It’s that time of year – exactly 2 weeks to Christmas! Can you believe it?
Now if you are planning on making a Christmas hamper, packed with divine and devious things that are sure to encourage the expansion of anyone’s waistline, then you are beginning to run out of time for anything that will need to ‘mature’ so now is the time to do it!
Usually for me, Christmas hamper drinks are alcoholic, it’s a must and I don’t apologise for it. I have upon occasion made a non-alcoholic mulled apple drink, but it was the last thing touched in the hamper on that day, so never again! Christmas is a time when we can all indulge a little, and I include my drinks in that – only a wee tipple mind – and this year, I will be relishing the chance to watch everyone else enjoy the fruits of my labour, without a sip myself!
So without further a-do, here are a few of the recipes I have made in the past:
Eggnog by Vikalinka
I love Eggnog, but I am slightly ashamed to admit that I have never attempted to make it myself! I love the way this blogger (Vikalinka) writes about Eggnog and her simply recipe is exactly what I’m going to try this year… though I won’t be sampling my product with even just a mouthful as this does contain raw eggs so is a big no no for pregnant ladies to even try!
Cherry Brandy (yum!)
Who doesn’t love cherry brandy?? And the homemade stuff is always the best. I used our homemade cherry brandy in quite a lot of things, from mince pies (yep!) to my Christmas cake (I also use it to baste the Christmas cake daily in order to keep it moist and packed full of alcohol… oops, I mean flavour. The best thing about Cherry Brandy is that you can get your kids to help you pick cherries for it if you live nearby to a cherry tree or farm! You will need roughly 300g of cherries (not pitted), 600ml of Brandy, 1 tablespoon of sugar and (optional) a stick of cinnamon. Add everything together and seal in a kilner jar or similar. Shake daily for a minimum of 2 weeks!
This is another one I have to fess up and say I haven’t tried, though Snowballs (1 part advocaat and 2 parts lemonade are a regular feature in our home over Christmas!) This recipe is from pin-upcake.blogspot (you may need to copy and paste the recipe into google translate!) and so is the image – doesn’t it look and sound awesome??!
I love mulled wine and I have made this on a few occasions! I think it’s the ultimate Christmas and festive season classic, especially when it is so cold outside! You will need 1 bottle of good quality red wine of your choosing – don’t be tempted to go for the cheap options because wine doesn’t work in the same way that spirits do, so pick a good one – 1 orange (sliced), 1-2 sticks of cinnamon, 3-4 whole cloves, a vanilla pod (sliced down the middle but not completely), a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, a star anise (whole), a teaspoon of grated lemon zest and 2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar. Bung the lot in a big pan and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes, allow to cool slightly then serve. If you are giving this as a hamper gift, allow it to cool completely and strain it into a bottle, leaving a couple of whole spices in the bottom!
The not so classic…
Clementine and Vanilla Vodka
I can’t help but keep coming back to it, it’s so easy to make and certainly one of my favourite liqueurs to share with family at this time of year!