The run up to Christmas is the busy party period of the year – work dos, club functions, family gatherings and letting loose with friends can all go into creating a hectic schedule. And if you’re holding the get together, you’ll have some of those hosting headaches to tackle. What should you serve? More importantly, what do you offer to drink?! How do you find the perfect je ne sais quoi to impress your guests, that won’t require hours of preparation and a long list of expensive ingredients?
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you! Drawing inspiration from our favourite destinations and coming up with a list of easy Christmas cocktail recipes. Whether you’re celebrating the festive period in one of our villas or you want to bring your holiday home, we’ve got some tasty tipples for you to try…
The Algarve influence
Port and Tonic
Port and Tonic has been quietly enjoyed by the locals in Portugal for many years. But you might have spotted it popping up in Britain’s pubs and bars over the summer too! A great twist on the classic and much loved G&T, pour some white port over ice in a long glass, add tonic water and serve with lemon or lime. Variations include using sparkling elderflower instead of tonic water and alternative garnishes can really give your drink an unforgettable touch. Choose from rosemary, orange rind, cucumber, juniper berries and for the more adventurous, peppercorns, rose petals or Parma Violets.
The Madeira influence
Poncha can be traced back to the 16th century and is Madeira’s most popular drink. This is a great recipe to use if you are expecting lots of thirsty guests! Make up a large jug up, fill it with ice and leave out some glasses for people to help themselves.
Start by whisking equal measures of honey and lemon juice until smooth and consistent making sure the honey is fully dissolved. Whilst stirring, pour the brandy into the pitcher and you’re ready to serve. Ta-dah!
The Cyprus influence
If you’ve visited Cyprus you may have seen Brandy Sour on the drinks list as it’s one of the most popular drinks ordered by locals. A barman invented the cocktail when King Farouk of Egypt was visiting in the 1930s. A Muslim, who was partial to a drop of alcohol, meant coming up with a drink that looked like ice tea but was secretly an alcoholic cocktail the king would enjoy.
Add some ice to a tall glass along with a few drops of Angostura bitters, add the brandy and the undiluted lemon squash and top up with soda water. You can also use lemonade for a sweeter version.
The Florida influence
If Florida were a cocktail, it would have to include sunshine, wouldn’t it? So it’s not much of a surprise that our cocktail investigation took us directly to this sunshiny drink called quite simply, a Florida Cocktail.
Ingredients include gin, cherry brandy, orange liqueur, orange and lemon juice. Pop them all in a shaker and give it your best barman impression before pouring into cooled glasses. We think a paper umbrella or a slice of lemon would look a treat!
The Caribbean influence
Planter’s Punch Rum
Brighten up your party with a Caribbean touch by serving Planter’s Punch Rum. A rum and pineapple based cocktail that is bound to get the party moving and grooving! A delicious mixture of dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, Grenadine and Angostura Bitters. You’ll be speaking patois and practicing your limbo techniques after a couple of glasses…
The Menorca influence
Pomada is a typical drink enjoyed all year round on the beautiful island of Menorca. There’s a fabulous gin distillery which is definitely worth a visit, or so our travel experts tell us following a recent educational trip. While you’re hanging around waiting for your 2018 Menorca holiday, why not serve Pomada at home and start getting into the spirit… see what we did there? A combination of sugar, water, lemons and gin create a deliciously refreshing drink. Serve it with lots of ice in a jug and pour into short tumblers to keep the party on the right track. Olé!