The Skylark's Nina Taris recommends some festive winter warmers

Recipes for a sparkling Elderflower spritzer and whisky-heavy Athol Brose included

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The Skylark's Nina Taris recommends some festive winter warmers

Elderflower spritzer and an Athol Brose

As The Skylark’s two owners (Kirstie and me, Nina) come from Scotland and France respectively, we thought we’d give you two cocktails! They are both easy to make and use ingredients most folk are likely to have in their larder at Christmas time. The first is one my family and I enjoy over the festive period in Bordeaux and the second, something a little more traditionally Scottish … ’

Elderflower spritzer

80ml elderflower cordial
Champagne (or sparkling wine)
Perrier
Ice

‘Pour the cordial with a couple of ice cubes into a glass. Add Champagne (or sparkling wine) and top up with ice cold Perrier. Et voila!’

Athol Brose

A little more preparation is involved here, so best to make up a batch …
200g oats
150ml water
115g heather honey
900ml (yes, 900ml) whisky

‘Soak the rolled oats in the water for an hour. Then stir to make up a paste. Press through a sieve into a large mixing bowl then combine with the honey. Pour in the whisky a little at a time whilst stirring. Then serve (or keep in a bottle and shake well before serving later).

Nina's Christmas:

‘So far, as Christmas day habits go, I enjoy being able to draw on the traditions of Scotland and France, picking and choosing to suit. This year, with a new baby and a new business, I think I’ll lean towards the Scottish tradition of warm hospitality and take advantage of the invitation to spend the day with my partner’s family where we (and particularly baby Ada) will be spoilt. If I can get away with it, I’ll be able to limit my time in the kitchen to quickly rustling up some Christmas drop scones, by simply adding some mincemeat to a classic pancake batter. Everyone enjoys them with a hearty accompaniment of brandy cream! A super simple dessert, or indeed, an indulgent breakfast.’

The Skylark

241–243 High Street, Edinburgh, EH15 2AW

Unique Portobello gathering place with good food that makes the community richer by its presence.

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