It is the Christmas Party season and sadly we have had to forgo our annual party as we are still with Rich’s parents. Since we started dating we have had a Christmas party every year that just seems to get bigger! We love having all our friends with us and now our friends are starting to have children, sharing the Christmas joy with them just makes it better! One thing we always try to do is have a signature festive cocktail to serve and this week’s cocktail of the week went down a storm when we served it up; the Gingerbread Fizz.
Gingerbread is a long standing traditional item for Christmas. It comes in all forms and one of our favourites is Lebkuchen from Germany. We also enjoy making our own gingerbread men (and women) a tradition started by Queen Elizabeth I whose courtiers served them to visiting dignitaries. Every country has their own version of a gingerbread product from cakes to biscuits and they are all served in a multitude of ways. As the original recipe for gingerbread can be dated back to before 1000AD, it is no surprise that it has spread across the world. We came across this idea in Nigella Lawson’s book, Nigella Christmas and on a trip to France found a bottle of gingerbread syrup and ‘one or two’ bottles of Crémant du Loire for us to try the cocktail.
To make this week’s cocktail, you will need:
- One bottle of sparking wine of your choice
- Gingerbread syrup
To make the cocktail, ensure your sparking wine is chilled. Take a champagne glass and add a teaspoon of gingerbread syrup (or more if to your taste). Fill the glass with your sparkling wine and serve. There you have a very simple, but perfect festive cocktail, gingerbread fizz.
The cocktail is a great drink to have at a Christmas Party as it is so simple to make. Our friends loved it and we went through the entire bottle of gingerbread syrup and several bottles of sparkling wine. The laughs and merriment certainly made our party a lot of fun!
On a recent trip to Ikea, we did our usual thing and had a look through the food section of the store. In addition to our usual purchases, we found a bottle of rosehip juice. It has a great colour and we both thought it would be great to include in a cocktail. The next challenge was to work out a cocktail that we could use it for. We spent some time trying to figure this one out but came across the idea of mimosa’s that seemed to fit the bill. Adding in the rhubarb we came up with the Cocktail of the Week, the Rhubarb and Rosehip Mimosa.
A mimosa is traditionally made with equal parts of orange juice and champagne. It can be made with any fruit juice and identified by the name, for example, a grapefruit mimosa. The drink was invented as a drink around 1925 at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Mimosas are now usually found at brunch, wedding receptions and when travelling first class.
For this week’s cocktail; you will need:
- 1 measure Rosehip Juice
- 2 tsp Rhubarb Liquor
In a glass add the rhubarb liquor. You can use any suitable tall glass for this cocktail. The Add the rosehip and then the champagne to fill the glass. Once you have done that, you have this week’s cocktail, the Rhubarb and Rosehip Mimosa.
Given the ease of making this drink, it is understandable why it is used when a drink is needed to produce en mass. It is also a versatile drink to enjoy first thing in the morning or as an early evening drink. The only thing we ask is that you go for the adventure and try a Mimosa that doesn’t have orange juice. It is definitely another one to add to the list of quick and easy cocktails.
To top off the week long celebrations for Calum’s birthday we hosted a french style dinner party for a dozen of our friends. Like any good meal, it should always start with a cocktail as a welcome drink. As we went for a French theme dinner, we pulled out the Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur, and the champagne that we picked up on our recent trip to France and created our cocktail of the week, a Kir Royale.
The Kir Royale is based on the Kir cocktail, in which white wine is used rather than champagne. The Kir was originally called a blanc-cassis and can be dated back to 1841 following the increased production levels of the Crème de Cassis. It was usually made with red wine, but after a man called Fèlix Kir, who was the mayor of Dijon after World War II, made the drink popular by presenting it at hosted events to visiting dignitaries, it was renamed. There are thoughts to suggest that the drink was reintroduced as the German Army ‘confiscated’ all the red in Burgundy during the war and left with a large amount of white. The drink has evolved greatly in recent years with the inclusion of many other versions with different liqueur such as peach, or different drinks such as beer, cider and even milk.
For this week’s cocktail, you will need:
- Crème de Casis
- Champagne or other sparkling wine
- Flute glass
To start, make sure the sparkling white you use is chilled. Add two teaspoons of crème de casis to the flute and fill the glass with the sparkling wine. Then sit back and enjoy this week’s cocktail, the Kir Royale.
It is a perfect drink to use as an aperitif and to add a slight difference to serving just champagne.