Celebrating NYE in style

Happy new year everyone!!! I hope 2016 is your year. This post might be kind of late seeing as many people (like me) are trying to go teetotal for January but you can use this to plan a cocktail party for the future. For my birthday I got a cocktail shaker and cocktail recipe book and I have not stopped using it since so I’m gonna share with you some of the best cocktail recipes I’ve discovered

1. Harvey Wallbanger

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I think by far this is everyone’s favorite. I’ve literally been making it for people all Christmas as its so simple to make but tastes so good.

For 1 serving:

Put 3 icecubes, 1 measure of Vodka and 125ml fresh orange juice and shake in a cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds. Strain into a tall glass with ice in it and float 1-2tsp of Galliano on top. Decorate with orange slices.

2. Maiden’s prayer

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This ones pretty bitter so we added Grenadine to turn it into a Maiden’s blush. My cousin who works in a bar also showed us how to do a sugared rim: moisten the edge of the glass with water, lemon or lime. Evenly dip the rim into a plate full of sugar or you could be imaginative and rim it in just about anything!

For 2 servings:

Put the ice cubes in a cocktail shaker with 6 drops of Angostura bitters, the juice of 2 lemons (pretty bitter so maybe 1 lemon?) 2 measures of Cointreau and 4 measures of Gin. Shake until a frost forms and then strain into 2 cocktail glasses and serve with a straw.

3. Alice springs

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I genuinely can’t remember what this tastes like…might have to try making it again…

For 1 serving:

Put 4-5 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Pour in 1 measure of lemon juice, 1 measure of orange juice, 1/2tsp Grenadine and 3 measures of Gin. Add 3 drops of Angostura bitters and shake until a frost forms. Pour into a tall glass and top up with soda water. Decorate with an orange slice.

4. Peach and Elder flower Bellini  

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This recipe called for ripe peaches and then to make a puree out of them…but I made my own version, I reckon we can still call it the same thing.

I filled about 1/2 the glass with Champagne, added 2tbsps Elder flower and topped it up with peach schnapps. Everyone thought it was too sweet…I gotta say plain Champagne is much better.

5. Skywalker 

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This is a recipe my brother invented…and its pretty much pure alcohol! The glow stick here signifies his light saber -had a lot of fun with the glow sticks last night I have to say

Put ice, 2 measures of Gin, 1 measure of Vodka, 1 measure of Vermouth and the juice of half a lemon in a cocktail shaker and shake until a frost forms. Strain into glasses and top up with tonic water (as you can see!)

Enjoy 😀

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Winter warmers

Hello world, my names Helena and one of the best things about winter (besides it being my birthday and Christmas!) is cozying up on the sofa with a nice warm drink by the fire; subsequently goes on to imagine old-fashioned Victorian households like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. There’s nothing like a hot chocolate or cup of tea to warm your insides and; something that I never understood until now, to warm your hands. The biggest reason why my mum always drinks tea was so that she can hug the mug as her hands are always cold -a characteristic that I’ve unfortunately inherited; my hands are so sensitive to temperature, they go red and blotchy and sometimes purple in the cold and they still don’t warm up when it’s hot. There’s just no winning. So obviously because my hands are so weird, hot drinks are great -here’s the top 5 of ones I love:

  1. Hot Chocolate     You simply can’t go wrong with a Hot Chocolate; unless you don’t like chocolate in which case you’ve gone very wrong. Experiment with different ones; Aero and Galaxy are my fav although I did have a period of obsessing over white hot chocolate. Try adding spices like Cinnamon, Clove, Mixed spice or Ginger -shops like Thorntons or Hotel chocolat do great hot chocolates like chilli or spice. My Uncle makes his own hot chocolate by melting dark belgium chocolate and adding hot water -it is the richest thing on earth, I must have added like double the amount of sugar that’s in a packet of drinking chocolate so it’s not really a healthy option for me. Obviously you’ve got to have all the trimmings: mini marshmallows, cream, a shaking of cocoa powder -got that and you’re all sorted
  2. Green tea            I guess this is a bit more of a summery drink but it’s perfect as you can have it cold or hot; summer or winter. This is a perfect option if you’re watching your weight and you don’t want the extra calories from chocolate, cream, marshmallows, milk -we all know what I’d prefer! Plus apparently it has health benefits from preventing illnesses, shifting those extra pounds and raising mood decreasing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  3. Mulled Wine  Oh. My. God. If ever there was a Christmas drink it’s mulled wine. I very often go to German Christmas Markets which happen pretty much in every major city around November-December time and the thing that makes me feel so festive is the spicy, citroeny, boozy smell of mulled wine. It’s basically warm wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg added and it’s just great to walk around with in a winters market in the evening all wrapped up warm.
  4. Christmas Spice Latte I know there are many versions of this in Starbucks or Costa but you can’t always afford to splash out on one of these every day during the winter season. Simply add a mean tsp of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamon and all spice and half a tsp of ginger into your normal coffee -fill up half the mug with frothy milk and you’re made. [Remember to add sugar if you don’t already to cut the bitterness of some spices]
  5. Hot spiced apple juice                                                                                                                                                     I found this recipe in a Lidl Christmas magazine so I’m yet to try it but I have high hopes as I love apple juice anyway. Add 2 tbsp of runny honey, 2 cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks to 400ml of apple juice. Heat in a pan on a low heat and then serve in glass coffee cups.

That’s all from me for today, let me know your opinions of the hot drinks talked about and of any more winter drinks you like 😀