You might have guessed from our social media that Team Willoughby are very motivated by Delicious Drinks and Snacks! It never takes long for office conversation to turn to what we've been baking or are cooking up at the weekend, so all of us get pretty excited about seasonal cooking.
We were chatting together about what our favourite Christmassy drinks are, and decided to share them with you. After all, what could be nicer at this time of year than settling down with a good book and something delicious to sip on?
I absolutely love a snowball at Christmas! It’s a simple, slightly retro (slightly naff) cocktail, usually reserved for the winter months. I’ll normally have one in a short glass with ice- extra points for a glacé cherry or two on top. You’ll want to pair it with the right book, so something smooth, but with a bit of fizz! Perhaps a modern classic like The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith or The White Album by Joan Didion. Sip slowly, as they do creep up on you!
Add a squeeze of lime to a tall glass with ice. pour a generous serving of advocaat and top up with lemonade. Treat yourself to a maraschino cherry from the jar while you're at it.
Marianne: Mulled Juice
As soon as the clocks change it’s mulled juice season in my house. Pumpkin spice lattes can step aside for this juice, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as me. Make a nice big batch and keep it in the fridge- the flavours will intensify- and pop it on the hob as soon as you get in from a cold walk, and it’ll scent the house with lovely Christmassy spices as an extra bonus.
This is a gorgeous drink for all wintery occasions and a real crowd pleaser for parties (feel free to add a glug of brandy if it’s your thing), but it’s my favourite for cosying up under my favourite blanket with a stack of new books on a Christmas Eve evening.
2 litres cloudy apple juice and 1 litre cranberry juice
1 tablespoon muscovado sugar or honey
1 cinnnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, 1 peeled chopped orange
Heat everything in a large pan until just below boiling point, and drink as hot as you can bear in your favourite mug or a fancy tall glass.
Alisha: Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate
This honestly tastes like a Bounty in liquid form (can you believe they’ve been taken out of celebrations!) and you can’t go wrong with that! I love to drink this and relax in the evenings under a blanket and with the lights on the Christmas tree twinkling away.
We only started to drink a hot chocolate with coconut milk in the past couple of years, all because we had some coconut milk left over at home and didn’t want to waste it. And now I can’t get enough of it, especially topped with lots of whipped cream and sipping it with a Christmas movie on or reading an old favourite. It’s such a comforting drink and gives you the warmth to tackle the dark, cold days.
Heat everything gently until the chocolate has melted, pour into your favourite mug and top with a dollop of whipped cream... heaven.
However many heaped teaspoons of hot chocolate you like
2-3 teaspoons of coconut milk
A little bit of whipped cream on top
Nicola: Amaretto Mocha
Amaretto Mocha is one of my Christmas highlights It brings back lovely memories of a delightful visit to Lincoln Christmas Market. It is a cosy festive treat.
Make a hot chocolate with whole milk and a spoonful of instant coffee, mix well and add a generous dash of amaretto.
Top with a generous swirl of whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a rapidly sinking Cadbury's flake for an extra special Christmas treat!
Aishah - Apple Crumble Punch
Nothing is more wintery than a classic apple crumble, whether you top it with cream, custard or ice cream (or in my family- All three!). The taste always brings me back to when I was younger, sitting in front of the fire and watching movies with my family.
But let’s be honest, it’s a lot of effort to make.
I was looking for something to wrap my hands round and enjoy in the cold dark evening and as someone who doesn’t drink tea or alcohol the choices are limited. And this one really stood out to me because of my love of apple desserts around this time of year, It taste like liquid apple crumble to me especially when paired with gingernut biscuits and is a lot less effort!
Simply combine 500ml apple juice, a splash of vanilla, a pinch of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground nutmeg, a pinch of ground ginger (or whatever spices you like!) and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and whisk together on a low heat till the ice-cream is melted. Then you just warm it to your preferred temperature (I like mine quite hot!). If I’m feeling fancy, then ill put some dried apple slices on it. It might sound odd and not be to everyone taste but to me it’s delicious and perfect for a winters evening.
Lauren - Sloe Gin
My all-time favourite Christmas drink is a Sloe Gin Fizz… made using my Nanny’s handpicked Sloe berries. A perfect pick me up festive drink!
Add sloe gin, sugar syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass with more ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a slice of lemon. Cheers!
Chloe - Baileys Hot Chocolate
For wintery comfort you can't beat traditionally made hot chocolate. Stir chopped milk chocolate into hot milk and mix well. Pour into your favourite mug, top up with Baileys and perhaps add a marshmallow on top...yummmmm. Best enjoyed by the lights of the Christmas tree!