There can be no doubt, Christmas is on it’s way! The party season has begun and my social calendar is already buzzing with lunches, dinners, and more importantly, drinks.
Like most, I do enjoy a Christmas tipple! Even more so since moving to Seattle with my tee-total husband, as I now only tend to “indulge” at Sunday dinner when I join mom for a glass of red. Boy how times have changed!
But Thanksgiving certainly kick-started my “thirst” this year, or should I say more specifically, my wonderful sister-in-law did. For at Thanksgiving she introduced me to a new best friend, a friend I had never encountered before, but who I knew was my perfect companion as soon as we met. This friend came in a bottle and was Three Olives Cake Vodka.
OMG this drink is amaze-baubles! Slightly sweet with a taste that is reminiscent of cream soda, this vodka is divine served simply “on the rocks” and has become my signature cocktail. Unfortunately this vodka is a little hard to find locally, which got me thinking. What other infusions could I make at home to enjoy over the festive season? And here – hiccup! – are the results…
No drink is complete without ice. Ice cubes are so often overlooked when it comes to party drinks. There are so many different novelty shaped moulds available, as well as giant ice moulds and perfectly cubed moulds, all of which add instant kapow factor to drinks, with no added effort – winner winner turkey dinner!
I would definitely recommend using flexible silicone moulds so you don’t have that awful struggle to coerce the ice cubes out of the mould when you need them. But be sure to use quality, branded silicone moulds and don’t be tempted by the cheap ones, as they are usually thin, crack with use (leaking goodness knows what into the water!) and can be so “floppy” the water spills everywhere as you try to get them into the freezer – believe me, I speak from experience!
Cranberry Christmas Ice Cubes
To add a touch of festive jingle bell charm to your drinks, add a few sprigs of rosemary and some fresh cranberries to the ice cube mould before freezing.
To make clear ice cubes, and really highlight your cranberry decoration, only use filtered water, boil it, and then leave it to cool before freezing.
Home-Made Irish Cream Recipe (recipe courtesy of Tasting Table)
In a blender, combine 1½ cups of whiskey, a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and 2 teaspoons of instant coffee. Blend on high speed until combined.
Place the whiskey mixture into a bowl and stir in 1½ cups of heavy cream until smooth. Pour the Irish Cream into a bottle or decanter and store in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.
I like to serve Irish Cream over frozen coffee ice cubes, which not only infuse the cream with extra coffee flavours as they melt, but also look fabulously indulgent!
Home-Made Cinnamon Whiskey Recipe (recipe courtesy of Delicious)
I had never tasted cinnamon whiskey before I had come to Seattle, but now brands like Fireball and Jack Daniels have also made it across the Atlantic to the UK.
Cinnamon Whiskey makes a great tasting shot for parties, served on the rocks – over king sized ice cubes – after dinner, or can be mixed with soft drinks for better behaved occasions!
- 75g fresh ginger, finely chopped (no need to peel)
- 75g crystallised ginger, chopped
- 2 x 7cm cinnamon sticks
- 10 cloves
- ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 100g light soft brown or light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp black treacle
- 1 litre vodka
Simply put all of the ingredients into a large airtight jar, give it a stir and leave it to infuse in a cool, dark place for 4 days, giving it a shake twice daily.
Strain the vodka into a bowl through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin and discard the flavourings. Store the finished vodka in a bottle or decanter, seal, and store in a cool, dark place.
To make these Christmas Drink Recipes I used the following equipment:
- Tovolo® King Cube Ice Moulds
- Tovolo® Perfect Cube Ice Moulds
- Tovolo® Gingerbread Man Ice Moulds
- Tovolo® Sphere Ice Moulds
- Tovolo® Sphere Ice Tongs
- Tovolo® Sphere Ice Trays
Readers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain & Italy can now purchase these ice moulds and other products from the Arugula & Rocket Cookshop on Amazon.