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Neil Phillips - The Wine Tipster and The Jockey Club’s resident wine and food pairing expert - has some tips on Christmas cocktails.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without cocktails! These indulgent delights are sure to make the occasion feel extra special. Easy to make using simple ingredients, here are some crackers to try….

 

There’s only one cocktail to have on Christmas morning and that’s the classic Bellini, an elegant blend of bubbles and peach. This traditional recipe was invented in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani Senior, head bartender and owner of the world-famous Harry’s Bar in Venice.

 

Method

Pour 100ml Prosecco DOC Brut or Extra Dry and 50ml peach purée into a glass and stir gently before enjoying. The Prosecco DOC La Gioiosa Brut, Treviso, Veneto, Italy £11.99, Majestic works fabulously for this or try the Prosecco DOC Astoria Galíe Extra Dry, Treviso, Veneto, Italy £14.35, Gerrard Seel Wine Merchants, whose bottle design is influenced by the famous canals of Venice.

Continuing the Venetian theme, another lovely cocktail for the festive period is the Veneziana, featuring Coates & Seely Brut Reserve NV, and created by the wonderful team at The Wellington Arms, Baughurst on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.

 

Method

All you need is a large wine glass into which you put four cubes of ice, 25ml Campari, 15ml fresh lime juice, 15ml sugar syrup, a wedge of lime and then fill it up with Coates & Seely Brut Reserve NV, Hampshire, Lea & Sandeman £32.95 Coates & Seely Reserve Brut Britagne: England Sparkling Wine Lea & Sandeman Absolutely delicious!

Whisky based cocktails are super for the chilly festive period so try this Honey & Marmalade Dram’tini featuring the excellent Glenfarclas 10 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £32.80 - £34.95, a lovely aperitif style and a fantastic introduction to Whisky, available from Master Of Malt, The Whisky Exchange.

 

Method

This is quick and easy to make. Combine 40ml of Glenfarclas 10 Years Old, a teaspoon of honey, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh orange juice to taste. Shake and serve in a tumbler over ice.  

Another wonderful drop sure to hit the right spot at Christmas is the Léoube Winter Cocktail, made with the recently released Mediterranean Léoube Gin (Daylesford Organics £50). Known for their stunning Provence rosés, Léoube have introduced this spirited new addition, which is distilled with olives and wild Mediterranean botanicals.

 

Method

To make the Léoube Winter Cocktail simply place a few ice cubes into a glass to chill while you make the cocktail, fill the larger cup of the cocktail shaker with ice, shake together in the smaller cup for about ten seconds 40ml Mediterranean Gin by Léoube, 100ml organic almond milk, 5ml orange flower water (available in retailers) and 5ml maple or cinnamon syrup. Discard the ice in the mixing glass and replace with one cube of clear ice. Double strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass. Serve. Twist: Hot version: place all the ingredients in the shaker, strain, heat in percolator, strain and serve.

The Glenfarclas Serenity cocktail features the outstanding Glenfarclas 105 40 Year Old Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £47.90 - £53.75 available from The Whisky Exchange and Master Of Malt.

 

Method

To make this stunning cocktail, you will need 30ml Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength, 30ml Lazzaroni Amaretto, juice of half a lime, two drops of Green Tabasco and 1 basil leaf. Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Racing Gin, The Burford Distillery Company £37 - £38 Slurp, Oxford Wine, Master of Malt is clearly a winner with this brilliant packaging, and this is a lovely citrus and herbaceous gin enhanced with meadowsweet. This London Dry Gin is excellent as a G&T or in cocktails like a classic Tom Collins served in a highball glass.

 

Method

In a cocktail shaker add four cubes of ice, pour in 50ml Racing Gin, 25ml Lemon Juice and 25ml sugar syrup. Cover and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a highball glass full of ice. Top off with chilled soda water and garnish with a lemon slice.

Rum is an essential part of Cuban culture and if you have been lucky enough to visit their capital city Havana you will have some great memories. Back in the UK flavoured and spiced rums sales are increasing, whilst golden and dark rums remain very popular in bars, restaurants and clubs. The most well known style is white rum like Havana Club Añejo 3-Year-Old White Cuban Rum, £18 Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and other retailers. This is a great rum for making Cuban Mojitos and Daiquiris!

 

Method

For the Classic Daiquiri you can use a shaker or a large jar. You need a tablespoon of white sugar or 20 ml sugar syrup, 25ml fresh lime juice, 50ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Años rum, three ice cubes, a cocktail shaker or a large jar with a lid. Put the sugar in a shaker or large jar with a lid and squeeze in the lime juice. Add the Havana Club Añejo 3 Años rum and ice cubes. Shake it for about 30 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!

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