An Irish at Heart Festive Cocktail Menu

We all like to indulge a little over the Christmas period, and with all the Yuletide variations on our usual cuisine – it’s always delightful to head out and about and see what’s on offer.

However, we all know that home is where the real festive feels kick in, so I’ve drafted up a menu of Christmas cocktails with an Irish twist for you to shake up in the comfort of your very own kitchen.

Of course, any good cocktail party comes with a selection of snacks – so if you’re sticking to your Irish at Heart theme then these goodies would be the perfect accompaniment!  

Irish Mulled Cider

 

Mulled wine is a classic tipple for any festive occasion, with ladles of the Yuletide potion being served up everywhere; from Christmas Markets, office parties, to all of our favourite seasonal movies.

This year, why not shake it up a notch, with an Irish variation on the winter warmer, which sees cider take centre stage. This easy-peasy recipe from Donald Skehan is quick to whip up and can easily be doubled for party quantities! Feel free to sweeten it up with a few tablespoons of sugar, honey or apple syrup if you so desire.

 

1 litre of Bulmers (Magners) Irish apple cider (or your favourite alternative)

4 cinnamon sticks

6 star anise

Lemon rind for each glass

1 apple, cut thinly, to serve

 

 

  1. Put the cider, cinnamon sticks and star anise into a large pot and place over a medium high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and leave for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse before serving in mugs with thinly sliced apple and lemon rind.

Guinness Martini

The typical tavern toast is treated to a sophisticated festive makeover with this superbly classy Guinness Martini. The black stuff gets an added layer of dark decadence with the addition of coffee and rum, making for a sharp yet indulgently creamy sipping experience.

If you want to sweeten things up a tad you can always opt for a vanilla flavoured vodka, which brings a floral note to the dreamy concoction.

 

 

100 ml Guinness

50ml dark rum

25ml cold espresso

25ml vodka

25ml Crème de cacao

Ice

 

 

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake hard for 30 seconds
  2. Double strain the mixture into two chilled martini glasses

Bailey’s Hot Chocolate

This next one is the ultimate cuppa of comfort, with a cheeky little Christmas nip thrown in to really bring out the colour in those cheeks. Keep it simple with just the chocolate and the Bailey’s, or go all out with the decadent decorations, either which way - this is a sure winner for warming up after an afternoon of shopping in the cold!

As well as the hot chocolate powder I like to break in a square or two of dark chocolate – it adds a luxurious richness to the taste that is just indescribably satisfying.

 

(Essential)

50ml Baileys Original Irish Cream

1 tbsp hot chocolate powder

200ml hot milk

10g black chocolate

(Optional)

A dollop of whipped cream

Marshmallows

Chocolate sprinkles

chocolate brownies

chocolate sauce

chocolate ANYTHING to garnish

 

 

  1. Add the chocolate powder and the black chocolate to the hot milk and stir, pour into your favourite mug.
  2. Add the Baileys – top it up if you want something a bit stronger!
  3. Go nuts with the decorating – whipped cream, sprinkles, brownies, marshmallows – whatever you feel like.
  4. Snap a photo and grab a spoon to dig through those delectable decorations!

Irish Eggnog

Also invited to the Christmas cocktail party is hot chocolate’s more mature cousin Eggnog, this time with a deliciously Irish twist courtesy of Creative Culinary.

 

Jameson’s Irish Whiskey gives this creamy concoction a sharp edge, which lingers on the tongue and the mind – making a second serving practically inevitable… Extra points if you whip up your own batch of eggnog, although the shop bought stuff will do perfectly well if you’re looking for a punch in a pinch!

1 oz (25ml) Kahlua

1 oz (25ml) Jameson Irish Whiskey

4 oz eggnog

Nutmeg, grated

  1. Fill cocktail glasses with crushed ice.
  2. Put the Kahlua, whiskey and eggnog into a pitcher and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour over ice and top with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

 

Virgin Baileys

If you fancy a splash of Ireland’s famous velvety liqueur without the alcohol, then the Mindful Mocktail’s recipe for a Virgin Bailey’s comes pretty close to replicating the flavour!

Swapping in coconut milk in place of double cream keeps this a little lighter, so it can be enjoyed as a long drink as opposed to a shot or two over ice – it also comes with the added benefit of bringing a touch of tropicality to your winter mocktail.

 

200 ml coconut milk

20 ml espresso shot

2 teaspoons maple syrup or your choice of sweetener (or more to taste)

1-2 drops vanilla essence

2 teaspoons cacao powder (optional)

1 tablespoon light cream (optional, more to taste)

 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and combine until just mixed.
  2. Serve over ice.

Leprechaun Milk

 

Fancy incorporating some Irish spirit (of the non-alcoholic variety) into the kid’s Christmas party? This fun and festive minty beverage from the Cookie Rookie is sure to be an instant winner! I always think that it’s the little details that make things special when we were young – the glittering present that was wrapped with a big bow, the little bag of sweets we were given before the pantomime, and now the gloriously green milk that stands out from the ordinary.

If you’ve got the time you can even rim the glasses with some festive green or gold sparkles, adding a touch of magic to the occasion. If mint is not your thing you can easily skip this ingredient and simply opt for a classic vanilla flavour.

8oz of your favourite kind of milk (Skimmed, whole, almond, coconut – whichever!)

1 drop Mint Extract

1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

4 drops green food colouring

 

 

  1. Simply stir all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

 

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McCabe's BREW

This next one can be enjoyed at any time, although its history makes it a particularly good choice for New Year…

Tom McCabe was among the staff who closed the doors of the original Tullamore distillery in 1954, and also the one to open the doors of the brand-new distillery in 2014. This drink – as a blend of old traditions and new beginnings, the comforting and the exciting - is a tribute to him and his work.

With this in mind, it is the perfect beverage to reminisce in the times of 2021 - while toasting the possibilities of the year to come.

 

 

45 ml Tullamore D.E.W. original Irish whiskey

5ml Apple liqueur

1 dash Angostura bitters

2 dashes Angostura orange bitters

2 barspoons White granulated sugar

30ml Green tea (strongly brewed)

Champagne

 

 

 

  1. In a shaker, add sugar, bitters and green tea
  2. Stir to dissolve sugar
  3. Add apple liqueur, Tullamore D.E.W. and ice.
  4. Hard shake and strain into a coupe glass
  5. Top with chilled champagne and garnish with a fan of apples

Have you got your eye on one of the above to try out over the festive period? Let me know in the comments below – and be sure to snap a shot for our Facebook community.

 

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