There are certain drinks we’re partial to when we start hearing Christmas carols and the Christmas tree is up. During this time of the year we may find ourselves making mulled mead, uncorking many bottles of Port or Sherry, and swilling Prosecco while dancing to the festive tunes. It is against this festive backdrop that we’d like to share our favourite festive drinks and hope they raise your spirits and propel you into the New Year with gusto.
Puerto Rícan Eggnog
Eggnog. You either lover it or hate it. And those who love it probably thought they were going to hate it when they realised they were about to drink egg yolks, drunk raw, with milk. But add a splash of coconut milk and Puerto Rican rum, even the haters could be converted. Of course, if you like a sweet drink, you can also add condensed milk, which will make it a proper Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog). You can check out the Coquito recipe here.
Ignore the supermarket pale cream versions. Invest in a bottle (or two) of the real stuff – the type that you will find Spanish passionately drinking in bars from Barcelona to Jerez. We’re talking about different sherry styles like Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez or a Moscatel – each as distinct and unique in their own right. If you’re looking for a pointer, start with Fino, the driest and palest of the traditional sherry varieties, best served chilled and is ideal as an aperitif or paired with salty snacks such as slices of meat, nuts, olives or friend seafood. One good brand is González Byass Tio Pepe en Rama. In fact, González Byass is a good producer to experiment with as they cover every sherry in the book.
Even if you aren’t hitting the Italian Alpine slopes, you can still pretend you’re enjoying a spot of après-ski by creating the Italian version of egg nog. Made from one-part Advocaat, one-part brandy, topped off with a freshly-brewed espresso and a touch of whipped cream and cocoa powder, Bombardino leaves you feeling like a bomb going off in your stomach, but in a good way. A perfect winter warmer, the Bombardino is an ever-popular drink at ski resorts as well as in the comfort of your own home.
British Ginger Liqueur
In the UK those in the know will be filling their hip flasks with a spot of ginger liqueur to warm themselves on their festive walk. It is hard to do better than the Kings Ginger Liqueur, which comes from Queen’s warrant holder, Berry Bros & Rudd, no less,. A lovely spicy, silky, warming ginger liqueur which can either be drunk straight or over ice with a slice of fresh lemon or other favourite garnish. Better still you can use Kings Ginger Liqueur to make a classic Highball by just adding a squeeze of lime juice, premium tonic water, finished off with a sprig of mint that complements the ginger perfectly.
Jamaican Sorrel Punch
If you can get your hands on some dried hibiscus flowers, known as sorrel in Jamaica, you can definitely bring the Caribbean sunshine to your festive drinking by having a go at making a sorrel punch. Firstly, you let sorrel, fresh ginger and cloves steep in boiled water overnight, then you strain the liquid, add some sugar and as much rum as you fancy, then serve chilled with a slice of lime. Some locals insist that this lovely drink is also rich in Vitamin C and can help controlling high cholesterol levels and managing high blood pressure. That’s a good reason to keep drinking.
Merry Christmas Everyone