It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
We love the festive period here at AO Home. I mean what’s not to love, the general merriment in the air, social gatherings and getting to catch up with people you haven’t seen in the last 11 months, the food… oh, the food! I personally love being able to indulge in all the food that I banned year round, without the tiniest bit of guilt! Then, I love the drinks; everywhere you go there are amazing drinks on offer – from traditional warming mulled wine to deliciously intoxicating cocktails and exciting mocktails!
We’ve put together a collection of fantastic recipes to see you through the festive season…and possibly beyond.
A seasonal winner every time - until a year ago I used to buy it off the shelf, then I realised how easy it is to make. The best thing about making your own is the flavour - I mean the true flavour. Try and you’ll know what I mean.
This recipe can be made in advance and in a slow cooker for total ease.
1 bottle of Red Wine
460ml Apple Cider
2 tbs Honey
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
Sliced Orange (garnish)
5 Whole Cloves
4 Cardamom Pods (opened)
1 Star anise (whole)
2 Cinnamon Sticks (plus extra for garnish)
Add the wine, cider, honey, orange zest and juice into a large slow cooker, mix and add the cloves, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Put your cooker on low for 30 minutes, then add the brandy.
Serve in mugs with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick. The great thing about this drink is you can leave it on a low heat, or the Keep Warm function on your slow cooker – allowing guest to top up and help themselves.
Baileys Chocolate Orange
There’s nothing better at Christmas than sitting around with the blanket, a good film and a Terrys Chocolate Oranges to snack on a glass of Baileys on ice to wash it down – oh yes there is! Combing the 2 together.
50ml Baileys Chocolat Luxe
25ml Orange Liqueur
Cinnamon Stick (garnish)
In a cocktail shaker of ice, mix the Baileys and Orange Liqueur – shake, shake, shake!
Pour into a glass over 3 ice cubes and garnish with a grating of cinnamon stick on top – enjoy!
Winter Pimms Punch
Game, set, and match – its times Pimms was celebrated all year round!
1.5l Apple Juice
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Mix the Pimms, Brandy and Apple Juice in an ice-filled jug, stir. Add the Cinnamon Sticks, Apple and Orange Slice – pour and enjoy!
Salted Caramel Rum Hot Chocolate
No festive drinks list complete without a hot chocolate, and a boozy one is even better! And with Rum…? Well, pour me a mug full…
25ml Dark Rum (I prefer spiced)
2tsp Dulce de Leche or a Thick Caramel
150ml Milk of choice
50g chopped Milk Chocolate (or Dark depending on preference)
Pinch of Sea Salt
Mix the Rum and Dulce De Leche in a small bowl until well combined and set aside. Warm the Milk on a low-medium heat until simmering, remove from the heat and mix in the Milk Chocolate until its melted. Return the saucepan to the heat and warm and add the rum mixture with a pinch of sea salt to taste.
Pour into a mug and enjoy…
Orange and Cranberry Spritz
For those who prefer a lighter festive drink, this spritzer is all the full minus the added calories and headache…
500ml Smooth Orange Juice
500ml Cranberry Juice
400ml Sparkling Elderflower
Mix the juices together in a large jug, add the Sparkling Elderflower slowly. Gently mix and serve in red wine goblets with ice
This gorgeous punch is dedicated to all the designated drivers! We salute you…
100g Fresh Cranberries
100ml Cranberry Juice
500ml Blood Orange Juice
Juice of 1 Lime
Thin wedges of Lime (garnish)
Thin wedges of Orange (garnish)
Fresh Mint (Sprigs – garnish)
600ml Sparkling Apple Juice
In a medium freeze-proof container, add the Fresh Cranberries and cover with water – freeze until solid. In a large jug mix the Juices including the Lime Juice.
To serve, smash the frozen cranberries and place at the bottom of a highball glass with a wedge of lime and orange pour the juice and top with Sparkling Apple Juice and a sprig of Mint.
However, you choose to spend this festive period we wish you a warm and full-filled time. Remember to drink responsibly…