Text: Dakki Kong
This year we’ve learned how to live a normal life no matter what happens.
When eateries are ordered closed, we cook at home. Now bars are closed too, let us make ourselves cocktails at home. With these simple cocktail recipes and repeated trials, you could build your home bar and make some handcrafted premium cocktails for Christmas.
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1. Whisky Sour
This simple and straight-forward recipe is for complete beginners in mixology. The cocktail always tastes good even when the proportion is not strictly followed. This 150-year cocktail is originated in the U.S. and therefore bourbon is first used. Later there comes many versions including Boston Sour. In recent years, it even captures the hearts of Japanese when using the local whisky. Shake all ingredients with ice, serve on the rocks and garnish with a half orange slice.
The most traditional cocktail consumed over Christmas is definitely Eggnog. Not many people know it’s originally non-alcoholic. However, the heavily spiked version is more welcomed for its intense flavour. Countless recipes of eggnog are found using spirits such as brandy, Cognac, bourbon, whisky, sherry or rum. Rum turns out to be the best one and here’s a simplified recipe. Add the ingredients one by one to a blender and that’s it!
3. Hot Toddy
A warm and comforting hot toddy is surely a hit when it’s chilly outside. Some believe it’s a magical cure for cold and flu. Though its origin is not known, it’s widely consumed in the United Kingdom. A hot toddy is quite simple to make. All you need is just whisky, honey, lemon, and some spices. Without heating, combine the ingredients and add hot water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.
The bitter Negroni with a strong sense of liquor is the cocktail to best describe what we’ve gone through this year. Being one of the top three most popular cocktails in the world, the classy and aromatic Negroni could be made with a no-fuss recipe. Remember the golden ratio 1:1:1 for gin, Campari and vermouth. Serve on the rocks. The highlight is a twisted orange peel on the top. Four Pillars has specially designed the Spiced Negroni Gin for this cocktail. Also, Four Pillar Australian Christmas Gin is highly recommended for Christmas drinking.
5. Espresso Martini
As coffee culture is taking the world by storm in recent decades, you’d see coffee makes apparent on the bar table too. Espresso Martini is invented by a bartender in London when asked by a supermodel for something to “wake her up and mess her up”. A good idea for Christmas. The simple three-ingredient cocktail instantly looks professional when poured into a v-shaped glass and topped with a few coffee beans.
6. Bloody Mary
Bellini is not the only drink for the Christmas brunch time. Colour your brunch table with some cocktails in a red tone such as Bloody Mary on Christmas Day. There’s nothing simpler than adding tomato juice to vodka, then season it to taste with Worcestershire, pepper, Tabasco, celery, bacon, olives or whatever you find interesting on your dining table. Bloody Mary is also famous as a hangover cure.
7. Traditional Sangria
You might have made sangria at home. It’s truly an all-time favourite for special occasions. This Christmas, try the traditional recipe which actually involves brandy. Add a splash of Cognac for a luxurious touch. Cut all fruits, add sugar and muddle, add juice, wine and Cognac. Garnish with an orange wheel.
8. Sake Bomb
Sake bomb is more like a game than a cocktail, getting the celebratory vibe going at home. The origin could be either the U.S. or Japan but no one knows exactly. The setting is a cup of warm sake precariously set on a pair of chopsticks laying on the rim of a beer glass. Slam the table so that the sake drops into the beer. Guzzle down the sake-beer mix.
The best thing about drinking festive tipples at home is you’re just a few steps from your bed. It’s Christmas and it’s hard not to drink. What you could prepare, apart from Bloody Mary, are few more hangover remedies for the next morning such as ginger tea or full English breakfast. Share with me if you have any wonderful hangover remedies.