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'The tonic really is the star here': 3 simple festive cocktails for when you really want to feel fancy

Cocktail lover Ciara O’Doherty shares three easy but impressive Christmas drinks.

Image: Schweppes/TheJournal.ie

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

YOUR ANNUAL GIRLS’ night or Christmas catch-up with friends might look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose out on the fun.

Whether you’re making a drink before heading out to dinner, or setting up the laptop for festive drinks over Zoom, having some easy but impressive drink ideas up your sleeve will ensure your festive season goes off without a hitch.

Sometimes, you just want to go the extra mile, and what better time than Christmas to add a little sparkle to proceedings?

This Christmas, we’ve teamed up with Schweppes and cocktail lover Ciara O’Doherty to bring you an anyone-can-do-it guide to drinks that will create a little magic at home. Our mission: to bring bubbles to every festivity and add sparkle to every ‘Sláinte’, whatever your social occasions look like this year.

Across December, Ciara will be sharing inspiration for every occasion – from an impromptu G&T to a festive get-together (over video, of course). And today she is selecting some serves that are ideal for adding some glamour to your girls’ night… even if you can’t have your friends right there with you at home.

As a big fan of enjoying festive moments with friends – “the gals’ night is an Irish institution, and a real joy at Christmas time” – here are her go-tos.

Pomegranate Punch

Screenshot 2020-12-04 at 14.33.57 Source: Schweppes/TheJournal.ie

“The colour is the first thing you see with this drink,” says Ciara. “The pomegranate seeds add a little bit of sweetness, but not too much. And the tonic really is the star here. It’s a beautiful drink, it’s so refreshing.”

  • 35ml Vodka
  • 150ml Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Sprig of Rosemary

Add ice to a highball glass, making sure to fill it up to the top. Pour your vodka over the ice. Sprinkle in some pomegranate seeds and top up with Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic. Ready to be enjoyed!

Elderflower Special

Elderflower Special 1 Source: Schweppes/Killian Broderick

Winter fruit and herbal notes combine to make this a festive drink that tastes truly special. The flavours are just as incredible without the gin, so it’s a good non-alcoholic option to have in your repertoire too.

  • 35ml Gin
  • 15ml Lemon Juice
  • 20ml Blackberry Jam and Rosemary Syrup
  • Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic, to top up
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary, to garnish

For the syrup (makes 200ml)

  • 100g Blackberry Jam
  • 75g Sugar
  • 75g Water
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary

To start, make your syrup. Add all syrup ingredients to a small pan on a low heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool, then strain and place in fridge until needed. Once you’re ready to make your cocktail, fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Add the gin, lemon juice, 20ml syrup and top up with Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic. Garnish and serve. Cheers!

St Nick’s Festive Fizz

St Nicks Festive Fizz 2 Source: Schweppes/Killian Broderick

The classic orange slice garnish gets a Christmas upgrade with some studded cloves. Take your vodka and tonic to new festive heights this Christmas with hints of citrus and elderflower.

  • 35ml Vodka
  • 150ml Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic
  • Orange slice with studded cloves

Add ice to a highball glass, making sure to fill to the top. Pour 35ml vodka over the ice. Top up with Schweppes Slimline Elderflower Tonic. Garnish with your clove-studded orange slice. Sip and enjoy!

Whether you want to add fizz to a festivity or sprinkle some sparkles on a cosy night in, there’s a Schweppes serve for you this Christmas. We’ve got the tonic, you’ve got the spirit. For more inspiration check out our In The Mix cocktail hub, or visit instagram.com/SchweppesIreland.

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