Boozy ways to enjoy classic Christmas treats…

Christmas-Cocktails

There are some flavours that can’t fail to get you into the spirit of the season – spicy gingerbread, sweet cranberries, and zingy peppermint (you can’t beat a post-Christmas-lunch After Eight, after all) are just a few. All are classics, and all are an integral part of festive feasting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix them up a bit too. For a new and rather grown-up way to enjoy them, try including these festive flavours in Christmassy cocktails. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Gingerbread

Gingerbread-Cocktails
Gingerbread and Christmas are a combination as old as time – they go together like fish and chips, strawberries and cream, Fed Up & Drunk bloggers and chocolate biscuits, the list goes on. For a decidedly grown-up gingerbread fix, we at FU&D like a little tipple in the form of a Gingerbread Martini.

Ingredients – makes one serving
For Gingerbread Syrup:
175ml water
165g granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
5cm piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
For Martini:
Ice
60ml vodka
15-30ml your newly made gingerbread syrup

Method
For Gingerbread syrup:
Simmer water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ginger for approximately 15 minutes, until reduced to around 175ml. Stir occasionally.
Pour the hot syrup through a fine sieve and chill. Leave for about 20 minutes before using, allowing all sediment to settle at the bottom.

For Martini:
Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add vodka and the gingerbread syrup. Cover and shake forcefully for 30 seconds, until completely mixed. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Peppermint

Peppermint-Cocktail
I personally am of the opinion that it’s impossible to improve on Schnapps. It’s like ambrosia itself, gifted to us mere mortals to ensure merriment and good times. If there’s one change that I’d be happy with, though, it’s infusing Schnapps with a little Christmas cheer in the form of peppermint.

This is something that can be bought ready-made, but if you fancy making your own, that’s pretty easy to do too – though be warned, it’ll take about a fortnight to age!

Ingredients – makes ten servings
40g white sugar
280ml light corn syrup
300ml vodka
6ml peppermint extract

Method
Add sugar and corn syrup to a pan and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in vodka. Cover and allow to cool.

Cranberries

Cranberry-Cocktail

Not only is ‘Cranberry Christmas Cocktail’ quite fun to say, it’s also a delight to drink. Sadly, this cranberry-based festive beverage has an official name devoid of alliteration. Know as a Poinsettia, this cocktail is said to be a favourite of kitchen seductress, Nigella Lawson – and if it’s good enough for her, then it must be delicious.

Ingredients – makes ten servings
75cl bottle of dry, fizzy white wine, chilled
125ml Cointreau or Triple Sec, chilled
500ml cranberry juice, chilled

Method
Combine all ingredients in a jug and gently mix. Pour ingredients out into Champagne flutes or wine glasses.

Salted Caramel

Salted-Caramel-Cocktail

Nothing is more cockle-warming in the wintery weather than a hot beverage, sipped in front of an open fire, whilst nestled under a blanket. Although a salted caramel hot chocolate would undoubtedly suit this scenario, a salted caramel hot chocolate spiked with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream takes it to the next level.

Ingredients – makes one serving
2 tbsp caramel syrup
170ml milk, heated
4 tbsp ganache
25ml Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
1 can whipped cream
Pinch of medium coarse sea salt

Method
Pour the caramel syrup into a mug and twist to thoroughly coat the inside. Mix together the milk, ganache and Bailey’s and add into the mug. Top with cream and sprinkle on sea salt.

Eggnog

Eggnog

Whilst eggnog is already an alcoholic beverage associated with the festive season, it would seem somewhat akin to sacrilege to not give it a mention. Available both with alcohol and without, this beverage of British origins is now immensely popular across the pond, and is a little controversial thanks to its raw eggs.

Ingredients – makes eight servings
5 eggs, separated
130g granulated sugar
700ml whole milk
240ml double cream
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
175ml bourbon
Method
Beat egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually add 120g of sugar, whilst continuing to beat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, nutmeg and bourbon and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer to soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar whilst still running the mixer until stiff peaks form. Combine mixtures and chill

 

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