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12 Drinks of Christmas

It’s fair to say that given the year we’ve had we all deserve to have a little creative fun this Christmas. With the festive season fast approaching, why not give it a jolly good go at making these delicious cocktails?



1. Winter Sangria


This recipe yields 1 pitcher of sangria, full of apples, cranberries and raspberries, that you can chill overnight and serve the next day.

Ingredients:

- 12 ounces Sprite

- 1/3 cup triple sec

- 1 bottle dry white wine

- 2 apples, cubed

- 1 cup fresh cranberries

- 1 pint red raspberries

- Syrup to taste

- Rosemary sprigs

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients except for the Sprite and rosemary sprigs in a pitcher.

2. Chill the mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

3. Add the Sprite to the pitcher just before serving. Garnish each glass with a rosemary sprig and serve.



2. Cinnamon Candy Apple


Welcome your guests by serving this sweet and spicy shot.

Ingredients:

- 3/4 oz. sour apple schnapps

- 3/4 oz. cinnamon whiskey or tequila

- Red food colouring

Directions:

1. Pour the sour apple schnapps into a shot glass.

2. Colour the cinnamon liquor with red food colouring.

3. Layer the cinnamon liquor over the schnapps by pouring it slowly over the back of a spoon. Serve immediately.



3. Salted Caramel Martini


Give the classic espresso martini an indulgent twist with the addition of sweet and salty caramel sauce. This recipe serves two.

Ingredients:

- 2 tbsp salted caramel sauce

- 75ml freshly brewed hot espresso

- 50ml coffee liqueur

- 100ml Absolut Vodka

- Ice cubes

- Cocoa, for dusting

Directions:

1. Mix the salted caramel sauce and espresso together until the caramel has fully melted. Set aside to cool.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over the cooled espresso mix, coffee liqueur and vodka. Shake vigorously until well combined.

3. Strain the mixture into 2 martini glasses, dust a little coca over the top and serve.



4. Eggnog


Enjoy this universally delicious and creamy cocktail, spiked or without alcohol for a kid-friendly version. This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

- 2 eggs, separated

- 1/4 cup sugar, divided

- 1 1/2 cups whole milk

- 1/2 cup heavy cream

- 1/2 cup rum, bourbon or brandy

- Grated nutmeg for garnish

Directions:

1. Beat the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.

2. Stir in the milk, heavy cream and your spirit of choice.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form.

4. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.

5. Divide between four rocks glasses or teacups. Garnish each with freshly grated nutmeg.



5. Mulled Wine Sangria


Use this recipe to combine the fruity flavours of a classic sangria with the fragrant spices of mulled wine. This recipe serves 8.

Ingredients:

- 1 bottle red wine

- 1 cup orange juice

- 1/2 cup brandy

- 1/4 cup trip sec

- 1 lime, sliced

- 1 lemon, sliced

- 1 apple, sliced

- 1 pear, sliced

- 3 mandarin orange slices,

- Handful of cranberries

- 1 tsp cloves

- 1/2 tsp allspice

- 3 cinnamon sticks

- Sugar to taste

- Lemon-lime soda or club soda (optional, for sparkle)

Directions:

1. Pour the brandy, triple sec, fruit and all but 1 cup of red wine into a pitcher and stir, then set aside.

2. Combine the orange juice, spices and the remaining red wine in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

3. Add granulated sugar to the simmering mixture if you desire a sweeter beverage.

4. Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes, then strain the liquid through a strainer to remove the whole spices. Add this mixture to the pitcher and refrigerate it overnight.

5. Pour the sangria into individual wine glasses and serve.

6. If you want to add sparkle, top the mixture off with a splash of club soda; you want to add sparkle and a bit of sweetness, use Sprite.



6. Geese-A-Laying


A Christmas crowd pleaser for those that need a break from the creamier drinks.

Ingredients:

- 2 1/2 ounces Grey Goose Vodka

- 1/2 ounce chilled Dry Vermouth

- Dash of orange bitters

- Lemon zest, for garnish

Directions:

1. Pour vodka and dry vermouth into a mixing glass.

2. Add a dash of orange bitters and top with cubed ice. Stir until well chilled.

3. Fine strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon zest.



7. Christmas Pudding Martini


The true spirit of Christmas, Martini-style!

Ingredients:

- 40ml Scotch Whiskey

- 10ml Honey

- 10ml Frangelico

- 10ml Grand Marnier

- 3 tbsp single cream

Directions:

1. Shake the first four ingredients over ice and strain to a martini glass.

2. Whisk the cream lightly then float over the drink with the black of a spoon – just enough to cover the surface and serve.



8. Cranberry and Clementine Sour


Serve your guests this fruity concoction with a fresh tangy finish.

Ingredients:

- 300g fresh or frozen cranberries

- 100g sugar

- 10ml water

- 30ml vodka

- 20ml clementine juice

- 15ml Cointreau

- 1 egg white

Directions:

1. Make the cranberry purée. Add fresh or frozen cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes and leave to cool.

2. Use a hand blender or food processor to reduce to a purée. Strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

3. Dry shake (without ice) all the ingredients in a shaker to emulsify them. Then half fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake hard for about 15 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with ice cubes and serve.



9. Buck’s Fizz


This celebratory drink screams Christmas morning, while the family unwrap presents and the scrambled eggs are cooking. This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

- 400ml Champagne

- 200ml orange juice

- Orange twists, to garnish

Directions:

1. Fill 4 flutes with 100ml of chilled Champagne each, then top with orange juice.

2. If you like, serve with an orange twist.



10. Sloe Gin Fizz


Sloes are tiny berries that grow wild in hedgerows around England, which develop a rich, tart flavour when infused in gin.

Ingredients:

- 50ml sloe gin

- 25ml lemon juice

- 2 tsp sugar syrup

- Ice

- Sparkling water

- Lemon slice

- Fresh or frozen blackberry

Directions:

1. Pour the sloe gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and full up with ice cubes. Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold, then strain into a tall glad filled with more ice.

2. Top up with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon slice and a blackberry.



11. Hot Toddy


Hot Toddies are lovely slow sippers, night caps or even perfect when playing cards with the family. This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

- 50ml whiskey

- 3 tsp honey

- 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half

- 1 lemon, half-juiced and half sliced

- 2 cloves

Directions:

1. Whisk the whiskey and honey together and split between 2 heatproof glasses.

2. Add half of the cinnamon stick to each, then top up with 200ml boiling water.

3. Add a splash of lemon juice to each (to taste). Finish with a slice of lemon, studded with a clove. Serve immediately.



12. Partridge in a Pear Tree


This cocktail can be served at occasions such as elegant dinner parties all the way to those cosier days. This recipe serves 1.

Ingredients:

- 2 ounces Absolut pear vodka

- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

- 1/2 ounce simple syrup

- Champagne to top

- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Directions:

1. Place one rosemary sprig in a tall flute. Combine the Absolut pear vodka, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake well and strain over the rosemary sprig until the glass is half full.

3. Top with sparkling champagne and garnish with rosemary sprig.



And there you have it! Take your pick from our list of Christmas cocktails to try at home if you really want to impress during the upcoming festive season.


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