You might just about tempt me with gin-cured salmon during the festive season but, to be honest, the only place I really want to find gin at Christmas is under the tree or in my glass! Here are seven cracking cocktails to see you through the bleak midwinter.
When better to start the day with a Breakfast Martini than on Christmas Day?! You can use any good gin for this, but I like to give it a little extra zing by using homemade marmalade gin.
Homemade Marmalade Gin
3 fresh bay leaves
3 strips orange peel
Put the marmalade into a sterilised 1 litre glass jar. Pour in the gin, add the bay leaves and orange peel and stir well. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. Strain through muslin or coffee filters into sterilised bottles.
15ml Cointreau or other orange liqueur (I use Dà Mhìle’s Orange 33)
15ml fresh lemon juice
1tsp of orange marmalade
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and stir to dissolve the marmalade. Fill with ice, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel.
Winter Gin and Tonic
Everyone loves a G&T, but why not embrace the season of goodwill by using charitable One Gin – which donates 10% of profits to support clean water projects across the world – and clementine tonic.
50ml One Gin
120ml Fever-Tree Clementine Tonic Water
Pour the gin and tonic into your glass of choice (I like to use a generous Copa de Balon). Serve with plenty of ice and garnish with a clementine wedge.
Spiced 1751 Negroni
The bitter negroni is a classic aperitif but this recipe introduces a little winter spice.
25ml Gin Lane 1751 “Victoria” Pink Gin
25ml Lillet Rouge
25ml Luxardo Bitter Bianco
10ml spiced berry cordial
Stir ingredients in a shaker and pour into a glass over large cubed ice. Garnish with redcurrant dusted with icing sugar or an orange peel.
Pretty as a picture, this cocktails packs a punch with fiery ginger tamed by sweet berries.
50ml One Gin
25ml lime juice
20ml mixed berry syrup
100ml ginger ale
Shake the gin, lime and berry syrup with ice, strain into a glass and top with ginger ale. Fill with ice and garnish with a lime wheel.
Warm Victorian Pink Punch
Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria’ Pink Gin is a celebration of the Victorian gin-making era, infused with naturally blended aromatic bitters. Inspired by the Victorians’ love of shared, warming punches, this is sweet, spicy, soothing and simply delicious.
400ml Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria’ Pink Gin
200ml ruby port
800ml apple juice
300ml pomegranate juice
200ml spiced cordial
50ml lemon juice
Orange & lemon peel, 20 cloves, 10 green cardamom
Place everything in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat until warm, but do not boil. Keep on a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove citrus skins and garnish individual serves with dehydrated lemon wheel and star anise.
Trevethan Honey Oak Hot Toddy
Honey Oak is a warming and rounded gin created by toasting and immersing green oak blocks in Cornish honey before steeping them in Trevethan Cornish Gin for six weeks. This hot mulled gin is like a great, big, comforting cuddle on a cold night. Serve in your prettiest teacup, or just a great big mug!
500ml clear apple juice
1 star anise
2 small sticks of cinnamon
Thinly sliced fresh ginger
50ml Trevethan Honey Oak Gin (per serve)
Pour the apple juice into a saucepan with the spices and ginger and warm through for 10 minutes but do not bring to the boil. Cool for two minutes and serve with 50ml of Honey Oak Gin per glass. Stir well and garnish with cranberries and slices of apple.
Sloe Cranberry Fizz
I like to make this with homemade sloe gin but if you’ve left it too late to make any for this Christmas, just pick up a bottle instead; my favourites include The Wrecking Coast, Sipsmith and 6 O’Clock Five Year Aged.
2tsp cranberry jelly
25ml sloe gin
Champagne or prosecco
Squeeze the juice of a quarter of a clementine into a cocktail shaker. Add the quarter, 2tsp of cranberry jelly, 25ml of sloe gin and shake well with ice. Pour champagne or prosecco into a flute glass until approximately two-thirds full. Strain the clementine, cranberry and sloe gin mixture into the flute glass and enjoy!
If you like these recipes, or have other festive favourites that deserve a mention, please do let me know by commenting below.