Mix and Match: Easy Christmas Cocktail Recipes | Food

Au better, Christmas is a mixture of new discoveries and cherished traditions. Holiday drinks should also strike a balance between surprises and memories. Fortunately, you don’t need expensive or mysterious ingredients to make these festive, seasonal toasts.

Light side (photo above)

The challenge with soft drinks is to make them as bold and assertive as spirits. The peppers and ginger provide a heat comparable to this experience (a device frequently used by counterfeiters of spirits of the 18th and 19th centuries).

Makes 1 drink
fresh chilli 1
lime ½
sugar a pinch
alcohol-free spirits or kombucha 50 ml
fresh lime juice 25 ml
Ginger 1 inch, chopped
simple syrup 25 ml

Rub a chopped chili pepper once around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass, then rub it with a sliced ​​lime. Dip the rim in a deep plate of salt with a pinch of mixed sugar.

Combine the non-alcoholic alcohol, lime juice, ginger and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake, then strain into your glass. Garnish with a chopped fresh chilli piece placed on the edge.

Winter spritz

Winter spritz. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

Spritzes aren’t just for the warmer months. It’s perfect for a sparkling winter evening.

Makes 1 drink
Red wine 50 ml
sparkling wine 50 ml
Sparkling water 50 ml
ruby port 25 ml

Combine the ingredients in a wine glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with an orange zest and, optionally, a cinnamon stick.

Hot gin and juice

Hot gin and juice.
Hot gin and juice. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

Sachets of hot spices are available everywhere this time of year. They save you from rummaging through the spice cabinet. Pour a bottle of gin into a wide-mouthed jar. Add a sachet of hot spices. Leave to stand overnight, then remove the sachet the next day.

Makes 1 drink
spicy gin 50 ml
cloudy apple juice 100 ml
Apple 1 slice or 1 piece of lemon zest
grenadine 5-10 ml, or pomegranate molasses (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a highball glass or highball glass filled with ice. Stir, then garnish with an apple slice or lemon zest.

You can add grenadine or pomegranate molasses for a seasonal tint.

instant eggnog

Instant eggnog.
Instant eggnog. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

Eggnog contains virtually the same ingredients as ice cream: egg yolks, whipping cream, milk and sugar. Legendary bartender Harry Craddock crafted this in the 1920s at the American Bar at The Savoy, when he created the White Cargo, mixing equal parts gin and vanilla ice cream. He garnished this frosted masterpiece with a grated nutmeg. For Christmas, try this classic with a dark rum or scotch whiskey.

Makes 1 drink
good vanilla ice cream 50 ml
old rum 50ml, or whiskey (or whiskey)

Combine ice and alcohol in an empty shaker. Shake without ice cubes. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and grate the nutmeg over it.

Negroni punch

Punch Negroni.
Punch Negroni. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

The negroni has overtaken the martini when it comes to sales of gin drinks in the UK. Its flavor profile works well for this delicious punch.

Serves 6
Gin 100 ml (use cranberry juice for a low alcohol portion)
bitter aperitif such as Campari 100 ml
sweet vermouth 200 ml
fresh espresso 50 ml
chilled prosecco 350 ml

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl or large pitcher with ice. Stir lightly. Garnish with orange slices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, long orange and lemon twists and fresh cranberries. Serve in punch cups.

Russian white vegan

Russian vegan white.
Russian vegan white. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

Coffee liqueur is easy to prepare at home. Mix a cup of strong coffee or a few espressos with an equal amount of sugar to make a coffee syrup. Combine one scoop of the resulting syrup with an equal scoop of vodka or gin – plus a hint of brandy if desired. That’s it! The last one we did took 12 minutes from inspiration to first sip.

Makes 1 drink
Coffee liqueur 25 ml
Vodka 25 ml
oat milk 50 ml (look for a barista edition or similar creamy edition)

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

G & Hot tea

G & Hot tea.
G & Hot tea. Photography: Patrice de Villiers / L’Observateur

While gin and tonic is normally relegated to good weather, syrup tonic is now available in many stores and takes the classic in new directions.

Makes 1 drink
boiling water 100-125 ml
winter spice or cranberry tea 1 bag
tonic syrup 25 ml (available online)
Gin 50 ml

Combine the water and tea in a cup and steep as normal. Add the tonic syrup and the gin. Garnish with an orange or lemon zest, if desired. OFM

Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller are beverage consultants at Mixellanie

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