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Raising a Glass to All My Friends – Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas! This is the time of year to toast family and friends near and far. With that in mind I’ve shared the recipes for some of my favourite food and drinks of the season.

1. Negroni Spagliato: The drink originally concocted in Florence in the immediate post WW1 era for Count Negroni, takes on a lighter twist with prosecco replacing gin.

Ingredients: 25ml (1 fluid ounce) red vermouth, 25ml Campari, 25ml chilled prosecco, 1 slice of orange for the garnish, ice.

Place the orange slice in a short tumbler, add all the ingredients including the ice and stir gently.

2. Hendrick’s Fizz: I tasted this at the Menier Chocolate Factory, where they don’t make chocolates anymore, but where they do put on wonderful stage productions and make delicious cocktails. The Hendrick’s Fizz is a light cocktail that’ll go down well with any crowd. The flavours of cucumber and juniper in the gin blend well with the elderflower cordial to produce a light cocktail that is not too sweet.

Ingredients: 25ml (1 fluid ounce) Hendrick’s gin, a few drops of elderflower cordial, 50ml of prosecco.

Pour a few drops of the elderflower cordial into the bottom of a champagne flute. Add the gin and top up with prosecco. You may add more or less elderflower cordial to taste.

If prosecco is hard to come by where you live, you may replace it with any decent dry bubbly. I like bubbles at Christmas!

3. Grappa Dessert: This is a simple yet delicious alcoholic dessert cribbed from Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef. I like the clean flavour of grappa after dinner to cut through a rich meal. The grapes and chocolate make for a simple dessert.

Ingredients: grappa, red grapes, good quality dark chocolate

Freeze the red grapes overnight. Do the same with the grappa. Your bottle will not explode – the alcohol prevents the liquor from freezing. Break the chocolate into chunks. Let your guests nibble on the chocolate and grapes while sipping grappa. Enjoy!

You will find my recipes for more traditional cocktails including the Dry Martini and Bloody Mary under the recipes tab on the Martini Mandate website.

Ecclesiastes 8:15, ‘Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry’

Joy! Joy! Joy!

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