actually knock one up. Thank goodness for Google! Turns out it’s easy peasy which is just the way I like it. Here is BBC Goodfood’s recipe:
INGREDIENTS (serves 6): 750ml bottle red wine, large cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 4 cloves, 2 strips lemon zest, 4 tbsp caster sugar
METHOD: Put the red wine, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, lemon zest and sugar in a large pan. Cook on a low heat for 10 mins. Remove from the heat and cool, leaving to infuse for about 30 mins. Re-heat and pour into mugs or heatproof glasses.
GRACE’S PEAR MAC – an original A&G recipe
I’m usually just into the odd glass of wine so I can hardly believe I actually invented this cocktail a few years ago – I obviously highly recommend it! There’s something about the warming qualities of ginger that I absolutely relish and Stone’s ginger wine does the trick every time. My cocktail is simple to make but a deliciously complex drink – hot, spicy, fruity… yum!
METHOD(makes 1): Pour 25ml Stone’s Ginger Wine, 25ml whiskey and 50ml pear juice into a lovely crystal tumbler. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and pop in a few ice cubes.
WHITE CHRISTMAS RUSSIAN – had to have one that uses Baileys!
This one is like a hug in a glass. A very moreish hug in a glass!
INGREDIENTS (makes 1): 25ml vodka, 25ml Baileys, 25ml Kahlua (or substitute with espresso coffee), 25ml milk or single cream
METHOD: Combine the ingredients, stir and pour into a glass.
HOT SPICED CIDER – perfect after a winter walk
Warming and welcoming. Recipe from Olive Magazine.
INGREDIENTS (serves 6): 1 litre dry cider, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 4 cloves, 4 allspice berries, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 tbsp golden rum
METHOD: Gently heat the cider, brown sugar, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and rum in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Pour into glasses and decorate with lemon and pear slices and star anise.
Serve your cocktails with the ultimate canape – cheese gougeres LINK GOES HERE or indeed any of our other recommended canape recipes