* Prices may differ from that shown
Well I know it's still only early September, but yesterday I saw the first hint of Christmas - cards, decorations and advent calenders for sale in a my local shopping arcade! I was rather surprised, as in more recent years the Christmas frenzy has usually begun in or around mid-August.
Though as a child I loved Christmas (don't all children?), it's an event that these days I prefer to bypass as much as other people will let me, but sometimes I do get caught and find myself agreeing to spend at least part of Christmas Day around somebody else's house, and have to suffer the agonies of the damned, especially when there are noisy kids involved. I really do prefer to spend Christmas alone, and it truly isn't a problem for me, but most other people feel sorry for me and believe I ought to join in their festivities. Of course, they are doing this out of kindness and concern, but I've never yet been able to make most people understand that it's my choice and makes me very happy to be alone at Christmas.
Whenever I'm unsuccessful in politely refusing people's offers to spend part of Christmas with them, I like to take some liquid refreshment along, as firstly it's a sharing thing and a "thank you for inviting me" token, plus I then don't feel guilty at filling my own glass to the brim several times over, and reaching a blissful state of three-parts insobriety which goes a long way towards helping me detach from the noise the kids are making, and take everything going around me in my alcohol-induced stride.
Some years ago, I managed to concoct an almost toxic punch recipe, which tastes divine - everyone loves it - and it does an excellent job of creating a deliciously euphoric, alcohol-induced fuzz that makes most uncomfortable social gatherings almost enjoyable.
I thought I'd share this recipe with other DooYoo users, in case they suffer from the same syndrome as mine and need something to turn to when the jollity gets too much.
SERIOUS WARNING: This punch truly is potentially lethal, so take it easy and in small steps
INGREDIENTS (lasts approx. 6 to 10 people for around 3 hours, depending on size of measures poured)
1 bottle peach-flavoured Thunderbird wine
1 litre dark rum (warmed slightly)
1 litre vodka
1 pint boiling water
5 raspberry flavoured fruit tea bags
4 large cartons coconut & pineapple juice
2 tins pineapple chunks in juice
2 large Jaffa oranges, sliced into rings (keep the peel on)
2 limes, sliced into rings (keep the peel on)
A few sprinkles of nutmeg powder or cinnamon powder
Drop the tea bags into the boiling water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Fish the tea bags out and squeeze, then discard.
In a large heat-proof punch bowl, mix the fruit tea with the warmed rum, Thunderbird and vodka. Stir thoroughly.
Mix the tins of pineapple chunks (juice too) with the coconut & pineapple juice in a large saucepan, and heat until just starting to bubble around the edges.....don't let it boil. Pour the mixture into the punch bowl with the rum, vodka and Thunderbird, and stir thoroughly.
Place the punchbowl in a warm place, like next to a coal fire or central heating radiator, float the orange and lime pieces on the surface, and sprinkle the whole mixture with the nutmeg or cinnamon powder.
As said above, this is a truly powerful drink that really deserves the name "punch". It is best drunk while still warm, as firstly it tastes better that way and secondly, the effect of it is felt much more quickly.
This is a brilliant tasting punch that will after just one wine glass full, make you feel mellow and a little giggly.....a second glass will bring down that transparent but protective curtain over a psyche that is being hammered by too much "excessive jollity" noise.....a third glass will waft you up to a place of utter euphoria.....a fourth glass will pin you to the wall (or to the floor!) - beyond that, is anybody's guess, but in the words of the late Dean Martin, and I quote....."You aren't really drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on!".
To all those brave enough to try this punch......I hope you enjoy, but please take it easy as it is the most powerful alcoholic drink I've ever come across.
I've never been much of a drinker. For a start, I don't really like the taste of alcohol and secondly, I'm one of those poor unfortunates who gets drunk very easily. (One sniff of the barman's apron and you're likely to find me dancing naked on the nearest table!) However, I do like alcohol when it's served in hot drinks, especially at Christmas, and the following are my favourite winter warmers: Mulled Wine. This makes an ideal welcome drink at a winter party. To serve ten people you need: 1 bottle of red wine, preferably claret. Half a bottle of port - the cheaper the better Brown sugar to taste (which gives you the ideal opportunity to keep taking a regular swig as you're making it!) About 1 teaspoonful of freshly grated nutmeg - or a pinch of dried nutmeg if you really must 2 cinnamon sticks. 1 pint (600 ml) of boiling water. Very thinly sliced orange for decoration Heat the port, wine and spices over a very low heat until hot, but do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and boiling water and stir well until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Strain through a sieve into a punchbowl and float a few orange slices on top. Tip: Allow to cool slightly before serving, otherwise you may find that your wineglasses crack. Alternatively, slightly warm the glasses first. The next drink has always been known as "Motch" in our house - I suspect a corruption of Mocha, a sort of chocolaty coffee. Again, it's a nice welcoming drink, although best served in individual mugs rather than from a punch bowl. For each person you need: 1 teaspoon of cocoa (not drinking chocolate) 1 teaspoon of instant coffee - if you happen to have chocolate flavoured coffee to hand, that's even better! 1 shot of Brandy or Tia Maria or a half shot of each. 2 teaspoons of sugar (adjust to taste) Skimmed milk Boi
ling water Mix all the ingredients (with the exception of the boiling water) in a mug making sure that the cocoa is mixed to a smooth paste; otherwise you get horrible lumps at the bottom. (You should add about as much skimmed milk as you would to an ordinary cup of tea and, yes, it does have to be skimmed otherwise you get globules of fat floating about on the top of your drink which looks revolting!). Fill the mug with boiling water and stir extra well before serving. This also makes a nice summer drink. Make it in a cocktail shaker - or even a pancake maker - and refrigerate until ice cold. Shake energetically immediately before serving then pour into a tall glass, adding a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream if you like. (For some reason, it just doesn't work with chocolate ice cream, more's the pity!) Finally, at any party, there are likely to be children, teetotallers or designated drivers. The following is a non-alcoholic fruit punch that serves about ten people. At parties, I always make sure that it is clearly labelled "Non-Alcoholic". To serve 10 people you need: 1 pint (600 ml) orange juice 1 pint (600 ml) apple juice A quarter of a pint (150ml) of water Half a teaspoon of ground ginger Half a teaspoon of mixed spice Brown sugar to taste Heat all the ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring well and simmering slowly for five minutes. Strain into a punchbowl and serve immediately. If you really can't do without the alcohol, you can add a bottle of white wine and a slug of white rum at about four and a half minutes (remember not to label it "Non-Alcoholic"!). And, if you prefer to serve this drink cold, mix all the ingredients, with the exception of the water, heat as before, allow to cool, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve in tall glasses over crushed ice - and, if you want to go really mad, add half a bottle of sparkli
ng lemonade and stir gently immediately before serving. Enjoy - but be sure to drink safely at Christmas.
When throwing a party for a lot of people it can become very expensive to try and provide lots of different beers and spirits, so I find that three or four large (and I do mean large)bowls of punch cost a lot less and have the desired effect, a real swinging party. Do take care though as it can be deceptively strong, and never let a child just eat the fruit that is in it as it soaks up a lot of alcohol. Always remember to provide a non alcoholic version as well for non drinkers or children. my two favourites are a Hot Cider Punch (alcoholic) and Cranberry and Pear sparkle (non alcoholic) For the Hot Cider punch you will need 4 pints of dry cider,2 apples studded with cloves,6 cinnamon sticks,5 all spice berries,zest of 1 orange,dark rum (to taste, or should I say effect) and slices of apple to garnish. Apart from slices of apple,combine everything else in a very large pan and simmer for 30 minutes, be careful not to let it boil. Pour into heat proof glass mugs and garnish with apple. A guaranteed winter warmer. Cranberry and Pear sparkle. You will need 6 tbsp of pear concentrate. 1 litre of sparkling water,1 litre of cranberry juice, 1 pear cut into pieces and sprigs of fresh mint to garnish. Mix sparkling water and pear concentrate together then add cranberry juice. Chill, then garnish with mint and serve CHEERS!