Right then. I'll throw something out there right at the start of this post. Some of our regular readers might not like where this series of 18 drinks under £30 is heading. In fact, we've actually only featured a handful of whiskies- but for good reason, honestly. Of course, there are some absolutely drop-dead-sensational whiskies out there for well under 30 quid and rest assured, we've got them waiting in the aisles. But come on! As the great be-sidedburned one decreed in his festive 1970's hit single: IT'S CHRISTMASSSSSS! Let's mix things up over the next few weeks and aim to try a few new liquid gems, whilst rediscovering some long-since-brushed-under-the-carpet festive classics.
Last night I slapped on the traditional Phil Spector Christmas Gift long player, bought in the Nordman Fir from the garden and cracked out the trimmings: Christmas has officially begun in the Ridley household. But something was missing. After a little sharpener of a light Nikka Coffey Grain to enliven the palate, it was time to break out my (not so) guilty pleasure: a bottle of the finest Royal Dutch advocaat known to humanity, from the House of Cooymans.
|Imagine triple world champion Sebastian Vettel spraying |
Lewis Hamilton with this little lot...
In fact, in a slightly perverse way, should Formula One ever be reinstated at the notoriously tricky Zandzoort racing circuit in Holland, I would be the first person to petition Bernie Ecclestone for Royal Dutch advocaat to be the celebratory national drink on the winners podium.
But until advocaat gets the international sporting platform it deserves, i'm happy to be its unlikely champion. And what better way than scoring a festive home run than with a light and fluffy Snowball cocktail. The classic recipe is to take a coupe glass and add a simple mixture of two measures (50ml) of advocaat, 1/4 measure (12.5ml) lime cordial, topped up with lemonade. But given a couple of twists, this already delightfully tasty drink can be made into the ULTIMATE version...
- 2.5 measures (65ml) of Cooymans Royal Dutch advocaat
- 1 Bar spoon of dark Oloroso sherry
- 5 drops clove bitters
- 3 drops orange bitters (optional)
- Squeeze of fresh lime
- Fever Tree ginger ale to top up
If you happen to be making a round of Snowballs (or should that be a 'pile'?) add the ingredients to a mixing glass, but omit the lime juice until diluting with the ginger ale in each glass, as it can curdle the advocaat. Using a mini electric hand-frother raise a firm creamy head in the glass, but be careful - it will overflow in no time at all!! Garnish with a thin piece of lime peel and serve.
Just don't forget your festive soundtrack...