Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Tonight it’s time to kick back, with a Suitably Fancy Drink in hand, and enjoy your Christmas entertainment of choice (in our house, it’s watching Carols by Candlelight. Naff but awesomely true. Bring it on, Marina Prior’s Frock-n-Hair).
I’m delighted to have on hand two new Christmas cocktail recipes for said Suitably Fancy Drinks that are absolute crackers: a warming mulled pomegranate wine for my Northern Hemisphere readers; and a summery cherry mojito for my fellow Southern Hemisphere readers sporting rather fetching sweat mustaches (or is that only me)?
These two recipes come from Dan Jones‘ brilliant new book, The Mixer’s Manual: The Cocktail Bible for Serious Drinkers, which you may remember was featured as one of the top presents in my Christmas Gift Guides this year.
Summer: Cherry Mojito
Use really ripe, super-tender cherries for this one, they add a sweet flavour and bloody texture to proceedings and like all good Mojitos the flavours increase the more slowly you drink.
4–5 ripe fresh cherries, pitted
sprig of mint
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
50 ml (2 oz) white rum
25 ml (1 oz) lime juice, freshly squeezed
sparkling water, to top
Muddle the cherries, mint and sugar in a highball, with a little crushed ice, add the rum and lime juice, add more crushed ice and top with sparkling water.
Winter: Mulled Pomegranate Wine
Switching out orange juice for pomegranate is a smart move – it’s the perfect basis for this rich mulled wine and the spiced rum and dash of Cointreau add the smell of pure festiveness, minus the turkey burps.
100 ml (4 oz) spiced rum
25 ml (1 oz) Cointreau
1.14 litres (38½ oz) pomegranate juice
1 bottle (750ml/25 oz) of red wine
2–3 whole cloves
dash of Ginger Syrup (see page 34)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 blood orange, sliced
fresh pomegranate seeds, to garnish
Heatproof glass or cup
Add the ingredients (except the pomegranate seeds) to a large saucepan and heat gently for about 15 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Serve in a heatproof glass or cup, adding the pomegranate seeds to garnish.
This new cocktail bible is a wee ripper and a modern kitchen must-have, packed with 150 cocktail recipes covering all the classics, as well as some more modern concoctions, like the Brooklyn Dropout, Holy Water and Roach Motel. Written in Dan Jones’ inimitable wit, the book includes loads of practical tips and how-tos, accompanied by deliciously retro-inspired illustrations.
I’m also rather sweet on this new book as the author, Dan Jones, is also my former boss and mentor at Time Out London. Yay for Dan! You can read all about his favourite London shops, restaurants and cafes in his My Secret London for Wee Birdy.
WIN THE MIXER’S MANUAL!
The good folks at Hardie Grant want to give two Wee Birdy readers a copy of The Mixer’s Manual, valued at $19.95 each. To be in the running, all you need to do is leave a comment below (along with your email addressed, which won’t be published), telling me about your favourite classic cocktail.
Entries will be judged on creativity. Entries close Wednesday 31 December at 5pm AEST. Winners will be announced and contacted by email on January 1, 2015. Competition open to all readers.