Food and drink play an important role in any celebration, and Christmas is no exception. So I’ve pulled together some of my top suggestions for Christmas drinks, including suggestions for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. From left to right:
Cuckoo Gin | Haig Club Clubman whisky | Baileys Irish Cream | Red Leaf Gin | Fentimans soft drinks and tonic waters | Belvoir Fruit Farms Christmas Cordial and Festive Punch
Cuckoo Gin is one of the new brands that I came across when I visited the Good Food Show recently. It is a lovely dry, junipery gin from the Brindle Distillery in Lancashire. With botanicals that include orange, grapefruit, cinnamon and liquorice, this is a warming gin that is ideal for sipping as well as for mixing into cocktails.
Next on the list is Haig Club Clubman whisky. This is a single grain whisky matured in bourbon casks, and has a smooth, light flavour with notes of vanilla and dried fruit. It’s perfect for serving neat or over ice, and is also ideal for use in cocktails.
That might be something as simple as mixing Haig Club Clubman with cola and a squeeze of lime. Or why not try the Haig Club Winter Spiced Espresso Martini, a decadent twist on the classic cocktail.
Simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour over 50ml Haig Club Clubman, 50ml Crème de Cacao, 50ml Espresso and a pinch of cinnamon. Give it all a good shake, and then strain into a martini glass, before garnishing with a few coffee beans. Delicious!
Of course Baileys Irish Cream is one of the quintessential Christmas drinks, and it’s delicious served over ice for sipping. But why not try a Chocolate Blitzen this Christmas? Put 15ml vodka, 15ml Crème de Cacao and 30ml Baileys Irish Cream into a blender with a generous scoop of chocolate ice cream. Blend until smooth, but don’t let the icecream become totally liquid – you want it to be a thick creamy drink. Pour into a martini glass and enjoy!
Now I have to admit that you won’t be able to get hold of the second gin in the picture above. It’s Red Leaf Gin from the Langley Distillery, and I received it as part of the One Time Gin box (click here for my full review). But why not take a look at your local wine shop, or even in the supermarkets and see what new gins you can find there. I was really impressed by the range at Asda recently, which included gins like Gunpowder Gin.
And if you’re looking for something different to mix with your gin, then Fentimans have masses of options to try. They have a range of tonic waters which includes a zingy Pink Grapefuit tonic. Or you could try the Botanical Tonic Water if you prefer something more floral.
And their new Mediterranean Orange Tonic Water is a great addition to the range, made with Valencian oranges and lemon thyme. It’s perfect for the festive season.
Or if you prefer a classic G&T, then Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic Water and their Naturally Light Tonic Water are a great complement to your favourite gin. Click here to find your local Fentimans stockist.
And if you’re looking for a soft drink with a difference, check out Fentimans’ botanically brewed soft drinks. Flavours like Rose Lemonade and Ginger Beer & Muddled Lime make a great change for the designated drivers and anyone else who isn’t drinking alcohol. They also make easy cocktail options – simply serve in a big pitcher with plenty of ice. Try adding gin or vodka to the Rose Lemonade, or adding a dark rum to the Ginger Beer & Muddled Lime.
Belvoir Fruit Farms are another brand with some great options this Christmas. Their Christmas Cordial is a festive blendof cranberry, blackcurrant and orange juices with a hint of lime and warming spice. Try diluting with hot water for a non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine.
And Belvoir Fruit Farms Festive Fruit Punch combines rich cranberry and orange with warming cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s ready to drink, or you could warm it for a hot punch alternative. Click here to find your nearest Belvoir Fruit Farms stockist.
By the way, you could also add a splash of vodka or brandy to either of these drinks if you wanted!
And my final recommendation for this year’s festive drinks round up didn’t make it into the picture at the top of the page. It’s another drink that I sampled at the Good Food Show, this time a distilled non-alcoholic spirit from Seedlip drinks. Their Spice 94 variety is full of warming spice flavours and zingy citrus, and it’s a great alcohol-free drinks option.