Over Christmas, the drinks cabinet is raided. Bottles untouched for the rest of the year are fished out, dusted off and quaffed without regret – until Boxing Day morning, that is.
But rather than swilling Advocat and old port, why not try out one of these seasonal tipples – which are certain to jingle your bells all through the season.
The Partridge in a Pear Tree
This Christmas, Searcys Champagne Bar at St Pancras is offering the Partridge in a Pear Tree cocktail – a warming mix of smooth whiskey, spiced with homemade christmas syrup, a touch of Orange Bitters and Searcys’ own Special Cuvee Champagne.
To recreate at home, take a measure of smokey whisky, add half a measure of spiced syrup – Searcys suggest something with cinammon, nutmeg, ginger and star anise notes – and a dash or two of orange bitters. Throw in half a measure of pear liquor, shake, decant into a champagne flute and top up with sparkling wine.
Spiced Mulled Wine
Begin by pouring some seasonal spices – cinnamon, star anise and cloves will do – into a pan, along with half a cup of water and three tablespoons of muscovado sugar. Simmer for two minutes, and throw in one lemon and two clementines, both thinly sliced.
Pour into a jug, and add half a cup of Cointreau and a bottle of light red wine, such as Beaujolais. Chill overnight and, when serving, subvert the mulled wine tradition by icing your cocktail in a highball glass with a twist of orange zest.
The Harvest Sparkle
Again, grab a saucepan, and mix half a cup of honey, a dash of ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves and a cup of orange juice over a medium heat. In a shaker, mix together two cups of bourbon with a cup of cider honey syrup over ice.
Strain into a pitcher and chill. When serving, top up with prosecco to top up glasses and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
The Raspberry Russian
Start by adding an ounce of vodka, an ounce of Chambord and an ounce of heavy cream to a shaker. Stir together thoroughly, and decant into a rocks glass – over ice. Top with three fresh strawberries. Simple, but seasonal.
Apple Pie on the Rocks
Firstly, sugar rim your rocks glasses with brown sugar. Then, in a martini shaker, pour one ounce of vanilla vodka, one ounce of Fireball whiskey and four ounces of apple juice over ice. Add a dash of cinnamon.
Shake around ten times, and pour into your prepared glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.