Posh Punches and Cool Cocktails for the Festive Season …. and Party-time year round.

Egg Nog  - classic Festive tipple

Egg Nog – classic Festive tipple

There’s more to the Festive season than Egg Nog.  The tradition began in England and Europe around the 17th century as a winter warmer Egg and Grog (rum) punch, served in a noggin, a wooden mug.  This creamy, silky boozy concoction of eggs, milk, sugar, brandy, rum, whisky, flavoured with vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon is today more of a classic Christmas tipple in the USA.

This year liven up your parties with a few fashionable new cocktails and flavoursome Punches for a fabulous Festive Spirit.  

Toussaint Espresso Martini

Toussaint Espresso Martini

Toussaint Coffee Liqueur was named after the famous Haitian soldier and statesman, General Toussaint.  The smooth Liqueur is created from natural tropical ingredients – fine Arabica coffee with a hint of Cocoa, Vanilla, Liquorice and Caribbean rum. 

Sip this rich concoction on its own over ice,  to accompany a creamy chocolate dessert perhaps, or with a Cognac as the perfect digestif at the end of a meal.  Alternatively get the Cocktail shaker out:  

 The Toussaint Espresso Martini

35ml Toussaint Coffee Liqueur

35ml rum

A shot of fresh espresso

Pour all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice. Shake hard and fine strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three coffee beans.

A refreshing Gin and Tonic - perfect anytime

A refreshing Gin and Tonic – perfect anytime

When Gin met Tonic – the match made in heaven.

Until a few years ago, if you requested a “Gin and tonic please” at a bar, the bartender was not so likely to have asked if you had a preference.  (You were usually given the one advertised by Gordon Ramsay).  Today, gin lovers will certainly ask for their favourite brand, as well as selected style of tonic – the G&T connoisseur can enjoy as much choice as a vodka or whisky drinker.

G & J Greenall has been making gin for 252 years, (the second largest distillers in the UK), so they should know a bit about blending botanical flavours.  They recently re-launched their London Dry Gin, creating a bittersweet botanical mix of juniper, coriander, lemon peel, ground almonds and cassia bark.

Greenall’s Gin was recently selected as one of the best 10 gins around today in a survey by The Independent.

For the contemporary tippler, there’s more to gin than just ice and a slice.  Try these two cool and sophisticated cocktails –

Greenalls' White Lady

Greenall’s White Lady

Greenall’s White Lady

2 parts gin

1 part orange liqueur (similar to Cointreau)

1 part lemon juice.

1 fresh egg white

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

Greenall's Ginger Cocktail

Greenall’s Ginger Cocktail

Greenall’s Ginger Cocktail

2 shots Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin

½ shot of fresh lime juice

1 slice of fresh ginger

240ml Ginger Beer

Shake the gin, ginger slice & lime juice with ice and strain into a chilled high ball glass, fill with more ice cubes and finally top up with ginger beer and garnish with mint leaf to serve.

Sloe Bloom Gin

Sloe Bloom Gin

Take it Sloe-ly ….

The first Sloe Bloom Gin from the producers of the premium Bloom London Dry Gin, has been launched by Quintessential Brands.

Bloom Gin is distilled in a traditional Copper Still by G&J Distillers in Warrington, Cheshire, which has been distilling fine spirits since 1761. Master distiller Joanne Moore selected hand-picked sloe berries macerated in Bloom Gin.

Sloe Bloom has a dark ruby red colour with the earthy aroma of kirsch and almonds, complementing the sweet honeysuckle-scented gin.  This is a delicious aperitif straight up,  or jazz it up in these “shaken not stirred” cocktails.

Sloe Bloom Fizz

Sloe Bloom Fizz

Sloe Bloom Fizz


Top with Prosecco and serve in a chilled champagne glass.

Sloe Bloom Punch

Sloe Bloom Punch

Sloe Bloom Punch


Dash of lemon juice

Dash of apricot brandy, peach bitters and top with cranberry juice

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, fine strain into a cocktail glass.

SLOE BLOOM is a limited edition and exclusively available from Harvey Nichols’ stores and online. 

“Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” 
F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Just like puppies and kittens, Cocktails are not just for Christmas.  Cheers!

For more information on these speciality spirits:  http://www.quintessentialbrands.com

Quintessential Brand Spirits

Quintessential Brand Spirits

About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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