The kitchen is the engine room of any party and it’s at busy times like Christmas when a well-designed kitchen really shows its value. If you pay attention to the layout then cooking, pouring and serving should all be a breeze – even if you have a houseful.
It is usually the pouring that most people care about at Christmas time – so we’ve put together some basic and some more unusual drinks for you to serve this festive season.
A staple around the Christmas Dinner table you can bulk buy wine from a good local wine merchant and not have to worry about it right the way up until new year.
But which wines to choose? Well if it’s for a turkey dinner then white would be the obvious choice. But turkey’s heavy flavour means that red is also a possibility, especially if you are serving a beef joint alongside your bird.
One widely available and widely trusted variety – the Sauvignon Blanc works very well with turkey. Gewürztraminer is another ‘beginner’s grape’ with an unforgettable smell and distinctive colour will also match.
If you want to serve red wine with Christmas dinner then a fruity Shiraz or weighty Pinot Noir would both be good choices (just be prepared for guests to start falling asleep as the evening wears on).
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of fizz. What better way to celebrate another fantastic year than by breaking out the bubbly and toasting all of your nearest and dearest.
Whether you’re serving Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava or French Champagne (you lucky devil), there is undeniable pageantry in popping a bottle of sparkling wine and clinking delicate glasses together.
A few rules to observe, keep your fizz in a cool place – a cellar or chilling unit if you’ve installed one (believe me these make hosting much easier). Generally fizz should be served at about 8ºC for younger bottles and 10ºC for the vintage stuff.
Something a bit different
Here at Cheshire Graniteline a significant proportion of our staff is descended from Poland and we take our Christmas drinks very seriously indeed.
One personal favourite Christmas drink is called krupnik (kroop-neek). This honeyed vodka is the traditional dink of Christmas Eve dinner (wigilia) and it is a great way of warming your body on a cold winters night. Krupnik can be served hot or cold and you can buy it online or make it yourself using cooled caramel or syrup reheated with honey and vodka.
If you want a non-alcoholic Christmas drink then kompot, another traditional Polish drink could be a winner. Kompots (or compotes) are prepared of fresh or dried fruits with sugar and sometimes spice added. During the festive season it’s traditional to use winter fruits and berries like apples, Morello cherries, currants, strawberries, pears and rhubarb.