Thursday, 13 December 2018

Yule Booze

So while PK speculates on the perfect Xmas wine gift, I've decided to dream big about what drink I am actually going to consume over the festive period. It's not pretty, but it is seasonal. Therefore:

- Begin Christmas Day with a White Christmas Martini, made of vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, half-and-half milk and cream, coarse sanding sugar, whatever that is, and some other things. Accompany it with a fried egg and I've got my starches, fats and proteins all dealt with in one dazzling white and yellow cataclysm of breakfast sweetness. Now I'm ready for the fray. Apparently this drink is not Christmas specific, which makes it even more huggable.

- Mid-morning, once the presents have been unwrapped and the Yule log lit, allowed to go out, re-lit and keep alight with spent wrapping paper, I set the turkey to C160° and fortify myself with a Cinnamon Candy Apple festive fun shot, comprising apple schapps, tequila and red food colouring. It's that simple, as long as you have the food colouring. Poster paint might do if you're stuck. It's non-toxic, right?

- Which then gives me time and energy to check my supplies of Asda Prosecco Extra Dry, brought in at a genuinely festive £5.00 a bottle; as well as my stash of Three Mills Reserve Red - a British wine made from imported grape juice and only offering 10.5%, but at £3.18 a unit, I can afford to layer the entire floor with generous deep-hued bottles and still have change for a North Pole Cocktail: vodka, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, molasses, regular cream and whipped cream. And vanilla extract. After that, I'm going to baste the turkey with Prosecco and boil the sprouts in vanilla vodka because, frankly, isn't that what this Holiday Season's all about?

- The Xmas dinner is consumed with gusto. Bulging audibly with a mixture of turkey, cream, vodka, sprouts, Prosecco, Kahlua, sugar, cheap red white, mince pies, molasses, more cream, roast potatoes, more vodka, tequila, bread sauce and red food colouring, I now reckon it's time to ease back a little as the shadows lengthen and the Queen's Speech dissolves into unintelligibility. What better, at this juncture, than a Blackberry Ombre Sparkler - a drink for Valentine's Day, but equally suited for Christmas Day, or, apparently, any other time of the year? Versatility is what it's all about and I'm feeling alarmingly versatile. For a Blackberry Ombre, all you need are fresh blackberries - in December? Seriously? - champagne, sugar and some rosemary sprigs to garnish, because rosemary is definitely on-trend as something to stick into a drink. It looks super-festive, is all I can say, the rosemary acting as a visible pointer to the sheer playfulness of such a cocktail. Do I take the rosemary out before drinking? Or do I just let it stick itself it in my eye, quite negligently, as if that's what I meant to do all along? Decisions!

- But if I'm all cocktailed out - and there's no shame in that - how about a raid on the heavy materials? I'm talking bramble & berry rum, marzipan brandy, mince pie vodka, spiced clementine gin - anything basically fruity and annihilating, accompanied by a solemn vow of thanks to whichever presiding deity saw fit to give us such astonishing choice, provided we can be bothered to get the ingredients together beforehand. Mince pie vodka sounds unmissable; and if I've left it too late to mix the bits and pieces together and allow them to infuse for a week, what's wrong with simply dropping a pie into a glass of neat vodka and letting nature take care of the rest?

- It's getting late. The Yule Log has gone out again, the last of the tinsel has been eaten, the turkey drumsticks are hung festively around the smoke alarm, the hall carpet is full of presents and crushed sanding sugar, the family has gathered round the harmonium to sing old German drinking songs. Now's the time to bring out my secret stash of Londis whites, just a little something to wind the day down. They're all Australian because who doesn't like Australia at this time of year? After all, Christmas Day dawns a whole day later in Australia, thanks to the rotation of the earth, which is tough if you live in Adelaide, so let's toast our friends down under with a glass of delicious Aussie sauvignon blanc. A whole day later or a whole day earlier, one or the other. Goodnight, everybody.


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