It’s the time of year when it’s acceptable to start drinking much earlier than normal, and it feels like everyone is offering you a drink when you see them. If you’ve got a few people coming over, or just fancy a nice treat for yourself, give some of these recipes a try, you might just find your new favourite! It’s not all about the alcohol either, as many of us on medications are unable to drink, and as theirs always a designated driver, I’ve chosen two of my favourite mocktails to celebrate with.
Mulled Pear & Cranberry Punch – I’m going to be making this in my slow cooker for Christmas Day, a treat for myself and the family that’ll be visiting, I feel like it could be a new tradition in the making. For this you’ll need: 1 litre pear cider, 1 litre apple juice, 1 litre cranberry juice, a handful of cranberries, 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 vanilla pods, you can add sloe gin too if you wish. Put all of the ingredients into a large pan, or slow cooker, and heat to just below simmering point, serve and enjoy!
Baileys French Dream – This is a simple cocktail that looks, and tastes, fabulous. It only takes a few seconds to put together but is sure to wow your guests, especially if served in a tradition cocktail glass. It includes: 35ml Baileys Original Irish Cream, 25ml raspberry liqueur, 35ml coffee liqueur and 1 raspberry per glass. To make this; fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all of the alcohol to the shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker feels cold, strain into your glass, with more ice if you wish, and garnish with a raspberry.
Pear & Rose Punch – A refreshing, and pretty, drink. You’ll not leave anyone feeling left out of the fun with this lovely mocktail. You’ll need: 1 litre pear juice, 1 vanilla pod, 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar, 4 cardamom pods, 2 slices root ginger, 25ml raw apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon rose-water, 250ml sparkling water and ice, you can garnish with sliced pear or redcurrants if you wish. Pour the pear juice into a large pan, and add the vanilla pod, caster sugar, cardamom pods and root ginger, then bring to a simmer. Leave this to cool completely before straining into a punch bowl or jug, then add the raw apple cider vinegar, rose-water and sparkling water. Add ice and any garnishes before serving.
Down The Chimney – A festive name for a festive party, it’s perfect! This drink requires; 4 strawberries, 25ml lemon juice, 50ml apple juice, 10ml sugar syrup, and sparkling elderflower water, add a lemon slice or strawberry to garnish. Put all of the ingredients except for the elderflower water and any garnish, into a cocktail shaker, muddle (just bash essentially) the fruit with a muddler or end of a rolling pin, then add ice cubes and shake. Strain into a highball glass over more ice, add the sparkling elderflower water to top up the glass, and add your garnish before serving.
Have you got any special drinks planned for over Christmas and New Year? Have any of these suggestions tempted you? If the mocktails appeal to you but you want an alcoholic drink, simply add some vodka to either of the recipes above. I’d love to hear what you think if you try any of these, I promise you won’t be disappointed.