With all that present buying and mince-pie eating, Christmas is the busiest time of the year and it can be hard to find time to plan each festive dish, let alone what to pair with it. That’s why, with what we would choose ourselves always in mind, we’ve created a one stop map of what to drink when over the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Eve afternoon: Hot Buttered Rum
It’s finally time to put your feet up for a moment and enjoy the festivities. Featuring rum, spices, a little sugar and yes – you guessed it – butter, Hot Buttered Rum is the ultimate decadent drink and is best served pre Christmas Day feasting. We recommend using a classic dark rum and our favourite choice for this is Plantation Original Dark Rum as, with notes of banana and vanilla alongside cinnamon and clove, it compliments the butter perfectly.
You’ll need 100ml rum, 200ml water, 25g butter, 1 blood orange, zested and juiced, 4 cloves, 1 Star anise, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp maple syrup. Heat all the ingredients in a pan until hot but not boiling, while stirring. Let it sit for a few mins, then strain into a flask (serves 2).
Christmas Eve aperitif: Winter Negroni
This is a brilliant choice for a hassle-free cocktail, as it can be pre-made in one batch and refrigerated in a glass bottle, ready to be poured over ice with a twist of zesty orange.
We love using Sacred Gin for the Winter Negroni as it contains frankincense, which adds both depth of flavour and what we can only describe as ‘otherworldly aromas’. Combine with Campari and Mancino Rosso Amaranto vermouth which, with festive hints of clove and myrrh, means you only need gold…
Christmas Day morning: Mulled Wine Mimosa
A particularly special tipple for Christmas morning, the Mulled Wine Mimosa features chilled home-made mulled wine topped up with Champagne. We love using a rich red wine simmered with cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and sugar alongside lashings of St Remy XO Brandy. Once the strained liquid has cooled in the refrigerator, pour a generous quantity into the bottom of a Champagne glass or coupe and fill with bubbles. The Mulled Wine Mimosa is particularly delicious with smoked salmon, cream cheese and fresh basil blinis, and a great accompaniment to present opening.
Christmas Day digestif: Gingerbread Espresso Martini
We think it’s vital to have a good, freshly ground coffee for this one, and if you fancy going full hands-on-deck, then making your own ginger syrup can take this cocktail to another level.
Ramsbury Vodka, with notes of cocoa and vanilla, makes an excellent choice, combined with Galiano Ristretto Coffee Liqueur, freshly made espresso, and sugar syrup. For a particularly festive touch, add a cinnamon and demerara sugar dusting to the edge of the glass.
Boxing Day lunch: Spicy Red Snapper
A refreshing, punchy hair-of-the dog which, compared to yesterday’s Christmas lunch, will feel positively healthy. We recommend using Cuckoo Spiced Gin for a Spicy Red Snapper as it’s bold and peppery with juniper and fennel, partnering perfectly with the tomato juice in this classic cocktail. Another great choice is Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, with notes of coriander seed and lime shining through, to make a Spicy Red Snapper that is bursting with flavour. As with the Winter Negroni, this is a great choice for a cocktail that can be pre-made, refrigerated and glugged throughout Boxing Day brunch.
Boxing Day evening: Bourbon Smash
You don’t have to be a fan of bourbon to love a Bourbon Smash; which marries bourbon, mint, lemons, and a simple sugar syrup for a refreshing, zesty cocktail. With notes of vanilla, spice and caramel, we recommend using FEW Bourbon as it also offers the wonderful spiciness of northern rye. It’s the perfect choice for a cocktail that is surprising light while still feeling festive, and a great way to salute the holiday season.