Tequila mockingbird: Get your style on with holiday cocktails

THESE holidays, you may want to get creative with some cocktails to make your festivities a bit more fun and stylish.

Cocktails don’t have to be alcoholic or complicated, but the added interest of the aesthetic factor on your table will be sure to impress guests and look good in your photos too.

Mojito

There are few people who don’t enjoy the sweet, refreshing taste of a mojito, and it’s not at all difficult to make.

You will need:

White rum

White sugar

Mint leaves

Soda water (and lemonade if preferred)

Lime juice

Tear and crush the mint leaves and sprinkle with sugar. Add the desired amount of rum and lime juice and top up with soda and/or lemonade. (More sugar will be needed if only soda is used, and rather use less sugar at the beginning and add more later if you’d like it sweeter.)

Serve over ice from a jug. Not much garnishing is needed as the green mint leaves are decoration in themselves.

Drivers’ fruit punch (non-alcoholic)

This is an especially pretty drink for those who won’t be indulging in alcohol. Some of the ingredients may not be easy to find and there is some preparation work involved, but the vibrant colour and unique flavour will make it worth it.

You will need:

Fresh cranberries

Blood orange juice (or plain orange or grapefruit)

Fresh lime juice and wedges

Orange wedges

Mint sprigs

Sparkling apple juice

Freeze the cranberries in a tray, covered with two to three centimetres of water.

Mix the cranberry, orange and sparkling apple juice in a jug. Just before serving, smash the frozen cranberries and ice and place in glasses. Add orange and lime wedges and mint, then top up with the juice.

(This cocktail can be converted to an alcoholic drink by adding vodka, or perhaps brandy if that is to your taste.)

The classic tequila sunrise

This cocktail has been a standard on the cocktail scene for a long time, and no wonder: it’s two-toned appearance and simple method make it a favourite.

You will need:

6 parts orange juice

3 parts tequila (or less if preferred)

1 part grenadine syrup (a non-alcoholic, pomegranate, deep red syrup)

Pour the tequila over ice in tall glasses (crushed ice is a nice touch if you can manage). Add the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom (do not stir). Garnish with a wedge of orange on the rim with a cherry on a toothpick or paper umbrella stuck in.

Classy champagne cocktail

Keep things classy with this champagne cocktail, served in elegant glasses and garnished with a ‘twist’.

You will need:

Champagne of your choice (or sparkling wine for a less expensive option)

Bitters

Cognac

White sugar (cubes work best)

Add a dash of bitters to a sugar cube and place it in the glass, or if not using cubes, place sugar in the bottom of the glass with a dash of bitters on top.

Add a small amount of cognac and gently top up with chilled champagne.

Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel.

Sangria

This Spanish/Portuguese mix is fresh and fruity, ideal for the warm weather over the Christmas season. You can make your sangria unique, depending on the dryness or sweetness of the wine, whether you use sugar or honey, and the type of fruit you choose to include.

You will need:

Red wine of your choice

Brandy

Cinnamon sticks (optional)

Chopped/sliced fruit (ensure you use some citrus, and pineapple is also a good idea)

Sugar or honey

Slice or chop the fruit and place in a jug or punch bowl. Add brandy (not too much as the flavour is strong and will overshadow everything else)

Pour in the wine and and honey/sugar and mix well to dissolve. Add the cinnamon sticks.

It is a good idea to let the sangria stand for a while to absorb the flavours of the fruit and spice.

Please drink responsibly while enjoying the festivities, and avoid driving after drinking. See our tips for treating hangovers here.

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