Hi guys and welcome to blogmas day 17
In today’s post I’m going to be sharing with you some of my favourite festive drinks. I love these beautiful beverages and they really do scream Christmas to me. Have a go at making these yourself over the festive season- you will not regret it.
Hannah’s Ultimate Hot Chocolate
For me, if you want to make a really good hot chocolate there is one key ingredient; chocolate. Yes, you can use the instant stuff if you wish but in my experience using actual chocolate will make a world of difference.
First off then, decide on your favourite kind of chocolate; dark, milk or white, (for me it’s always a toss-up between Cadbury’s dairy milk of Milkybar), and, to save you some chopping time, chocolate buttons are a really good idea.
As for the recipe itself, it really could not be simpler. Add a mugful of milk (I use whole milk as it will make for a really creamy hot chocolate), to a sauce pan and heat on a low temperature. Then add the chocolate buttons stirring continuously until completely melted and combined. If you don’t stir it the chocolate will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. In terms of how much chocolate you add this is really up to you but I would say, at this time of year, there really is very little point in worrying about calories so go all out and make it as chocolatey as you like.
Serve in a Christmas mug and top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows and a flake.
Given to us by the good people at Bird and Blend, the snowball tea is part of their Christmas range and I love to see it’s comeback every year. A combination of coconut, chocolate and marshmallows, this is a great alternative for someone who doesn’t usually drink normal tea or for someone who wants a beautiful hot chocolate drink in the evening without the richness (or the calories) of a hot chocolate. Definitely worth a try.
You cannot have Christmas without mulled wine. It is, as far as I’m concerned, the ultimate Christmas warm up. Filled with all those Christmas spices we all love so much at this time of year, my secret to a great mulled wine is this; make a syrup first. Never heard of making a syrup first when it comes to mulled wine? Well don’t worry because I’m going to chat you through the process right here.
First, to a big pan add 200g of caster sugar plus the peel from a lemon, a lime and 2 good sized clementines. Then add their juices. Stick on a medium heat and add the spices. These include 6 cloves, a cinnamon stick, 1 grated nutmeg, 1 vanilla pod cut in half and then cover with red wine. Let this bubble away until you’re left with most gorgeous syrup and don’t worry about evaporating the alcohol off because when we have our syrup made, we are going to top it up it up with more red wine. Just let that simmer away gently for about 5 minutes so all the flavours from the fruit and the spices can infuse with the wine. About 2 minute before you are ready to take the pan off the heat throw in 2 star anise for a little extra festive flavour.
Serve in some festive glasses and enjoy.
My next few drinks are not necessarily Christmas themed but I know when I go to a Christmas party these are some of my favourite cocktails to have. I’ve tried re-creating them at home and am very happy with the recipes I’ve come up with so I thought I would share them with you.
Salted Caramel Espresso Martini
One of my favourite cocktails has got to be the espresso martini. I just think it’s such a sophisticated drink. Plus, it’s coffee and it’s alcohol so what’s not to love about it. But I decided to put my own little spin on it by adding my favourite coffee syrup; salted caramel. So to put this fabulous cocktail together you will need;
30ml chilled espresso coffee
30ml salted caramel syrup
Next, just add everything to a cocktail shaker, give it a good shake and strain into a glass. Don’t forget to garnish your cocktail with some coffee beans if you want to go all out.
Again not another Christmas drink but the reason why I love mojitos so much at this time of year is because they are just so refreshing. Cold and minty, it is the perfect palette cleanser after a heavy meal and it makes a mean party drink. Word of warning though, these are very easy to drink so be sure to pace yourself if you’re on these at your work’s Christmas party.
So what you’ll need to put this cocktail together is;
12 mint leaves
Rum (I like to use Bacardi Carta Blanca but any white rum will do)
2 dessert spoons of caster sugar
To assemble then, add approximately 8 mint leaves (go for the slightly smaller leaves if you can), 1 dessert spoon of sugar and a couple of lime chunks to a glass. Then go into your glass with the end of a rolling pin (you could use the end of a whisk if you don’t have a rolling pin) and give it about 8 little mushes to help extract the flavour from the lime. Whack in 50ml of white rum then fill the glass about ¾ full with the crushed ice and top up with the soda water. Fold everything together with a metal spoon then using any remaining ice and soda water top up the glass. Don’t forget to add some extra mint leaves to garnish.
Top tip: Before adding the mint to the glass, give it a little spank to really bring out it’s flavour. Everything in life is so much better after a good spanking, (wink, wink).
Cranberry and Ginger Fizz
If you don’t drink but love the idea of a festive cocktail, then here’s a Christmas mocktail just for you. Now I can’t take the credit for this one- I saw it in a Zoella video last year. But I had a go at it myself and it was really tasty. All you need to do is fill some glasses with some ice cubes then add some cranberry juice and some ginger ale in a 2:1 ratio. Garnish with a sprig of mint and some cranberries. Easy peasy.
So there you have it guys; a selection of my favourite festive drinks. I hope you’ll try these out and, if you do, let me know what you thought of them. I’ll see you again tomorrow for another post.
With love this Christmas,