It becomes increasingly hard to stay trim and healthy during the festive periods as it is almost impossible to resist temptation from all those delicious food and drinks especially if we are referring to cocktails like mulled wine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear, though, that our favorite festive tipple isn’t necessarily all that bad. We can mention health benefits like: it prevents heart disease, it is anti-inflammatory, keeps bones strong and helps in detoxification. BUT keep drinking in moderation otherwise you will counteract the potential for good.
Mulled wine cocktails
The perfect party drink, as it can be made well ahead, then brought out of the fridge as guests arrive – or serve it hot for a traditional winter warmer
- 100g/4oz light muscovado sugar
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 150ml water
- 1 lemon
- 2 clementines
- 150ml Cointreau
- 750ml/ 1¼pint bottle light red wine, such as Beaujolais
- Twist of orange zest and a star anise, to serve
- Put 100g light muscovado sugar in a pan with 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 150ml water. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Simmer for 2 mins, then pour into a large jug and leave to cool. Add 1 lemon and 2 clementines, both thinly sliced, to the jug along with 150ml Cointreau and a 750ml bottle light red wine, such as a Beaujolais. Stir well, then cover and chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight if you can.
- Serve chilled or over ice, with a twist of orange zest and a star anise. If you’d like to serve a traditional warm mulled wine, there’s no need to chill – simply warm through without boiling and serve in heatproof glasses.
Mulled apple juice
It should always be the non-alcoholic alternative to mulled win on the festive table, and the best one is that of apple juice. It is perfect for kids and drivers.
- 1 l apple juice
- strips of orange peel
- 1 cinnamon stick, plus extra to garnish, if you like
- 3 cloves
- sugar or honey, to taste
- Simmer the apple juice with the strips of orange peel, cinnamon stick and cloves for about 5-10 mins until all the flavors have infused. Sweeten to taste.
- Serve each drink with a little orange peel and a piece of cinnamon stick, if you like.
Pomegranate rosemary spritzer
This deep pink Prosecco cocktail looks not only beautiful in your glass but it has the savory herbal notes, which is a really simple way to add sparkle to your dinner party drinks.
- 200ml pomegranate juice
- sprig of rosemary
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- Put the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan with a sprig of rosemary. Bring to the boil and reduce for a few mins until syrupy. Leave to cool, then chill until ready to use.
- Fill four Champagne flutes with 1 part pomegranate syrup and top up with 3 parts Prosecco. Garnish each glass with a rosemary sprig, if you like.
Recipes source: BBC Good Food