Posts Tagged: Christmas drinks

Dec 13

Festive entertaining – Christmas drinks


As Christmas approaches, I wanted to share some of my favourite drinks and homeware with you for the season. Be it to enjoy at home, with friends or at a party, these lovely drinks will instantly have you feeling in the festive mood.

Sparkling wine is just lovely to enjoy at this time of year. Although Champagne may be the first thing you think of when it comes to sparkling wine, I am increasingly choosing English sparkling wine over Champagne as it turns out, we’re getting rather good at making it now. I recently tried Knightor Brut NV which was very good indeed. Made in small quantities with an emphasis on quality, it is light, floral and immensely enjoyable.

Try making a Christmas cocktail by juicing fresh clementines and adding the juice of half a clementine to each flute, and topping up with English sparking wine.

My favourite cocktail of the season has to be a festive Behind the Sheets. Mix equal parts of brandy with white rum and triple sec. Stir well and serve. I make my own festive brandy in advance, using a simple recipe like this one,and use it in my cocktails. The brandy is also very nice served with lemonade as a mixer.

I love to make a big jug and to serve it in lovely Italian glasses from Luigi Bormioli at Denby. Be sure to make plenty to serve to your guests with some nibbles on a lovely big tray, such as this fantastic handmade oak tray from Make The Most Of – essential for festive entertaining.

For a festive non- alcoholic drink, try making a Christmas coffee or chocolate by adding 1 tsp sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and a cardamom pod to a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate. Add double cream instead of milk, or top with whipped cream. I love to a good festive mug at this time of year, and these from Susie Watson Designs are totally gorgeous and by far the best I’ve found this year.


Watch this space for top tips for your Christmas table.

Dec 12

Christmas food and drink: my top picks

Clementines at Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would share some of my favourite food and drinks to enjoy at this time of the year.

First, you may be thinking about stocking up on drinks a few days ahead.  If you fancy something warming to keep the cold away, I really like Drambuie, which is made with fifteen year old Speyside malt whisky. It’s a very nice drink to sip by the fire on a cold night.

Drambuie 15 year

For something more refreshing, you can’t beat a good gin and tonic. Using a good gin and a good tonic makes a real difference. It’s also a great to have up your sleeve for unexpected visitors over the festive period. I always buy Bombay Sapphire, which is, amazingly, celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. Fevertree tonic is, in my opinion, the tonic to serve with gin, and, to my delight, is now sold in larger bottles. Just add a slice of lime and some ice for the perfect G&T!

Gin and tonics all round

Last year, I tried Vanessa Kimbell’s recipe for orange and cinnamon brandy. It is just gorgeous. I’ve made it again this year, and have used it in the Christmas cake and homemade mincemeat. It makes a delicious drink on its own or in a cocktail, too.

Making orange and clove brandy

If you are steering clear of anything alcoholic, or perhaps if you have drawn the short straw and are designated driver, I like to serve freshly squeezed clementine juice. It takes around three fresh clementines to make one small glass of juice. I am lazy and use my Magimix to extract the juice, but as clementines are quite small, you can juice them using a citrus juicer very easily.

Freshly squeezed clementine juice

And, if you fancy something hot, Steenberg’s Christmas hot chocolate and tea are just lovely. Gently spiced and very warming. Highly recommended.

Steenberg’s Christmas drinks

And now, to food. Firstly, if you have not made your Christmas cake, do not panic. It’s not too late! I always make Delia Smith’s last minute Christmas cake, which also adapts very well to gluten free/dairy free.

If you like cheese at Christmas, try and buy the very best you can afford – you can tell the difference. We love Colston Bassett stilton and Spenwood with quince cheese most of all.

My final tip is not to buy too much food. We never buy large boxes of chocolates and snacks, as the temptation is just to snack all day. We keep our meals delicious, and that is more than enough. You can also feel comfortable and happy after Christmas, rather than bloated and regretting having eaten so much.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Charlotte x

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