Red, green and gold are the colours of Christmas – the winter berries, evergreen trees and soft candlelight have brought this time of year to life for centuries. And it’s this trio of glowing, festive shades that forms the basis for colourful Christmas cocktails.
From the glow of straight whisky in a handcrafted tumbler through to the warming, honeyed spice of a homemade Hot Toddy or the classic Scotch cocktail, the Rusty Nail, gold predominates in many classic Christmas drinks. And Smirnoff Gold, with real gold flakes and a light cinnamon flavour, could have been tailor-made for Christmas. Mix it with ginger for a Golden Mule, apple and lemonade for an Apple Bite Gold, or pair with sparkling apple juice to create The Golden Flute – the gold dancing in the bubbles is Christmas in a glass.
Use bold scarlet hues to your advantage. The Secret Garden, a blend of autumn fruits innovatively served in jam jars, makes an impressive choice for Christmas dinner parties. Or the classic Negroni, with its festive ruby glow, has been a cocktail hour favourite since Fosco Scarselli invented it around a century ago; the Rossini is a colourful contemporary take on the Bellini.
Christmas was typically the time when country folk first tasted the season’s sloe gin. Cocktails made from sloes, the dark fruit picked from the hedgerows and related to the plum, can be delicious. From the Sloe Bramble to the Sloe Gin Fizz, make a colourful Christmas choice. As with many a stuffed turkey, it’s hard to go wrong with cranberry at Christmas – either mix your favourite spirit with cranberry juice for refreshing drinks such as a Vodka Cranberry, or opt for contemporary cocktails like the Frosted Rose and French 21, or even the classic Cosmopolitan.
Serve up a beautiful array of drinks that match the evocative shades of the festive season.