December is here and so with it comes Christmas. The frantic present buying has started, the mountain of cards need writing and our thoughts turn to what will grace our table over the festive period. Whether it’s the main event of roast turkey with all the trimmings, a well thought out cheese board exploring all tastes and textures or a plate of cold meats, porkpie and chutney on Boxing Day, one thing is for sure… we will need a good drink to wash it all down! Here are five great drink suggestions for you to enjoy over the Christmas period.
A Christmas classic! Whether enjoying a mug at a Christmas market or warming yourself after a cold carol service at church, mulled wine smells and tastes of Christmas.
Simple to make but just as easy to ruin here is the recipe I like to use to make this Christmas staple. There are two key rules to remember when making mulled wine: One, don’t use cheap wine, use something you would normally drink, there is a saying in cooking “you get out what you put into the pan” meaning if you use cheap, low quality ingredients then you will end up with a low quality and poor tasting meal and I believe this to also be true when it comes to buying and drinking alcohol. Two, do not boil the wine, doing so would evaporate all the “Christmas Cheer” (alcohol) out of the drink and I’m sure you would agree that would be a terrible shame!
- 1 Bottle of full bodied red wine.
- 1 Orange squeezed and remains added to the pan
- 150g Caster sugar
- 4 Cloves
- 2 Large cinnamon sticks
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Star anise
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 60ml Damson gin
In a pan add all the ingredients except the gin and gently warm on a low heat until the sugar dissolves and the flavours infuse. Taste to see if it requires more sugar, this will vary slightly from wine to wine. Once you are happy with the sweetness, take off the heat, add the damson gin, stir in and serve.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in my house without some fizz! What better way to crack Christmas day off whilst opening presents than with a glass of bubbly, or bucks fizz if you want to tone it down a bit first thing. In years past we have always reached exclusively for the Champagne but recently we have started exploring English sparkling wines and have found that you can get a wine just as good that is home grown and in many cases costs half the price! Names like Camel Valley, Chapple Down and Nyetimber all produce great sparkling wines and with prices as low as £22.00 a bottle it is extremely affordable!
I love a snowball at Christmas. It reminds me of Christmas as a child as it was one of the first alcoholic drinks we were allowed to try. Bit of an acquired taste and thought of as old hat now, this Christmas cocktail is still a must as far as I’m concerned!
Snowballs are easy to make, just mix equal parts of Advocaat and lemonade over ice and top with a grating of nutmeg.
Over the festive period we have a lot of cheese boards and if you’re having cheese, you’re having port! Whether you like a Crusted, Tawny or a Vintage port, it pairs perfectly with cheese but can also be good as a desert wine. Some of my favourite producers are Grahams, Taylors and Dows.
After you have had your fill of turkey, Christmas pudding, mince pies and the rest of the mountain of food we eat on Christmas day, come the evening it’s nice to sit back and relax with a whisky and perhaps a cigar, if you partake. Whether you’re drinking blended or single malt, Scottish, Irish, English, American or even Japanese whisky there are many different tastes to be explored within the world of whisky. I myself usually reach for a single malt Scotch. Some of my favourite distilleries are Talisker, Glenfiddich and Jura. However a recent release by Cotswold distillery is definitely worth mentioning. Their first whisky release and the first whisky ever made in the Cotswolds, it is very good! At only 3 years old it tastes well beyond its years and is well worth a try… if you can find a bottle as it is in very high demand!
I hope you find the post helpful when deciding what to drink this Christmas and I wish you a happy Christmas and New Year!
This is not a sponsored post.