Friday, 21 December 2012

Fabulous Friday: Cocktail Party Part II

Aoife, Cambridge 

For my second Christmas party cocktail I wanted to create something which reflected the way my cocktail making has evolved during the year. In the spirit of the end of year review (just completed at the day job) I judge my top three cocktail acheivements in 2012 as follows:
  1. I have become much more comfortable creating cocktails with what I have available.
  2. I have expanded my infused spirits repertoire way beyond sloe gin.
  3. I have learnt about and created my own flavoured syrups.
Cinnamon and vanilla vodka

I wanted to exemplify and celebrate all of this in a drink, which is a lot of pressure to put on one drink. I began my with the last of the rosehip syrup and as I took it in my hand some benevolent cocktail god whispered "cinnamon and vanilla". A rather experimental jar of vanilla and cinnamon vodka (1 vanilla pod, 2 cinnamon sticks bashed with a rolling pin, 500mL vodka, infused for a week) proved to be just the ticket to get these flavours into the cocktail. Combined with my rhubarb vodka (an extra kick and my favourite infused spirit this year) and the rosehip syrup (bringing sweetness and the hedgerow aromatics) my party cocktail was almost there. Freshly squeezed orange juice supplied the necessary acidity to balance out the sugar and spice.

I wanted to limit the stress involved in throwing a party (even if very small) just before Christmas so I pre-mixed large batches of both cocktails. The apple cocktail I served as punch (adding the ice at the last minute) and for this one I simply made a large jug and kept it in the fridge until needed. I also prepared all my glasses in advance which made me feel ridiculously organised. 

When deciding how much to make I squeezed all the oranges I had, this gave me 360mL of juice and so I worked out my volumes from there (this cocktail is easy - everything is equal measures). The fresh fruit rather than the the alcohol is always the limiting reagent in my house. Once all the cocktail mix was gone my guests moved on to the wine. This strategy definitely minimised the carnage.

Cambridge Christmas cocktail

1 part vanilla & cinnamon vodka 
1 part rhubarb vodka
1 part rosehip syrup
1 part freshly squeezed orange juice
to garnish: orange twist or cherries in kirsch

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake hard over ice. Pour into a prepared glass and garnish as you wish. For the party I made a big jug of the mixture (1.4 litres of cocktail) and stirred up portions with ice as needed. I then strained it into my pre-prepared glasses.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know about this cocktail party and hope you enjoyed it a lot. Couple of weeks ago, I had arranged a dinner party at a beautiful Chicago event space. Hired a well-known party caterer and he prepared great food for this event.