• 100g cranberries
  • 150g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 15g ground mixed spice
  • 4 cloves
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 litre bottle of vodka/gin

I wanted to do a stir up Sunday recipe but decided it was kind of pointless. Everyone seems to use a family recipe or good old Delia’s. So instead we have something a little different… and also a response to a few folk on my Facebook page asking for festive cocktails. At this point I hand over to my dear friend Caitlin, the manger of my favourite cocktail bar/restaurant/place to feed your sore head a monster breakfast/place to meet your husband/wedding party venue/place to bribe my toddler with strawberry juice.

“Too many cocktails are pink, sickly sweet or overly creamy in my opinion, as much as I love kitsch, I want Don Draper style with an element of homegrown, not Priscilla Queen of the Desert! Many of the spirits are made on the family farm – sloe gin, raspberry vodka & Christmas pud vodka, from home grown ingredients. I became fascinated with cocktails here after working my way through the wine list too many times! Once pregnant I became a cocktail pusher, designing the very bloke friendly ‘Cider with Rosie’ made with locally pressed 7% scrambler cider (made in our friend Robs back garden) Makers Mark bourbon, ginger ale & rosemary.”

Ingredients:

- 100g cranberries

- 150g sultanas

- 50g mixed peel

- 100g golden caster sugar

- 2 cinnamon sticks

- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

- 15g ground mixed spice

- 4 cloves

- Zest of 1 orange

- Zest of 1 lemon

- 1 litre bottle of vodka/gin

Put everything into a bowl/container/jug, making sure that whatever you use holds all the alcohol. Cover and leave for about a week in the fridge. Then strain through muslin and bottle ready for making into a Stir Up Fizz cocktail (one shot of this gin/vodka, topped up with champagne and served with a ginger biscuit) as soon as the festive mood takes you. Don’t throw the dried fruit away! You can serve it over ice-cream for a very grown up and super charged dessert.

A few other Christmas cocktail ideas from the lovely Caitlin… (a shot is 25mls by the way)

Blood orange margarita: Shake 1.5 shot tequila, 0.5 shot Gran Marnier, squeeze fresh lime, 1 shot syrup and 2 shots blood orange juice over ice. Strain into a tumbler glass with a salt rim and finish with a lime or orange wedge.

Snowball-Highball: Stir 2 shots Advocaat and a large squeeze of fresh lime over ice in a highball glass, top up with lemonade and pop a glace cherry on the top!

Sloe Gin Fizz: Muddle 2 raspberries or blackberries in the bottom of a whiskey style glass, fill half way with crushed ice, then add 2 shots sloe gin, 1 shot lemon juice and 1 shot syrup, and top up with soda.

Cider with Rosie: Pour 1 shot Makers Mark into a whiskey glass, add a squeeze of lemon juice, half fill with ice then top up with half Scrambler boxed cider and half
Schweppes dry ginger. Serve with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Fabulous fizz (alcohol free for the cocktail pushers amongst us): Mix a third each of Shloer, ginger ale & pineapple juice. Serve over ice and feel very smug that your head doesn’t hurt the next day.

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