Great cocktails for winter weddings.
Winter weddings aren't just about cosy pashminas and faux furs. Your theme might call for the warming glow of fairy lights and candles everywhere, but don't forget you and your guests can warm up at the bar as well.
When the weather gets a little colder, many turn their thoughts to mulled wine and sure, it is an option. Tread carefully though, because for every satisfying cup of rich warm spiced wine, there are a hundred cloying, sickly sweet concoctions churned out in Christmas markets up and down the land.
Winter Pimm's has also been making a breakthrough in recent years - a brandy-based variant of the summer garden party staple, which pairs well with hot apple juice. This is much easier to get right in large quantities and can certainly take the chill off.
However, if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, here are some of our favourites for this time of year, taking in influences from Charles Dickens, the wassail cup and Scandinavian drinking culture.
We've also included a modern festive fizz because not everyone wants a hot drink when it's cold outside...
Mulled or Spiked Cider or Cyser
There are a few options for a warm cider drink, but we particularly like to spike ours with a dash of aquavit because let's face it, the Scandinavians know a thing or two about surviving tough winters.
60ml aquavit 150ml cider 12.5ml spiced honey syrup 10ml fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients apart from the aquavit in a saucepan and warm gently. Once warm, combine hot cider mix with 60ml aquavit in a mug and garnish with a lemon wheel and star anise.
Our hot buttered cyser recipe also went down well at a winter wedding in a former royal palace.
A whisky spiked variant of the 'dog's nose' - a Dickensian Christmas drink which combined warm porter, gin and nutmeg. We prefer ours with whisky.
60ml blended scotch whisky 280ml warm porter 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1 pinch festive spice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and warm gently. Once warm, serve in a mug and garnish with grated nutmeg.
Sloe gin is pretty seasonal on its own, but if you add a dash of cinnamon as well, you get a potential Christmas classic that's still light enough to cut through the rich food of the season.
60ml gingerbread gin 20ml sloe gin 20ml fresh lemon juice 15ml cinnamon syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Reindeer optional.