It’s that strange time of year again: Christmas itself is over; New Year celebrations await, and we’re in the days of late night television binges and long lie-ins. I think it’s called ‘Twixmas’
Here are some suggestions for celebrating the end of 2023 and hoping for a better year in 2024
An Alternative this Hogmanay – Scottish Gin
While I’m a fan of whisky to see in the New Year, I thought it would be rather nice this year to toast 2024 with a Scottish gin instead.
I’m rather partial to Caorunn, which has been leading the premium gin market for over a decade, producing artisan gin at Balmenach Distillery in the Scottish Highlands.
This delicious spirit utilises Scotland’s distinctive natural resources, infusing them in the world’s only Copper Berry chamber to guarantee perfection.
It makes a stonkingly good G&T (served with a slice of apple rather than citrus) and it’s also great in cocktails.
It’s around £29.50 for 70cl and pretty widely available too, at Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Master of Malt and Amazon.
A New Mixer for the New Year
Talking of cocktails, a good mixer is paramount, and Lixir drinks have recently caught my attention.
Available at Asda at £1.85 for a 500ml bottle or online here, they’re naturally low in sugar (with no nasties) and low in calories, and available in a range of really good flavours. These include;
Classic Indian, Refreshingly Light, Rhubarb & Ginger, Elderflower & Lemon, Blood Orange & Cinnamon and Pink Grapefruit.
Here’s a recipe for a longer Negroni from Lixir that will be very enjoyable on New Year’s Eve (or NY Day if you’re planning to continue celebrating!)
Lixir Blood Orange & Cinnamon Tonic
Red vermouth 25ml
Garnish with dehydrated orange & a candy cane
Put the gin, Campari and vermouth into a mixing glass. Stir for 1-2 minutes
Pour over ice into a short tumbler. Top up with Lixir Blood Orange & Cinnamon Tonic. Garnish with dehydrated orange and a candy cane
And a Touch of the Med
And to remind us of Mediterranean summers ahead try this ADONIS from Mediterranean Aperitivo
4,5 cl Sherry Dry
2,5 cl Vermouth di Torino PGI Red
Some drops of Orange bitter
1 Costa d’Amalfi Lemon PGI
Add the Vermouth di Torino PGI Red and the dry sherry to a mixing glass filled with ice.
Flavour it with some drops of Orange bitter and stir gently.
Strain into a Martini glass.
You can add some angostura, if you like and then garnish with an orange slice and the zest of Costa d’Amalfi Lemon PGI.
PrePear for your 2024 Celebrations
If you’re planning a bumper Hogmanay session, you may have liked to try a little help from PrePear This is a newly launched drink made from Korean pear that’s billed as ‘the next best thing to a hangover cure’.
For centuries, apparently, Korean pear has been associated with preventing a hangover, thanks to naturally occurring enzymes and bioactive compounds in the juice which play a role in the speedy breakdown of alcohol and its toxic by-products. I’m told that drinking PrePear ahead of your first alcoholic drink results in milder and sometimes even zero hangover symptoms.
PrePear is available online at www.prepearjuice.com in packs of six (£18). While it’s too late now for this Christmas of course, maybe it’s worth getting some in stock for any celebrations you’re planning for 2024.
Happy New Year!