The perfect cocktail to share with friends this Christmas

Whether you’ll be celebrating this Christmas with friends gathered by the beach, snuggled up near a campfire roasting marshmallows or simply having a movie marathon with all your favourite Christmas movies… here are a few festive drink ideas to make your celebrations that little bit more special! Try one, try two...why not try them all!

For the hot & sticky summer hangs by the beach - try Smart Little Cookie’s Easy Tangerine Pomegranate Mimosas; (http://smartlittlecookie.net/home/easy-tangerine-pomegranate-mimosas/)

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups tangerine juice, chilled

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice, chilled

  • 1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds, to garnish

Method:

  1. In a pitcher, combine tangerine juice and pomegranate juice. Pour juice into flute glasses to fill half the glass.

  2. Pour in champagne or sparkling wine to fill the rest of the glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

For the cooler & campfire nights - try Jamie Oliver’s Mulled Wine; (http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/recipe/jamie-s-mulled-wine/)

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 clementines

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 lime

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 fresh bay leaves

  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 2 star anise

  • 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine

Method:

  1. Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.

  2. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.

  3. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

  4. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

  5. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.

For the layback & throwback nights in - try Alejandro Ramos’ Striped Candy Cane White Hot

Chocolate; - (http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2012/11/striped-candy-cane-white-hot-chocolate.html)

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (I like Guittard)

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon organic peppermint flavor

For the garnish:

  • 3 candy canes, finely crushed

  • 2 tablespoons red sanding sugar

  • 2 8oz clear glass mugs or cups

Directions:

Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk to stir continuously until the chocolate has completely melted and the hot chocolate is thick and smooth. Stir in the peppermint flavor (use more or less according to your taste preference).

To serve: Whisk together the crushed candy canes and red sugar in a small bowl. Gently wet the rim of your glass mug (about 1/4 inch down the top and edges) and then dip into the bowl of crushed candy canes, moving around to coat the entire edge. Repeat with your second mug. Place on the table and gently pour the hot chocolate all the way to the top (IMPORTANT: the chocolate needs to touch the sugared rim for the effect to work).

Written by Megan Son Hing & David Boyd