The Christmas party season is upon us and if you want to earn a reputation as the host with the most you may need to provide your guests with more exciting tipples than a few glasses of cheap wine.
How about using any spare bottles of wine lying about the house to make white wine cocktails? Cocktails add a dash of elegance to any party and a variety of nicely chilled white wine cocktails is sure to get all your guests into the festive spirit.
Kir is probably the best known white wine cocktail and is incredibly easy to make. No need to bother with cocktail shakers or fancy glasses – simply pour a measure of Crème de Cassis into a wine glass and top up with chilled white wine. If you want to add a celebratory fizz to the drink you can use sparkling white wine instead.
Sparkling white wine is also used as the base for a Bellini, another famous cocktail. A true Bellini is made by pureeing a ripe, peeled peach, pouring the puree into a glass and gradually adding Champagne. It should then be stirred gently and garnished with a slice of peach. However, if this sounds like too much hard work or too expensive, it’s unlikely any of your Christmas party guests would complain if the cocktail was made using peach juice bought from a supermarket or deli and a sparkling white wine such as Prosecco.
Mixing Amaretto, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice with chilled white wine results in a “Heavenly” cocktail, both in name and in taste. Mix half measures of Amaretto and Blue Curacao with one measure of wine and two measures of pineapple juice and shake in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice cubes into a highball glass and garnish with a wedge of pineapple for a truly divine drink.
If you and your guests are already fed up of the wintry weather you may find a Totally Tropical cocktail transports you to sunnier times. Put some ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and add one measure each of Amaretto and Cherry Brandy along with two measures each of white wine, pineapple juice and lime juice. Shake with the ice cubes and then strain into a highball glass before adding a dash of lemonade and a mint garnish.
Gin lovers could try a Bonnie Prince cocktail. Add two measures of gin to a cocktail shaker with half a measure of white wine and a quarter measure of Drambuie. Add some ice cubes and shake before straining into a chilled glass – an old fashioned wine goblet if you have one would add the finishing touch.
If you want to live dangerously you could offer your guests a Carpet-Licker. Mix together two measures of white wine, ideally Chardonnay and one measure each of Midori, Southern Comfort and Dr Pepper. Pour the cocktail mixture into a shot glass and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of “hundreds and thousands”. Take a deep breath and drink!
For a festively spicy cocktail try a Captain with a Skirt. Mix equal measures of white wine and spiced rum (ideally Captain Morgan) in an old fashioned tumbler glass. Add some ice cubes, top up with cola and add a slice of lime as a garnish.
If your guests are of a certain age they may appreciate an 80s Wine Cooler. First of all mix approximately 15ml each of grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice and lime juice together in a mixing glass. Pour 120ml of chilled wine, ideally Chablis, into a tall wine glass and top up with 180ml of lemonade. Add the juice mixture and serve to your guests.
Using white wine instead of vodka makes an enjoyable alternative to a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. To make a Hillary Wallbanger add a Collins glass full of ice cubes to a cocktail shaker along with two measures of wine and one measure of orange juice. Shake well and pour the mixture and ice back into the glass. Very carefully, pour a quarter measure of Galliano onto the top of the drink so it floats in a layer.
Finally, if you want a simple cocktail which shouts “celebrate” to your guests offer everyone a Buck’s Fizz when they arrive. This much loved cocktail is so simple to make and yet so delicious. Just pour two measures of Champagne (or sparkling white wine for the budget version) and one measure of orange juice into a frosted wine glass, top up with a teaspoon of grenadine syrup and serve to your guests for the perfect aperitif to your Christmas party.