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ISSUE 40

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Cocktails at Christmas

ByThe Cocktail Lovers

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Looking for some Christmas cocktail ideas? Check out our selection below, as featured on Jo Good’s BBC Radio London Late Night Show (22/12/2021)

To hear The Cocktail Lovers on the Jo Good show click the link below. We come on about 1 hour 33 minutes in!

The Cocktail Lovers with Jo Good on BBC Radio London

Something warm and non-alcoholic

Hot spiced apple
Apples and spices are a match made in taste heaven – perfect if you’re not drinking alcohol but still want a hit of something warming and interesting in the taste department. You don’t have to be too precise with this recipe – start with a cup of apple juice for one to two serves and scale up to a litre or so if you’re entertaining or for decanting into a flask for social distanced al fresco meet-ups.

Apple juice or apple cider
Orange slices
Lemon slices
A selection of spices such as:
Cinnamon stick
Allspice berries
Star anise
Grated/ground nutmeg
3 cloves
Demerara sugar or honey to taste

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes until all of the flavours have infused. Add sugar or honey to taste. Pour into heat-proof mugs and garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick or star anise. Alternatively, decant into a flask to warm you up during winter walks.

If you have any left over, this can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Serve cold.
For an alcoholic version, add brandy or bourbon.

Alternatively, try the delicious non-alcoholic Crossip Rich Berry and add warm apple juice for a delectable winter treat.

Something bubbly for your bubble

Is it even a special occasion without some celebratory bubbles? By all means, crack open a bottle of Champagne to make your drink extra snazzy but you can also substitute a sparkling wine in the following recipes – just make sure you go for something dry (Brut) though, so your drink isn’t too sweet. All of the recipes below are served in a chilled Flute apart from the Sloe Gin Fizz (serve in a Highball).

For fabulous fizz, with all of the elegance but none of the alcohol, we suggest Fortnum’s Sparkling Teas (Dry and Rosé), available from fortnumandmason.

French 75

25ml gin
10ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup*
Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
Lemon twist to garnish

Method:
Shake the first three ingredients over ice and strain into chilled flutes. Top with the Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

For a variation on the above, replace the gin with whisk(e)y, tequila, rum or brandy.

* Add equal parts caster sugar and water to a clean jar. Shake vigorously for about a minute until sugar has fully dissolved. Store in the fridge until needed.

Classic Champagne Cocktail

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
30ml VSOP cognac
Sparkling wine/Champagne
Orange peel

Method:
Douse sugar cube with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and place in the bottom of your Champagne flute. Add cognac then top with Champagne or sparkling wine. Spritz orange zest over the glass and discard.

Clementine Martini

25ml freshly squeezed clementine juice
15ml Cointreau
Sparkling wine/Champagne

Method:
Stir the clementine juice and Cointreau over ice and strain into chilled flutes. Top up with the sparkling wine.

Pomegranate Fizz

25ml berry-flavoured vodka
35ml pomegranate juice
Sparkling wine/Champagne

Method:
Stir the vodka and pomegranate juice over ice and strain into chilled flutes. Top up with the sparkling wine and garnish with raspberries.

Sloe Gin Fizz

45ml sloe gin
30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup
Sparkling wine/Champagne

Method:
Shake the first three ingredients well over ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top up with the sparkling wine.

Something with sherry

For a throughly delicious way to serve sherry, try this simple and elegant cocktail – it makes a fabulous aperitif…

Bamboo

50ml Oloroso sherry
50ml dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Method:
Stir all the ingredients over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Something retro and fun

Snowball

Light, frothy, creamy and low abv to boot, this retro guilty pleasure is sure to bring on the smiles. Want more of a kick? No problem. Just add some brandy into the mix.

50ml Warninks Advocaat
25-35ml lime cordial or fresh lime juice
25 ml brandy (optional)
Lemonade
Cocktail cherry to garnish

Method:
Shake Advocaat and lime juice together with ice (add 25ml of brandy for a boozier version). Strain into a Coupe/Martini or Flute glass and top up with lemonade. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Using up leftovers

A couple of tasty ways to use up two jars that would otherwise end up lurking at the back of your cupboard – mix them up in a cocktail! Here’s how:

Cranberries

Use them in a Cosmopolitan

11/2 oz citrus vodka
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4-1/2 oz simple syrup
1 tsp cranberry sauce

Mincemeat

Use them in a Mince Pie Martini

Mincemeat syrup
100g golden caster sugar
100ml water
50ml mincemeat

To make the syrup:
Heat the water, golden caster sugar and mincemeat gently in a pan and bring to the boil. Cool and strain through muslin.

25ml gin
25ml red vermouth
5ml dark rum
1 tsp. mincemeat

Method:
In a shaker filled with ice, muddle the mincemeat with the gin, vermouth, rum and 20ml of the mincemeat syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into your glass and serve immediately.

For more Christmas ideas listen to the latest episode of The Cocktail Lovers Podcast

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

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