Here is my simple solution to the dilemma of Christmas cocktails; two syrups.
- Gingerbread spice syrup; In Sweden, and in a lot of other countries, this sort spice blend is sold ready made to be used in cookies and cakes. And in works beautifully in syrups. 1 cup of caster sugar and 1 cup of water is brought to the boil, 1-2 teaspoons of spice blend(I use to because I want a bit of bite) is added and then it gets to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let cool before pouring into a clean bottle. This will last in the fridge around 2 weeks. And it will be empty by then. This is obviously great in regular coffe instead of sugar or in a hot chocolate. Also poured over ice cream; you get the drift. It’s a good thing to have around this time of year. When entertaining friends the other night I used it in an Irish Coffee(here) instead of sugar. It hit all the right spots(it was a lot better then the Glögg,coffee and whipped cream I tried the other week). I Also made a Christmas-fashioned (here) but use orange bitters instead of Angostura for balance. It probably would have tasted even better had I thrown convention completely aside and used a really smokey whiskey. Last year I used this kind of syrup for Whiskey sours (here) which was also a treat.
- Saffron Syrup; To be fair I love saffron all year around. The syrup procedure is much the same. 1 cup of caster sugar and 1 cup of water is brought to the boil and a pinch of saffron is added. Let simmer for a couple of minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved. Let cool before pouring into a clean bottle. Will last in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Like the gingerbread spice-syrup this has a multitude of uses but it does go particularly well with gin I think. Adding a dash to a gin and tonic is a brilliant idea. Halving the amount of Cointreau in a White lady(here) and using this instead makes for a nice saffrony-citrusy cocktail. What I also made was a twist on a Martini by adding a reasonable slug of this and serving it with a cherry instead of olives(olives would have tasted great also I think).
Those are my suggestions, but these syrups are easy to make and a twist on the traditional holiday tipples while staying within the framework of the Christmas flavours.
Cheers and Drink responsibly!