Best festive drinks to serve at a Christmas party

Best festive drinks to serve at a Christmas party

From Scandinavian glögg to egg nog, we've got your back this winter

Planning a Christmas party this year? Whether you're hosting some good friends, trying to impress someone special or maybe just entertaining the office, we've got a few Christmas party staples you should check out.

Glögg

What you need: Red wine, or port, bourbon and white rum, muslin cloth, orange peel, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves

The word glögg comes an old word that translates, loosely to 'warm glow', or 'burning ember', depending on who you ask. We're not here to dish out language lessons though, we're here to tell you about good festive booze, and my oh my this is one you simply have to 'glögg' down!

There's a few different ways of doing glögg. If you fancy something similar to the traditional mulled wine, you can mix up a bottle of shiraz and some port as your booze base, and I know what you're thinking, sounds fun, but not very adventurous is it? Another option, a somewhat boozier journey, is to use the port as your main ingredient, backing it up with bourbon whisky and white rum, and steadily simmering. That's more like it. Get a muslin cloth, and add cracked cardamom pods, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel into the middle, tying it up with some kitchen string, and adding it to the mix with some raisins, and flaked almonds. Add some sugar to sweeten it up, and once it gets nice and hot, strain and serve. The perfect drink to get you in the mood for frolicing in the snow, or for a game of Head's Up.

Mulled cider

What you need: Scrumpy cider, orange, clementines, cloves, nutmeg, stem ginger, cinnamon, vanilla

Find yourself (and when I say find, I mean purchase, please don't go foraging) a couple of litres of scrumpy still cider, put it in a pan bring it up to a simmer. After that, what happens is really up to you. You can add some of the classic spices; cloves, some grated nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, a vanilla pod, maybe some stem ginger too. Keep stirring and tasting to make sure your cinnamon isn't overpowering the brew. Add the juice of an orange and two clementines, and you've got some lovely mulled cider. Serve to an adoring audience.

Mulled sloe gin

What you need: Sloe gin, apple juice, orange peel, cloves

When I hear the word 'gin', I think 'hot day, ice cubes, tonic water'. How about turning that thought on its head and heating up some sloe gin? Let's do it. Add some sloe gin to a mix of cloudy apple juice, with some orange peel and cloves, heat it up slowly and you've got yourself an easy winner, that's – if anything – 'quick' to rustle up!

Irish Coffee

What you need: Whisky, brown sugar, espresso coffee, double cream, nutmeg, vanilla

The modern Irish Coffee owes a lot to the San Francisco travel writer Stanton Delaplane, who's credited with bringing the drink to the USA. He sampled it in Shannon, and was so taken that he got the Buena Vista Café to serve it in his home city.

To do it well, in a small glass pour 35ml of good quality whisky. Create a syrup with three teaspoons of demerara and brown sugar, mixing that with 3 teaspoons of hot water. On top of that, add 90ml of good quality espresso, and top it all off with some double cream lightly whipped. For a garnish, use nutmeg and vanilla.

A really intriguing alternative is Donal Skehan's Crazy Cactus Coffee, which sees the Irishman blend vermouth, tequila, ground coffee and the spices of nutmeg, star anise and cinnamon together in a cafetiere. Much like the Irish coffee, it's best topped off with cream.

Hot buttered rum

What you need: Butter, dark rum, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon

An absolutely delicious, decadent concoction, hot buttered rum is a warm winter drink that's sweet and rich, but despite its list of ingredients not overly sickly. In other words, it is a joy.

Start by melting some butter in a pan with a small amount of brown sugar (you can even use maple syrup, if you have some to hand), and a few cloves. None of these drinks would be complete without cloves. Once that's done, add a measure or two of dark rum and stir well. Top the mix up with some boiling water, strain and pour into a glass, finishing it off with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

Egg nog

What you need: Milk, cream, eggs, bourbon or rum, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, sugar

This dairy based brew has long been a fixture in the world of festive drinks. There's something decadent about egg nog that gives it a Christmas feel. The same way that it's only really acceptable to graze on miniature heroes for breakfast around December 25th, you know?

Making a great egg nog takes time. You start off mixing some milk and cream with cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, bringing it to the boil and then removing the mixture from the head. After that separate some egg yolks, combining them with sugar until the mixture becomes nice and thick. Add to that the milk mixture, and some bourbon (or rum). Leave this in the fridge overnight. Before serving, beat the egg whites (the ones from before) and then fold them into the refrigerated mix. If you fancy mixing it up, you can add some chocolate to the picture too.

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