With Christmas on the horizon, one thing’s for certain – friends, family and neighbours are bound to pop in unannounced, usually bearing gifts and more often than not stopping for a quick cuppa or a bite to eat. But with panic setting in and only a mini mart around the corner, what do you do?
You start by ensuring you always have a few basics in house and to hand. And by basics we of course mean a couple of tipples you can transform into something even more exciting should visitors come a-knocking.
The chances are – like many of us – you have a bottle of Champagne, or at the very least some prosecco, lying in wait for a special occasion. Well, the festive season is as good a time as any to dig it out and put it to good use. With that in mind, here’s three quick and easy champagne cocktails you can whip up at home and in minutes - you can thank us later!
1 - Death in the Afternoon
Okay, so judging by the name of this one it doesn’t sound so tempting – but there are few things more delicious than a champagne cocktail, and this is a truly great example of one you can put together in minutes. Start with 1 oz of absinthe or pastis and 4 oz of chilled champagne; pour the absinthe into a champagne glass and top with Champagne – it’s as simple as that! And with fewer than 200 calories per glass, it’s not bad at all. Prepare this before your work’s Christmas party, with a deliciously luxurious breakfast on the morning of December 25, or during a lazy Sunday afternoon when those aforementioned guests show up.
2 - Bellini
We’ll start by saying this cocktail sounds just lovely – it’s got to be better than the first one for that reason alone, eh? Invented by the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice back in 1934, this combination of peach juice and fizz is a breakfast favourite – but it’ll also delight any last-minute guests throughout Christmas, New Year’s Eve and beyond. To make two glasses full, you’ll need a pair of peaches (peeled, halved and with their stones removed), and a bottle of chilled Champagne or sparkling wine. Begin by placing the peaches in a blender, before pureeing until smooth. Now, simply spoon half into some chilled Champagne glasses; working with one third peach puree and two thirds Champagne you should be fine. Add the Champagne to the puree and serve!
3 - Sparkling Margarita
Taking just 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish, our sparkling margarita recipe makes six drinks for any unexpected guests. You’ll need one cup of blanco (white) tequila, two to three cups of lime juice, a third of a cup of agave nectar, sparkling wine or Champagne (around one cup) and some thin lime slices. Using a cocktail shaker, begin by combining half of the tequila with the lime juice, agave nectar and ice. Shake the mixture for a few seconds and strain into three glasses, repeat with the remaining tequila, juice and agave nectar, topping each with sparkling wine and adding a lime peel strip.
So, there you have it. By making sure you have a bottle of champagne close by, combined with some mixologist skills, you’ll be ready for whatever the festive season brings. Enjoy!