Mulled wine, done the traditional way, is a right bloody faff. And it takes an age. And it involves boiling the alcohol away – which, during the oh so stressful month of December, is completely unacceptable. Daddy TE has found a short-term pain, long-term gain way of dealing with this, which also fulfils my requirements of an easy non-alcoholic cocktail alternative.
About time I got round to a savory canape option – these crispy duck blinis have only six ingredients, are so simple and succulent. They taste great hot, lukewarm and cold – essential for any party option. Even if you don’t have a party to go to, this is a great alternative to calling for a takeaway or a simple supper to have with mulled wine and mince pies.
When it comes to homemade cocktails, I like two things – 1) anything with champagne and 2) things that can easily have a non-alcoholic version. Drinking is something that (properly – i.e. outside of peach schnapps) came to me relatively late in life, and if you’re the non-drinker at a party, some alternatives scream out like a flashing beacon. Social pressure to drink, particularly at Christmas, can still be awkward, and carrying something that isn’t obviously a glass of water, can make conversations with those you hardly know pass with less awkwardness.
Absolutely nothing says Christmas like overflowing, snow-covered, star-topped mince pies. I really want to say that store-bought is good enough, and that we shouldn’t bother making these ourselves, but I’m not quite there yet. However, in amongst the Christmas shopping, spending time with loved ones (and working in retail…), December is just not my time for pastry making and perfecting mincemeat. Instead, I bring you the most decadent, boozy, flaky and rich mince pies. Four ingredients, a small stir and we’re done.
There are two things I used to drink as a student: southern comfort and port mixed with blue WKD. Fortunately, my alcopop days are well and truly behind me, and I have no intention of bringing anything remotely akin to a cheeky vimto to bare on these pages.
Instead, I’m bringing you the ‘Peachy Keen’, a whisky, peach and lemon blend that sings of summer and is the perfect thing to linger over on a sunny evening. Peach is one of my favourite drink bases – mainly because it makes everything taste alcohl free, leaving you to sink into hedonism with out any fuzzy feeling of guilt. That is, until the 4am dehydrated mouth fur kicks in.