Party season is upon us. Starting with a trickle in early December, party invitations are in full flood by the time Christmas Day arrives – with many more spilling over into the New Year celebrations.
Ice-cold fizz – champagne or prosecco, depending on your budget – is often the go-to choice for fuss-free festivities. But, if you’re looking for the ultimate in glamour, a few well-mixed cocktails at home will elevate any gathering to elite status.
It’s a fool’s errand to attempt to recreate a pro cocktail bar in a home setting, though – unless you’re happy to spend the time, money and effort it takes to acquire a wide enough selection of spirits, liqueurs and aromatics to cater for any taste. Instead, we suggest planning a couple of ‘house’ cocktails, supplemented by two or three stone-cold classics that make good use of a limited palette of ingredients.
Let it snow
Nothing evokes the spirit of Christmas past like the Snowball. And, as the stock of all things retro rises, this festive classic will imbue your party with a splash of vintage cool. Simply fill a highball glass with ice and pour in equal quantities of advocaat and sparkling lemonade, stirring till frosty and garnishing with – what else! – a maraschino cherry. You could also serve the advocaat neat as egg nog shots, topped with a fine grating of nutmeg.
This flavoursome cocktail combines two seasonal spirit favourites – tequila and triple sec – with fresh festive fruits for a real taste of Christmas. Combine 2 parts tequila with 1 part triple sec and 1 part each of clementine juice and lime juice. Shake or stir the ingredients together and serve over ice in a martini glass, whose rim has been dipped in a salt-and-sugar dredge. You can save time by preparing a batch in a jug and chilling, ready to serve. For a classic margarita, just omit the clementine.
Have some classics on standby
Some guests will probably prefer to stick with a few tried-and-tested classic cocktails – especially those with Christmassy ingredients. We’d suggest an aromatic Negroni (gin, vermouth and – oh-so-festive – Campari, served on the rocks), a gently spiced Gingerbread Espresso Martini (vodka, coffee liqueur, gingerbread syrup and cold brew espresso) and, perhaps, a zesty Amaretto Sour, redolent with the aromas of baked almonds and cherries.
If you’d like to keep your preparations as simple as possible, these Christmas classics – and lots more – are all available in the form of premium cocktail kits, made from the best ingredients and ready for UK delivery from Edmunds. Happy Christmas!