Christmas Drink Ideas

Xmas Drinks Feature copy Christmas Drink Ideas

Christmas is just as much about the booze as it the food, so make sure you impress your guests (or host) with a bottle of something a little out of the ordinary but perfectly festive.  From special bottles of fizz and festive liqueurs to Christmas inspired coffee, we’ve got your drinks selection sorted.

Sloe Bloom Gin
We’ve all got an aunt or uncle somewhere that swears by their own Sloe gin recipe, but let’s face it, most of us city dwellers are too busy drinking to be concerned with making our own booze!  So step in Bloom, who have thoughtfully created this rather snazzy looking bottle of Sloe Gin for us.  They’ve still kept to tradition though and make it by hand by macerating sloe berries in their wonderfully floral gin to create a richly coloured and deeply flavoured sloe gin.  It’s delicious neat, but we’d recommend having a bit of fun by mixing it up in a simple cocktail, such as a Bramble (with lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice) or even adding a touch to your glass of Prosecco.  £25 from Harvey Nicholls and good spirits shops.  www.bloomgin.com

Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a wee nip of port.   Seeing as it’s probably about the only time of year that you’ll actually drink the stuff, you may as well make it an enjoyable experience.  Having been founded in 1820 and largely dominating the sector, it’s fair to say that you’ve probably come across the Graham’s Port range.  For us the pick of their extensive bunch is their 10 Year Old Tawny.  Richly flavoured with nutty and figgy notes, its mature flavours match perfectly with seasonal puddings or a fruity cheese with spiced chutney.  Priced at £20, it also provides the ideal combination of luxury and accessibility and the eye-catching packaging makes it idea as a gift.   £19.99

Pontoon Cocktails
With even the finest bars pre-batching their cocktails, there’s no shame in having pre-prepared cocktails.  Moreover, if you fancy impressing your Christmas guests with a proper cocktail at home but have neither the time or the ingredients to put something together, Pontoon could be just the answer.  All of the cocktails are hand crafted in small batches from fresh ingredients and premium spirits (including Heaven Hill bourbon and Ketel One vodka) and are available in two forms – fresh frozen or bottle aged.  They are available in classic inspired recipes (thankfully there’s no Mojitos or Pina Colada’s here) and you simply pour from the bottle into your glass and get drinking!  £29.99/500ml serving from www.pontooncocktails.com

Sainsbury’s Calvados Pays D’auge XO 12 yrs
Get adventurous with you brandy this year and look beyond Cognac towards Calvados.  Made from apples (as opposed to grapes in Cognac), the juice of the fruit is fermented into a cider before being distilled and aged to create a brandy.  As you’d expect, the flavour is slightly more earthy than a grape based brandy, with refreshing notes of apples and pears also prevalent, although to be honest, the initiated are unlikely to tell the difference at first taste.  This offering by Sainsbury’s is absolutely stunning value.  Aged for 12 years, the flavours have been allowed plenty of time to mellow, resulting in rich notes of caramel, cooked apple and subtle notes of seasonal spices.  We’ve seen similar bottles go for at least twice as much money so it’s well worth seeking out.  www.sainsburys.co.uk

Cherizena Christmas Coffee
Created by flavouring the Colombian Excelsior medium bean with a tasty combination of rum, hazelnut, cinnamon, vanilla, orange and pecan nut flavours, Cherizena’s Christmas coffee will have you humming Jingle Bells after each cup!  An aroma reminiscent of plum pudding and a delicious spiced taste, it ideals to wake the tastebuds up first thing in the morning or served alongside mince pies and other seasonal treats.  Available as beans or ground, regular or decaffeinated, you’ve got no excuse to drink anything else and makes a great stocking filler too! £3.25/pack from http://cherizena.co.uk

Moonshine Home-Brew Kits
Local beers are all the rage in the brewing world at the moment so get in on the action with these home-brew kits from Moonshine.  Simply pour tap water into the Moonshine bag, add the contents of the ‘Moondust’ and in just a few days you’ll have 25 pints of naturally conditioned beer to sip on, all from the comfort of your home – it doesn’t get more local than that!  Available as a Bitter, Golden Ale and Dark Ale, they’re perfect to sip on in front of warm fire with a chunk of cheese or hearty pudding.  £27.99 from www.moonshinedrinks.com