On the run up to Christmas and the holidays you will be tempted by a good many offers of drinks and cocktails – some saintly, some demon-like and some in between. We’re no party poopers and recognise that you might like one or two but would caution some restraint (see the previous surgeon’s blog feature here on why).
But in an effort to steer you in the right direction we have 3 suggestions below for a punch, mocktail and bloody Mary (or virgin Mary) that might well appeal if you are entertaining at home or can request at your venue. Bottoms Up! (but not wider).
CRANBERRY & POMEGRANATE PUNCH:
This is an easy to make punch for a pretty Christmas mocktail using festive cranberry and pomegranate juices – use unsweetened or no added sugar versions though. It can be topped up with plain or fizzy water but if you use the latter then ensure your glass is vigorously stirred to remove as much gas or bubbles as possible. It’s a great way to cater for a party crowd.
Stir together a handful of ice, 500 ml/2 cups unsweetened cranberry juice, 500 ml/2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, 2 tbsp grenadine (optional) and 500 ml/2 cups still or sparkling water in a punch bowl or large jug. Scatter with fresh pomegranate seeds and decorate with mint sprigs to serve. Makes 10 servings.
MULLED BLOODY MARY:
Revamp a Bloody Mary and give it a festive twist by heating it gently to transform into a warming mulled wine cocktail. Add vodka if liked or serve without virgin-style – your call.
Place 1 litre/4¼ cups tomato juice in a pan with the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and half a sliced lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste then heat gently and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then stir in 150 ml/2/3 cup vodka if using, ¼ tsp celery salt and 1-2 tsp Tabasco to taste. Serve in heatproof glasses garnished with a few additional slices of lime. Serves 6
SALTED CARAMEL WHITE RUSSIAN MOCKTAIL
You can indulge your sweet tooth with this non-alcoholic twist on the classic White Russian cocktail. With strong coffee, light cream and just a drizzle of salted caramel sauce or syrup, this is the ultimate grown-up party mocktail to try this Christmas.
Dissolve 4 tsp instant coffee in 400 ml/1¾ cups boiling water. Stir in ½ tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp ‘one for one’ sweetener and stir until dissolved, then aside to to cool. When ready to serve, drizzle 4 tbsp low-sugar salted caramel sauce or syrup down the sides of 4 glasses. Add a couple of ice cubes to each glass and carefully pour in the coffee. Divide 100 ml/scant ½ cup (about 1-2 tbsp) reduced fat or no-fat cream between the glasses and lightly swirl together. Garnish with a rosemary sprigs for a festive finish. Serves 4
Images courtesy of http://www.tesco.com