With the festive season almost upon us, it’s an excuse for us to splash out on good food and drink, writes Tracy Hargreaves

Christmas always used to be the time when the Champagne came out, but now that Prosecco and Cava have grown in popularity, having a bit of fizz is not so much the treat as it once was.

There are lots of drinks out there to choose from, but if none of them tickle your fancy, why not have a go at making your own?

If you are having a party, this cranberry punch is simple yet delicious: One-and-a-half tablespoons of melon liqueur, one tablespoon of amaretto liqueur and 115ml of cranberry juice. Fill a tall glass with ice then pour in the melon, amaretto then top with the cranberry juice.

Sangria is also a popular choice – place sliced lemons, limes and oranges in a tall pitcher. Add rum and sugar (to your taste) and mix to combine. Refrigerate mixture for at least two hours to allow sugar to dissolve. Pour pre-chilled wine and orange juice into the pitcher and stir to combine. Serve!

Advocaat is synonymous with Christmas and is usually served with lemonade to make a Snowball. But try this alternative: one and three-quarter ounce Advocaat liqueur, three-quarter ounce Pernod licorice liqueur, one ounce orange juice, two ounce lemonade and pour into a wine glass three-quarters filled with broken ice.

Mulled rosé wine makes a difference to the traditional hot mulled wine. Take 750ml rosé wine, one star anise, one ball of stem ginger, sliced, half tsp black peppercorns, five allspice berries, a quarter pink grapefruit, sliced, two tbsp crème de cassis. Pour the rosé wine into a large saucepan with the star anise, stem ginger, black peppercorns, allspice berries and pink grapefruit. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat then stir in the crème de cassis, strain into a jug then serve in heatproof glasses or cups.

If you prefer a non-alcoholic drink, then don’t think you will be stuck for choice. There are lots of mocktails that are delicious and refreshing. Try this pomegranate mojito mocktai: three tbsp pomegranate seeds, a big bunch of mint, two limes for garnish, one litre pomegranate juice and 500ml lemonade. A day ahead, divide the pomegranate seeds between the holes in an ice cube tray, top up with water and freeze. Reserve half the mint for serving, and tear the rest into a large jug with the lime quarters. Using a rolling pin, bash the mint and lime to release the flavours. Add the pomegranate juice and lemonade. Put ice cubes in each glass, then strain over the pomegranate mix through a small sieve. Garnish with lime slices and more mint.

So get creative with your Christmas drinks and enjoy!

Please drink responsibly
Recipes from BBC Good Food



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