Easy Christmas cocktails to make at home

Cocktail, shakers and sparklers on a table
Christmas cocktails

As the festive party season hits full swing, it’s usually a case of ‘so much to do and so little time’. So honing your cocktail-making craft often slips down the list. However, with a little confidence, forward planning and a quick root around the kitchen cupboards, it’s surprising what you can come up with to wow your guests.

In fact, that was the reason behind writing 60-Second Cocktails: 60 Amazing Drinks To Make At Home In A Minute. Joel Harrison and I wanted to pull together some fun, great looking and ultimately, utterly delicious mixed drinks – that take pretty much the same time to make as it takes to select, open and pour a bottle of wine.

From twists on the classics to some more progressive dazzlers, these are drinks that will certainly put a smile on the faces of any partygoer.

Be prepared

One of the biggest lessons I learned is about pre-batching drinks in advance. It can be a total lifesaver, when the party is in full swing and you’d rather be having fun with your guests, not stirring and shaking in the kitchen. Pre-batching a complex-tasting cocktail – such as a Negroni or an Old Fashioned – into a jug before your party is quite straightforward and well worth exploring. Your guests can then simply help themselves.

Using a recipe based on parts, rather than millilitres – as I’ve done below – makes it even easier to measure out ingredients.

It’s also worth prepping some garnishes in advance. Taking a fruit peeler, you can easily – and safely – remove the thin peel from an orange or lemon. Then shape it into professional looking garnishes, or spiral it around a barspoon for a lovely coiled spring look. Keep your garnishes in a bowl with a little water in it for maximum freshness.

Get creative

A little seasonal creativity can also really bring some of the classics alive. For example by substituting the usual granulated sugar in an Old Fashioned for maple syrup (see below), you will introduce a lovely smoky richness into the drink.

Or try making your own simple sugar syrup in a ratio of two parts caster sugar to one part water. Slowly dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat on the hob. Now you can begin to add festive spices, such as cloves, cinnamon and star anise.

Also try adding in a vanilla pod, some dried fruit or a little dark cocoa powder for a more indulgent syrup. Once cooled and strained, the syrup can be bottled and will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Stay cool

Finally, if there’s one piece of sage advice which has stayed with me during the party season, it’s this: run out of ice, you run out of party! So keep the freezer well stocked in advance. If you fancy really elevating your ice game, then try making some professional-looking blocks of ice. Take a large straight-sided food storage box and fill it with freshly boiled, filtered water, which has been left to go cold. Once frozen, it will be a lovely clear block of ice. It can then be carefully broken into chunky blocks, using a sharp knife or ice pick.

Decanter Premium is the perfect last-minute gift for wine lovers

Fabulously festive 60-Second Cocktails to try

Recipes taken from 60-Second Cocktails: 60 Amazing Drinks To Make At Home In A Minute by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley. Cocktail images by Vinny Whiteman.

Pink cocktail in a highball glass

Easy Peasy Paloma

A classic Mexican cocktail, which brings together a wonderful mix of blanco tequila, citrus notes and effervescent soda. The original calls for pink grapefruit soda but you can use a lemon soda for a more rounded and sweet-citrusy punch, or blood orange soda for a bolder sweetness. Try using Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila.

  • Ingredients: 1 part blanco or silver tequila, 5 parts soda, a squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Glass: Highgball
  • Garnish: Slice of pink grapefruit
  • Method: Add the ice into a tall glass, then add the tequila, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and top up with the soda. Give the drink a quick stir and garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit. Very easy to…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/spirits/easy-christmas-cocktails-to-make-at-home-471381/

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