When I recently tried to write a Christmas list, I was honestly quite stuck for ideas but one of the first things I always put down is a bottle of sherry and/or sloe gin. Both of them represent Christmas in a glass to me (and remind me of both my grandmas, who were equally fond of a tipple in their own way). Thankfully Greig has just furnished the cupboard with a bottle of both, so we can start drinking to the season ahead of the big day. But this year, I thought I’d have a go at mixing up my own Christmas cocktail and put a new spin on these two old favourites.
As I said, I love sherry and slow gin – nothing beats that sweet, syrupy hit of liquor and the warm glow it creates on the way down – and it’s perfect for sipping slowly in front of the fire with a mince pie. But if you want something slightly longer and more refreshing, this cocktail combines both with the sharper bitterness of tonic and a citrusy hit of orange. The result is not unlike Campari and soda or Aperol Spritz (both of which I love in the summer) but this has a bit more of a festive spirit.
To make, simply mix one part sherry with one part sloe gin. Top up with tonic water and a fresh squeeze of orange. Add an orange slice, pieces of peel or a cinnamon stick for decoration plus ice if you like. If you want yours a bit more punchy, just add more slow gin, which deepens the colour and bumps up the fruitiness. More importantly make sure you serve this drink in something suitably festive.
I think Christmas drinks always look better in a bit of finely-cut crystal. I like the way the glass sparkles and catches the light but big, chunky tumblers can feel a bit clumsy for cocktails. I love these smaller, rounded (dare I say it, more lady-like) glasses from Waterford crystal,which are perfect for festive spirits but big enough to take a longer drink too.
As part of their Live Love Toast campaign, Waterford has donated a pair of these beautiful Lismore connoisseur tumblers, worth £65, as a gift for one of my readers. Just fill in the details below to be in with a chance of winning. Sorry, this giveaway is only open to UK readers and will run for one week so that the prize may arrive in time for Christmas.
Best of luck and let me know if you try out the cocktail recipe!