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I always find Christmas quite stressful, all the running around for gifts, the wrapping paper, the cards, food for the family the list is almost endless!
The one thing that I never really spend much time considering is the alcohol, normally I pop to the shops grab the nearest crate of beer and whatever wine I can find. This year I thought that I would try something a little different to surprise family and friends by making up my own cocktails and a delightful Lavender punch for those who will not be drinking over the festive period.
Normally, my cocktail skills stretch to a gin and tonic but this year I have been doing some serious experimenting all the name of Christmas!
I have compiled my top 3 festive tipples that are sure to make your Christmas that extra bit merrier.
Lavender Festive Punch
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Juice of three lemons
6 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup water
a cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole cloves
5 tbsp. dried lavender
250ml pink lemonade
Simmer water, lavender, and spices for 5 minutes and then let simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and mix with your lemonade and pomegranate juice.
If you have adults who aren’t drinking you could make this punch extra special by adding some lavender to your ice cubes.
This is a fantastic punch for the non-drinkers but it also makes a fabulous cocktail when mixed with some Lavender Vodka.
Shaken or Stirred?
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1 1/2 ounces vanilla flavoured vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce lavender syrup
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice, and syrup.
Shake it all up, strain into Martini glass, garnish with a lemon swirl or sprig of lavender, and voilà!
(Recipe Source http://makinglemonadeblog.com/perfect-summer-cocktail-lavender/)
Lavender & Blueberry Gin & Tonic
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Water- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 1/4 cup
Dried lavender- 1/2 tsp
Blueberries- 2 cups
Gin- 1/2 cup
Make a sugar syrup by boiling together the water sugar and dried lavender.
Boil, stirring occasionally, till the sugar is completely melted.
Close with a lid and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the times up transfer the syrup into a glass and cool in the fridge till ready to use.
Meanwhile, wash the blueberries and tip into a saucepan with 2 tbsp of the sugar syrup and 2 tbsp of water.
Cook on medium heat till the blueberries break down and gets slightly cooked. It doesn’t need to be that pulpy, just break them all down with a wooden spoon.
Cool and strain into a large bowl, diluting it with water if you find the juice is not falling through.
Add the gin and give a good stir.
Do a taste test and if you need more sugar add the remaining sugar syrup.
Add ice cubes to the glasses and pour in the drink about half full then top up with the tonic and enjoy
There you have it, my favourite drinks recipes for the festive season that will dazzle your friends, while taking minimal effort and tasting absolutely delicious!