What are you drinking these days?
December typically is the month of mulled wine, at least in that part of the world where it is winter, and temperatures are low.
This year, going out and sipping on a mulled wine at a Christmas Market or at one of the many stalls typically popping up everywhere in the cities and towns across Europe at this time of the year, however, is quite difficult if not totally impossible with all the restrictions in place.
Though making mulled wine at home is straightforward (check out my post 5 easy mulled wine recipes to make at home), lately I’ve been experimenting making other cocktails at home that feel festive as well.
If like me, you have stocked up your home bar this year, or are planning to do it now, and honing your skills making cocktails at home, below I have listed five great cocktails with a festive twist.
And if you like them, safe the recipe to impress your friends next year when invitations during the festive season will be possible again.
Snowy white Mojito
The traditional Cuban Mojito is a favourite summer cocktail, or should I just say it is a favourite, full stop?
With a bit of tweaking, for me the below recipe is definitely one of the most perfect Christmas drinks.
8-10 fresh mint leaves
1 lime, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons white rum
1 tablespoon coconut rum
60 ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Cinnamon stick for garnish
In a glass, muddle the mint leaves. Add lime juice and sugar, mix gently, then fill the glass halfway with ice cubes.
In a shaker, add the white and coconut rum and the coconut milk, then shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
Pour into the glass with the lime juice and mint and top up with tonic water.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and some ground cinnamon on top.
Lillet Winter Thyme
The French Lillet aperitif wine is a longstanding favourite when it comes to mixing up a nice cocktail. In fact, I think it is safe to say, the possibilities to create delicious refreshing drinks with a Lillet are truly unlimited.
For a festive (or just autumnal) version, try the one below.
50 ml Lillet Blanc
50 ml apple juice
2 tablespoons simple sirup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
50 ml tonic water
Apple wedge and cinnamon stick for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Lillet Balance, apple juice, simple sirup and lemon juice and stir gently. Top up with tonic water.
Garnish with an apple wedge and a cinnamon stick.
Tequila, Cointreau and lime juice.
Yes, it’s a Margarita.
To make it a festive one, you only need to add one additional ingredient.
30 ml white tequila
25 ml Cointreau
1 tablespoon lime juice
25 ml cranberry juice
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients and shake vigorously for a few seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass over ice.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
Cranberry Gin Cocktail
These days putting together a list of cocktails, clearly there needs to be at least one option including gin. It is one of the spirits that over the past few years has seen one of the most significant growth stories globally. In fact, today there are more than 5,000 different gins made around the world.
Which one to use for this cocktail is entirely up to you but my recommendation would be to go for one of the classic London Dry gins.
2 fresh cranberries
30 ml gin
10 ml lemon juice
150 ml cranberry juice
Cranberries and mint leaves for garnishing
In a glass, muddle the cranberries then fill the glass with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and cranberry juice. Stir gently. Garnish with some fresh cranberries.
Blood Orange Spritz
Bubbles are definitely a must during the festive season. And a champagne cocktail (or alternatively a good quality crémant, prosecco or sparkling wine) in my opinion is always a winner.
60 ml blood orange juice
15 ml Aperol
Blood orange twist for garnishing
Add the blood orange juice and Aperol in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
Strain into a cocktail glass or champagne flute, then top up with champagne (or any of the above alternatives).
Garnish with an orange twist.
What is your favourite festive cocktail? Let me know.