Toast in Christmas with our top five winter cocktail recipes.

Is it even Christmas without mulled wine or eggnog? How are your home bartending skills? Like The Queen’s speech, a spice infused winter cocktail is a major part of the festive holiday season. The right drink will fill any household with cheery spirit and put a rosy glow in our cheeks. Look no further for five of our top festive punches.

Eggnog


Gordon Ramsay


Do you like your eggnog warm or cold? Or not at all. This feisty little cocktail, which mixes milk, sugar, egg and sweet wine, divides the crowds. Conceptually speaking, this milky punch is an odd drink. Look to Gordon Ramsay to learn how to best whip up your own chilled version topped off with freshly grated nutmeg or a cinnamon stick. Word of warning: whatever you do, please be careful not to boil the mixture and make the eggs curdle. Nothing worse.


Hot Toddy


BBC Good Food


Got a sore throat or a runny nose? Need a little sharpener? Sip away at a hot toddy, the easy-to-make old classic typically loved by grandfathers, and now us. Dating back to the mid-18th century, a hot toddy is made up of brandy or whisky, hot water, demerara sugar or honey and a clove-studded lemon or lemon peel. Many people believe in the healing abilities of a good hot toddy for flu. Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and lemon contains powerful antioxidants. Doctors may disagree but for those seeking a little winter comfort, you can’t beat a hot toddy.


Mulled Wine


Jamie Oliver


If anything tastes like Christmas in a glass, it’s mulled wine. Everyone from Mary Berry and the Hairy Bikers to Jamie Oliver claim to know the most delicious mulled wine recipe, each with their own tweak. We rate Jamie Oliver’s spiced and warming mulled wine version which includes a vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, cloves, lime, clementines, star anise, red wine and more. The trick is to use a good quality red, rather than slopping in cheap plonk thinking you can get away with it. Save some for his recipe for mulled wine jelly sweets.


Amaretto Hot Chocolate


Sainsbury’s Magazine


Got a sweet tooth? A boozy hot chocolate will put a fire in your belly on festive wintry days. Amaretto is a sweet, sometimes bitter, Italian liqueur made from almonds and it makes for a velvety tipple with hot chocolate. Whip double cream into soft peaks and fold in the icing sugar and almond extract. Then heat the milk and brown sugar. Let it simmer before removing from the heat to stir in the dark chocolate until melted and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through before adding the Amaretto. Top it with a dollop of chilled whipped almond cream and scatter with dark chocolate shavings and toasted almonds. It’s better than Baileys.


Sloe-Secco Cocktail


Red Online


After the year we’ve had, a sloe-secco is just what we need to lift our spirits this winter. No, we’re not talking tantric sex but a tasty sloe gin cocktail which is an alternative aperitif. This festive twist on a classic Kir Royale is made with berry sweet sloe gin, cold fizz, sugar syrup and raspberry puree. For a particular potent tipple, opt for homemade sloe gin, rather than the supermarket offerings. Create extra sparkle by adding edible glitter. After this year, we think you deserve it.

By Annabel Jack
December 2020

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Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for finest in food, fashion and interiors.

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