Christmas Tipple Time!

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Ahhh Christmas,  the time of the year when dodgy bottles come out from under the sink and that sherry you refuse to touch all year suddenly becomes a great option.

We’ve lined up some fabulous festive cheer – our favourite bottles to get you through the Christmas period with some style.


Made from fine French grapes not the usual head-splitting grain, this sublime, refined vodka is the perfect thing for Boxing Day Bloody Marys!  We’ve our “perfect serve” recipe coming up soon – watch out for it!

Unlike most vodkas, which are made from grain, CÎROC™ Ultra-Premium Vodka is gluten-free and distilled from fine French grapes; a process inspired by over a century of wine-making expertise and craftsmanship. It is the fine French grapes and the fifth distillation at the historic Distillerie de Chevanceaux in the South of France that give CÎROC™ Ultra-Premium Vodka a distinctive flavor with an exceptionally fresh, citrus taste. Available RRP £38 from Tesco but currently on offer for £30!

Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin

For pre dinner Gin & Tonics, why not try this gorgeous, pink tinted/rhubarb infused gin with some elderflower tonic?   You’ll never go back to Gordons and Schweppes again!  The 20cl bottle comes in a beautiful presentation tin which would be absolutely perfect as a gift for the gin lover in your life and this gin is hand crafted on an English farm – it couldn’t be more quintesdentially British!


Prosecco & Cava

No longer just a “cheap champagne alternative” – Prosecco has set the drinks world alight in the last few years.  Cava has been forgotten a little but recently experienced a revival! Here are two fabulous examples.

This beauiful bottle from Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona had the stained glass windows of Barcelona in mind when designing it.  Those who are really looking to impress could even recreate Chef, José Pizarro’s Turrón Sponge Cake. This traditional, creamy Spanish Christmas Yule log pairs perfectly with the fruity apple, pear and citrus notes of Cuvée Barcelona.

Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona available at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores across the UK, RRP £12.99

La Marca Prosecco adds a touch of finesse to everyday special occasions; with its timeless and elegant look, classic floral aromas and refreshing fruity taste, this elegant and luxurious sparkling wine is the perfect way to celebrate this Christmas – serve this to guests when they arrive – you could even drop a little Rhubarb Gin in the bottom of a glass!

In the heart of Italy’s lush Prosecco region, the La Marca Trevigiana zone grows the revered glera grapes used to make this delicate sparkling wine. With a golden straw colour and lively effervescence, La Marca Prosecco opens with aromas of fresh citrus, honey and white flowers. The palate is fresh and clean, with hints of minerality and fruit flavours of ripe lemon, green apple and grapefruit.

Available at RRP £10.00, follow the sparkle to your nearest La Marca retailer and visit or for more information.



José Pizarro’s Turrón Sponge Cake and Caramelised Almonds



3 eggs

85g caster sugar

90g plain flour, sieved

icing sugar

100ml double cream, softly whipped

250g soft turrón, crumbled



170g blanched whole almonds

110g caster sugar

70ml water



Heat the oven to 200c.

Grease and line a 36/25cm shallow tin with baking paper leaving 3cm around the top of the tin.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs and the sugar and beat well until it is thick and very light, this will take around 4-6 minutes.

Mix the flour into the eggs and sugar, then add to the tin, making sure that it’s the same level. Bake for 12/15 minutes, until you have a lovely golden sponge.

When the sponge is ready, remove from the oven and dust another sheet of baking paper with the icing sugar and place on top of the sponge. Roll the paper inside the sponge, carefully removing the baking paper from the bottom of the sponge as you go, leave to cool.

In the meantime, heat a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Add the water, caster sugar and almonds and stir them continuously with a wooden spoon. The water will evaporate completely and you’ll start to panic, because it looks like the recipe is going wrong. Don’t worry, the sugar will begin to melt and caramelise. This will take around 10 minutes. Don’t stop moving the almonds until they are coated in caramel. Tip the almonds out of the pan and put them somewhere cold to cool down.

Mix the whipped cream with the turrón.

Unroll the sponge, remove the paper and spread the filling evenly over the top. Roll up the sponge again, dust with icing sugar and it’s ready to serve.

For more information about Codorníu, visit


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