Happy Hours!

What would the festive season be without a little something to quench our thirsts...

by: Clare Butcher | 13 Dec 2006

While the general feel of Christmas becomes more sophisticated as we supposedly grow-up, there are ways and means of dodging the milk-and-cookies for Santa and replacing them with something a little less conventional.

Whether it's quenching parched thirst in 35° heat, something to sip whilst cooking up a storm or kickers to get a party started – tradition with a twist is the name of the game.

Cooling down...

Mostly Margarita
2 shots tequila
1 shot of Cointreau
1 shot freshly squeezed lime juice
1 shot of cranberry juice
Salt/sugar and lime wedge to serve
Serves 1
Put all the ingredients into a shaker. Shake and serve in a martini glass with a salt/sugar rim and a split lime wedge.

3 tsp sugar
Juice of half a lime
10 leaves of mint
½ cup fresh ice
1½ shots light rum
Club soda
1 sprig mint for garnishing
1 lime wedge
Squeeze the lime juice into a jug and crush the mint and sugar with it. Add the ice, rum and club soda. Stir and pour into a kitsch Christmas mug (preferably displaying a Santa or reindeer) and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

Frozen Daiquiris
45ml light rum
1tbsp Cointreau
45ml lime juice
1 tsp caster sugar
1 cup crushed ice
125ml or ½ cup watermelon
Blend all ingredients sans the watermelon on a low speed for five seconds, then on high speed until firm. Crush the watermelon, taking out the pips if you want and place it at the bottom of your serving glass and add the rum and ice blend. Garnish with some spun sugar for fun or hang a mini candy-cane off the lip of the glass!

Warming up...

Chocolate Cake in a glass
3 parts Vodka
1 part Frangelico
1 slice orange
Icing sugar mixed with cinnamon or something festive
Pour the vodka and Frangelico into a shot glass. Cover the orange slice with some of the icing sugar-cinnamon mix. Bite on the orange slice and down the shot.

Christmas Cookie
1 part Amaretto
1 part Bailey's Irish Cream
A couple pinches of cinnamon
Layer the Amaretto above the Bailey's cream in your shot glass, add cinnamon and serve once the cinnamon clumps have settled.

1 cup Captain Morgan's Rum
1 cup boiling hot water
1 packet of red jelly (berry flavours work best)
Add packet of jelly to your cup of boiled water. Stir for 2 minutes and then add the rum. Stir until well-mixed and then pour into your shot glasses on a tray which you can pop into the fridge. Add a pinch of hundreds-and-thousands to each glass before they set, it'll settle at the bottom and look particularly grown-up... something you will not be when collectively slurping the set jelly shots!

Naughty or Nice?
As you rock around this Christmas tree in true Brenda Lee style, these shooters provide an excellent accompaniment to any drinking games you may have in mind. But remember, "he's makin' a list and checkin' it twice..."

Winding Down...
After the high jinx, relax with something a little more old-school.

Classic Eggnog with a bite
6 separated eggs
¾ cup caster sugar
500ml full-cream milk
750ml heavy cream
1½cups bourbon
¾ cup dark rum
1 cup cognac
Grated nutmeg and a little chilli
Makes 12
Beat the egg yolks until pale and add sugar to yolks one tbsp at a time while whisking. Add the remaining liquid ingredients (only half of the cream) one at a time while whisking.

Just before serving, beat egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the yolk mixture and whip the rest of the cream, so it's not too thick and fold that into the melee. To serve, pour the eggnog into an interesting array of martini glasses, teacups and tumblers. Sprinkle with nutmeg and little chilli if you dare!

Share your favourite festive thirst quenchers with us in the comment box below.

- None



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