Who says you need to save all the delicious food and drink for the big day during the Christmas season? Enjoy the run-up, too, with these delicious festive recipes that the adults in your family will adore.
When it comes to festive recipes for drinks, we can usually expect the usual sparkling Champagne or Baileys, but here, we’ve put a Christmassy spin on a summer classic!
For the sangria
1 JAZZ apple, quartered, cored and diced
1 medium orange, sliced into wedges
100g fresh or frozen cranberries
750ml bottle dry red wine
Juice from 3 oranges
120ml unsweetened cranberry juice
Ice, to serve
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish
For the spiced syrup
50g granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
5 whole black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1 whole star anise
- To make the spiced syrup, take a small saucepan and combine water, sugar and whole spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave the syrup to steep and cool to room temperature, at least 10 minutes. Once cooled, strain the syrup into a bowl or jar, discarding all of the spices except the cinnamon sticks.
- To a large pitcher, add the apple, orange and cranberries. Pour in the red wine, brandy, orange juice, cranberry juice and syrup and stir together well.
- Add the cinnamon sticks reserved from the spiced syrup. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight.
- Remove from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving and allow to come to room temperature.
- Serve over ice, garnished with a sprig of rosemary.
Orange and pink peppercorn gin-cured salmon bites
Zesty orange is the perfect partner for spicy peppercorn and delicious salmon.
800-900g boneless skin on salmon side
Half a cucumber, thinly sliced into ribbons
200g creme fraiche or soft cheese
Handful of fresh dill
1 packet crostini or crackers of your choice
For the curing mix
75g granulated sugar
75g fine salt
100ml Hernö Dry Gin (or your favoured gin)
Juice and zest from 2 large oranges
1 tsp whole pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Place the salmon side in a large, deep dish and pour the marinade over it. Massage the mixture into the salmon on both sides, making sure it’s evenly distributed.
- Cover the dish in cling film and refrigerate for 12 hours. After 12 hours, check on the salmon, and if it’s firm to the touch all over, it’s ready to serve.
- If the thickest part of the centre is still soft, turn the salmon over in the dish, spoon more of the curing mixture over the top, and refrigerate again for another few hours. You can cure your salmon for 12-24 hours, depending how strong you want the flavour.
- Once fully cured, rinse the salmon thoroughly to remove the curing mixture and pat dry. You can carefully remove the skin before first or as you cut the salmon into very thin slices on the diagonal, slicing away from the skin as you go.
- Slice the cucumber into paper-thin ribbons (you can do this using a potato peeler) and pat dry to remove the excess moisture. To prepare your crostini, spread with a layer of creme fraiche or soft cheese, then add a folded cucumber ribbon, a few slices of salmon, and fresh dill to garnish.
For more festive recipe ideas, head here.