Saturday, 22 December 2018

Cocktails for Your New Year's Party, Sorted | Ring In The New Year In Style | With Funkin Cocktails, Lakes Distillery Gin, Find Me A Gift , Don Julio Tequila, Fever Tree Mixers, Marks & Spencer, Norfolk Gin & Harvey's Bristol Cream

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Christmas, New Year's Eve, all the parties in between mean one thing: cocktails! You may be heading out to a bar with friends to celebrate this festive season in which case there will be cocktails a plenty, but perhaps you're a bit more like me and prefer to stay in, away from the crowds and make your own cocktails. Saving not only time, but crucially, money! 

There are so many kits and ready made cocktails available that to me it seems silly to go out and pay over ten pounds (or more!) for a single drink when for the same price (per drink) you can buy the spirit, a mixer and become your own mixologist! 

I for one love gin, so will always cast an eye around for the newest ones available and how to incorporate them into a rather tasty cocktail! Here I have gathered together a few of my favourite recipes, spirits and mixers to ensure your party goes off with a bang! 


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First up I have these shaker packs from Funkin Cocktails which take all the hassle out of knowing the measurements, requirements for each particular cocktail and allow you to become an at home bartender with ease! 

Simply add in the required amount of spirit (either gin, coconut rum or vodka in the packs featured here) to the line shown at the top, add ice and shake it!! It really doesn't get any easier than that and I have used Funkin Cocktails Mixer Packs previously and found them to be incredibly easy, fun and fuss free when it came to mixing up my favourite cocktails. 

Here I have Mojito, Espresso Martini, Passionfruit Martini and Pina Colada which can be mixed with Vodka, Gin and Coconut Rum to bring bar-standard cocktails to your living room. I love how easy these are to use, you needn't fuss with measures, shakers and separate ingredients, you literally pour, ice and shake! You could even have a contest to see who makes the best one, the tastings could get interesting if there are a lot of you! 

My favourite cocktail in this pack has to be the Passionfruit Martini as I've previously tried it and loved it. The rich fruity flavour of the passionfruit works really well against the sharpness of the vodka - which is a good spirit to use when making cocktails as it's very bland so mixed well with anything you put it with. I'm not the biggest fan of vodka usually, but when it's used in a cocktail you can't taste it. 


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If you're wanting to impress your friends at your party or are wanting to elevate your cocktail making skills then this gorgeous rose gold shaker (with handy recipes selector built into the body) could well be what you're looking for. If  you like your mixed drinks extra fancy, this rose gold cocktail shaker is the perfect way to tune up your mixology skills!

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Simply twist the rose gold coloured body to select your cocktail and the handy holes will reveal all of the ingredients you need for your favourites including: Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mai Tai, Shaken Martini, Amaretto Sour, Pornstar Martini, Pina Colada and Daiquiri. 
With its gorgeous rose gold and silver colour scheme, this is the classy way to make any home feel like a swanky cocktail bar, a fabulous gift for cocktail lovers or a treat for yourself! 

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 I can't wait to try this out at Christmas and New Year or even throughout 2019, sometimes cocktail recipes aren't always easy to find when you're busy hosting a party and not wanting to waste time googling 'How do I make a Mai Tai?', unless of course that's the whole point of your party! 

Whatever the reason, you'll not go far wrong with this cool cocktail shaker, plus it looks amazing in photos! 


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Here I have a rather lovely Gin Liqueur set from Lakes Distillery. The perfect gift for the host of that New Year's party you're going to - or hosting yourself! It contains two gin liqueurs - Rhubarb and Rosehip & Elderflower both of which are likely to make any cocktails pop! 

Rhubarb & Rosehip 

Simple Serve 1: 

Mix the liqueur with ice, ginger ale and garnish with a slice of apple

Simple serve 2: 

Top up a measure of the liqueur with Prosecco (the perfect party accompaniment!) 

Elderflower

Simple Serve 1:

Mix the liqueur with ice, tonic water and garnish with slices of lime, lemon and cucumber. 

Simple Serve 2:

Top up a measure of the liqueur with Prosecco



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Now I have something for the Bailey haters amongest you! I know that's controversial as Baileys is just about the most popular drink at Christmas and New Year, but I have to say, I don't like it! But thankfully, Marks and Spencers have released a new range of rum and gin based cocktails to finally give us something to savour after dinner. Simply served over ice, the Jaffa Cake and Sloe Cocktails make the perfect alternative to Baileys and other alcoholic beverages on offer over Christmas and New Years. 

I got to try the Jaffa Cake Cocktail at the #MyMarksFave Event I attended recently and it quickly became a firm favourite as it tastes just like jaffa cakes.Whilst everyone else has Baileys, I'll be happy to pour myself a glass of this deliciousness! 

I am yet to try the Sloe Gin Cocktail but I'm sure it will be just as amazing as the others! Perhaps when I've finished the Jaffa Cake cocktail, I'll make a start on it! 

Christmas Gin & Fever Tree Clementine Tonic


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Now then, here we have something which everyone is familiar with - Gin. But not any normal gin, no, Marks and Spencer's Christmas Gin! New in store this season, it promises a true taste of the season, made especially for M&S at Edinburgh's Old Curiosity Distillery and contains a botanical blend of fiery ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Serve with tonic, a slice of lime and a handful of frozen cranberries. 

I tried this at the #MyMarksFave event and again it quickly became a favourite - it was simply served with Fever Tree Clementine Tonic (limited edition over Christmas). 

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Here a few other ideas of how to serve this gin:

Shake gin over ice with some freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and a squeeze of lime, then pour into a champagne coupe and top up with soda and pomegranate seeds. 

For a seasonal take on G&T, make a garnish from cranberries skewered with fresh rosemary.

If you prefer your cocktails strong and punchy, try a Christmassy Negroni, made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with a twist of clementine. 

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Festive Cocktail Recipes

Next up I have a few different festive cocktail recipes for you with various spirits including Jon Julio Tequila, Norfolk Gin, Fever Tree Christmas tonic and Bristol Cream. I'm sure there's something here for everyone, whatever your taste. 


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Don Julio Clementine Margarita

INGREDIENTS 

50ml Don Julio Reposado tequila
12.5ml Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
12.5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
12.5ml pink grapefruit juice
2 large bar spoons of homemade clementine marmalade

METHOD

Shaken and strained into a chilled glass, garnish with a dehydrated clementine slice

Don Julio Fig and Vanilla Margarita 

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This Christmas, enjoy the Don Julio Fig and Vanilla Margarita for the perfect after dinner tipple. Combining Don Julio Reposado with Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, lime juice and fig and vanilla syrup, this cocktail is sure to be enjoyed by all.

INGREDIENTS 

40ml Don Julio Reposado tequila
30ml Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
20ml lime juice
15ml fig and vanilla syrup
1 star anise (muddled)
METHOD

Shaken and strained into a chilled glass, garnish with star anise

Christmas Fever Tree Tonic

 Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Clementine Tonic Water with Cinnamon 

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Inspired by the traditional aromas and tastes of Christmas, this unique offering has been crafted to complement the very best spiced and sloe gins and vodkas, creating the perfect winter tipple to brighten up even the coldest day.

            INGREDIENTS

50ml Sweet/spiced or sloe Gin, such as Pink Pepper, Opihr, Sipsmith Sloe, or for a non- alcoholic alternative, new Seedlip Grove 42.
150ml Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Clementine Tonic Water with Cinnamon
Clementine peel for garnish

METHOD

Fill a copa glass with fresh ice and pour in the measure of your chosen gin. Top up with Fever-Tree Clementine Tonic with Cinnamon and run the clementine peel around the rim of the glass before dropping into the drink.

Available to buy for a limited time only from all major retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Asda at an RRP of £1.70 for a 500ml bottle


A Perfect Thyme

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Ingredients

1-2 measures of Norfolk Gin
Favourite tonic
 Ice

Garnish

 Strip of orange zest
 Sprig of fresh thyme

Glass

Highball or balloon

Method 

Pour Norfolk Gin into your favourite glass, add ice and tonic. Gently squeeze the
orange zest over the glass to release the oils. Finish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

Norfolk Gin and Grapefruit Fizz

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A delightful refreshing drink for those colder winter moments. Bittersweet grapefruit and
punchy Norfolk Gin. Aromatic rosemary. Spicy ginger ale. Elegant but with hint of earthy
charm.

Ingredients

 2 measures Norfolk Gin 
 4 measures grapefruit juice
 Chilled ginger ale 
 Ice

Garnish 

Fresh rosemary and grapefruit 

Glass

 Highball or balloon

Method

Mix Norfolk Gin and fresh grapefruit juice in an ice filled shaker. Shake well and
pour into your favourite glass. Add dry ginger ale for some spice. Garnish with a sprig of
rosemary. Make a pitcher and share with friends.

Blackberry and Hibiscus

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This delicious wintery cocktail takes a little bit of preparation and planning. But with its rich,
deep colour and a generous dash of celebratory bubbles, it’s certain to be a real crowd
pleaser at Christmas parties. To enjoy at its best, make the blackberry and hibiscus syrup
the day before. 

To create four cocktails, you will need

100ml of syrup.

To pre-make the syrup

 Measure out equal quantities of Norfolk Gin and a Blackberry cordial (Pixley Berries
blends beautifully) and pour together.

 Add a couple of pinches of hibiscus tea, plus a handful of blackberries (fresh or
frozen) Muddle and leave to settle in a sealed jar in the fridge overnight
 Strain before using

Method

 Pour a measure of your ready-made gin syrup into a champagne flute
 Top with Prosecco or a dry crisp sparkling wine

Garnish

 A sprig of mint

Negroni 

A classic, vintage, bittersweet cocktail. Simple and balanced.

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Ingredients

 2 measures Norfolk Gin
2 measures Sweet Red Vermouth
 2 measures Campari
Ice

Garnish

 Slice of orange

Glass

Tumbler

Method

Pour all the ingredients into a tumbler filled with ice. Stir well to mix. Garnish with
a slice of orange.


Sherry Party Bunch with Harvey's Bristol Cream


Ingredients

50ml Harveys The Bristol Cream sherry, 25ml maraschino liqueur, 15ml fresh lemon juice, 75ml fresh orange juice, 2 dashes Angostura® bitters, sprig of mint
Method
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a large glass. Garnish with orange, a sprig of mint and serve

Frosted Apple and Ginger Fizz with Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry


Ingredients

50ml Harveys The Bristol Cream sherry, 50ml Apple Juice, dash of ginger ale, cinnamon stick, with mint and apple slices to garnish

Method

Fill a glass with ice, 50ml The Bristol Cream, 50ml Apple Juice. Top up with a dash of ginger ale. Swirl with a cinnamon stick and leave in the glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and apple slices.
To sum up
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So I've listed cocktail recipes, shown you how to make cocktail making easy using shaker packs, and a really handy recipe sliding cocktail shaker. If this post doesn't make you want to throw a New Year's party then I don't know what will! 
Enjoy your festivities guys! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from me to you. 
Love, Sarah
xoxoxoxoxoxo

*Post includes gifted items and photos/recipes used with permission. All opinions my own! 
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