Anna Barnett’s Cocktail Party Tips & Recipes

London cook and food writer Anna Barnett knows a thing or two about throwing a good Christmas party. Here she shares her tips for hosting a festive cocktail party with some of her favourite cocktail recipes to keep the good times flowing well into the New Year.

anna-barnett-hosting-a-cocktail-party

Cocktails are always a sure-fire way to get a party started. Here’s Anna’s top tips to making it a night to remember:

  1. Admittedly cocktails take a bit of preparation but look to serve these right at the beginning of the party as a bit of theatre for your guests and then move onto prosecco or wine so you’re not stuck behind the bar the whole evening.
  2. Key to success, make sure you have lots of ice to hand and a few key cocktail equipment – a measure, shaker and strainer. I tend to offer guests just one or two options of cocktails and keep the ingredients simple and few. Cocktails like seasonal fruit Bellini or a classic mulled wine or cider are always good crowd pleasers and are easy to make look stunning with a few simple touches.
  3. Think about the glassware you’ll serve the cocktail in and how to add something special. For our candy-cane White Russian for example we coated the rim of the glass with a little sugar syrup coated with crushed up candy-cane and served these on a tray of candy-canes for Instagram gold!
  4. A simple but elegant idea for a Christmas party too is to buy miniature gift tags and attach to each glass with your guests names on. It’s a nice seasonal touch and a good way to avoid lost drinks for later in the evening when the Christmas dancing has started.

Cocktail Recipe: Candy Cane White Russian

The Important Details

Serves: 1

Preparation time: 5 mins

cancy-cane-WHITE-RUSSIAN-cocktail

You’ll need…

  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 25ml vodka
  • 25ml peppermint schnapps
  • Milk/ oat milk
  • Candy canes

Here’s how…

Begin by wetting the rim of your glass, muddle your candy canes into a crumb and sit the rim of the glass in it so you have an even rim. Half fill your tumbler or old fashioned glass with ice, pour over Kahlua, vodka and peppermint schnapps then top up with milk. Serve as is or gently stir to combine.

Cocktail Recipe: Black Forest Espresso Martini With Chocolate Dipped Cherries

The Important Details

Serves: 1

Preparation time: 5 mins

ESPRESSO-MARTINI-WITH-CHOCOLATE-DIPPED-CHERRIES

You’ll need…

  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 25ml Kirsch/ Crème de Cassis
  • 25ml chocolate liqueur
  • 50ml fresh espresso
  • 100ml extra thick double cream
  • Splash of chocolate liquor
  • Sprinkle of cocoa powder

Here’s how…

Begin by making up your espresso and set to one side to cool a little. Fill your cocktail shaker halfway with ice
then add in all ingredients and shake thoroughly. Double strain, pouring through one strainer and followed by another for the ultimate smooth finish. Whip the cream until thick and holding its shape. Gently fold in the chocolate liquor and spoon or pipe on top of the cocktail. Finish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

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