If you’re a hopelessly retro traditionalist like me, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a Snowball or two (or three). I don’t get why people don’t drink this more – it’s light, sherbety, and frothy, and you get to serve it with a maraschino cherry! You can buy packs of ready made Snowballs, or you can mix your own. Take one part Advocaat, three parts lemonade, and add to a glass. Mix in a tiny drop of the maraschino cherry syrup (this is my secret trick), a dash of lime cordial, and top with a toothpick adorned with cherries. Now drink it and make another one right away. Isn’t Christmas telly GREAT?!
Now, I’m sure I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs here, but I only really recently learned the perfect way to make G&T – well, the way I like it, anyway… remember clever Charlie and his recipe for homemade Pimm’s? He makes an excellent gin and tonic.
His secret is to add a third to a quarter of gin to Indian tonic water, then a big squeeze of lemon, plus a nice slice of lime. And ice – that’s important too. To be honest, I’d always missed the importance of these latter three ingredients, but they really do lift the whole thing and make it something special. (And good gin helps – Tanqueray is my favourite, followed by Bombay Sapphire, and Fever Tree tonic is a must!)
Perhaps not traditional at Christmas, but still one of my favourite drinks – Campari! It has a pretty festive colour, don’t you think? Campari is a bitter orange liqueur and the easiest way to drink it is with lemonade, soda water or tonic water.
If you’re hankering after something a bit stronger, try my new favourite cocktail – the Negroni! It packs a heck of punch! Luckily the recipe is simple, so even after you’ve had a couple you should still be able to whip up some more… You just mix equal parts gin, Campari and red vermouth, and serve over ice. Hic!
Finally, there’s a couple of really good sweet dessert wines that are perfect for this time of year – ice wine and Sauternes!
Both are super sweet, thick and syrupy wines perfect for pairing with mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding. (And Sauternes is delicious served with chicken liver parfait too!)
My favourite Sauternes comes from Fortnum and Mason (and was delivered in my Christmas hamper this year!) but ice wine can be a little trickier to track down. It’s made from grapes which have frozen on the vine, creating a super sweet taste, and is mostly produced in Canada and Germany. Funnily enough, the only place I’ve found it for sale is Lidl – but at £18.99 a bottle, this isn’t a bargain basement deal (and as I said, is absolutely delicious!).
What are your favourite Christmas tipples? Let me know in the comments!