As the Christmas season rolls around there are a few festive treats that we can all look forward to over the coming weeks. This weekend is the busiest time for getting your tree, unless you’re going to be pulling the ever so slightly tattered artificial one out from the back of the loft.
Last year I suggested to my clan that we wait until Boxing Day to get ours as the prices were sure to have plummeted; I was met by some pretty fierce opposition! Then the rest of the decorations will be going up, followed by the perennial discussion about what to have for lunch on the big day. The same old turkey? Or shall we get a new one this year! And of course, the all-important planning for the Christmas drinks party. Whether it’s just the in-laws and the grandparents or you’ve decided to invite the whole street round, getting the drinks right, and maybe finding something a little out of the ordinary, is sure to make your Christmas party unforgettable.
There has to be something fizzy of course, it’s nearly Christmas after all, and whether you go for champagne, one of the amazing new breed of top quality English sparkling wines or the easy-drinking Cava or Prosecco, you can’t really have a party without bubbles. There are some great prosecco deals in all the big supermarkets and major off-licenses, so shop around. And you’ll always get a better deal if you splash out on a whole or half case. One fantastic drink to try is the classic Bellini, made very simply from mixing white peach juice with prosecco. The story goes that the Bellini was invented at the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice, a favourite drinking den of stars since the 1930s. The Bellini was named after the fifteenth century painter Giovanni Bellini, (you can read the whole story here), and there are few classier cocktails to kick off a party with.
Another classic drink for the winter months has to be something warm. Whether you go for a classic mulled wine, or the more on trend spiced cider, be sure to use a base drink you’d be happy to drink on its own (don’t use it as the chance to get rid of that bottle your cheap friend bought last year that’s been hanging around at the back of the cupboard!) and be sure to pack it with plenty of citrus fruits (clementines add a nice festive touch), and all the spices you’d expect: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves ( although go easy on the cloves or your punch will end up tasting like a trip to the dentists!).
If you want to try something a little out of the ordinary, you could try the latest take on the classic margarita, the Copa Verde. Just mix tequila, lime juice, agave syrup and pureed avocado for a stunning green concoction that will have your guests talking about your party all the way through till next Christmas!