Here we present our tried and tested guide to the best beverages for a cracking Christmas day.
Read on to find out which wines, Ports, Sherries, beers, and other fine drinks we have chosen to enhance your yuletide banquet. After all, it is the time of year to share joy and cheer (as Ray Charles once sang).
Here we present our tried and tested guide to the best beverages for a cracking Christmas day:
Let the celebrations begin with bubbles!
As Samuel Johnson said on love and friendship “The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with Champagne”. The roast beef may be coming later, but the Champagne (potentially with a dash of fruit juice) can enliven you for the day ahead.
Some pre-lunch drinks and nibbles are definitely required
For those thirsty travellers who have journeyed for your Christmas feast, a dash of aged Amontillado Sherry will awake their senses and appetite, particularly if paired with some slices of roast ham, and a selection of cheese. For the chef, a nice, fruit driven aperitif Calvados to keep the spirits up.
Sanchez Romate Amontillado NPU £18.95 here
Pere Magloire Fine Calvados £23.95 here
For those who perhaps want to keep the Sherry for later, a gin & tonic (or gin & soda water) can be a perfect pre dinner libation. What better than the Edinburgh Gin Christmas Edition which, among other botanicals, contains frankincense and myrrh.
Edinburgh’s Christmas Gin £33.95 here
All good banquets begin with…Aquavit
A Scandinavian tradition for 500 years or more, Aquavit is drank with sea food starters while yelling ‘skal’, and looking lovingly into your toast partners eyes. Preferably this is all accompanied by lots of singing.
Linie Aquavit £29.95 here
And now to the serious business: the main course & the wine
With so many individual tastes at the dinner table from Granny, to Uncles, to Aunts, all having a preference when it comes to vino, we have tried to pick two wines that will please all palates. The white is a lovely, fruit driven Burgundy and the red is a rich, warming wine with a dash of oak ageing from the Languedoc.
White: Guerrin Macon-Vergisson Les Rochers 2013 £12.50 here
Red: Boulevard Napolean Cabernet Franc £16.95 here
For the beer drinkers in your party
There will always be one or two around the Christmas table who would prefer a beer to a glass of wine. Don’t fret, we have you covered with several great ales including the brilliant Nollaig spruce beer and Dark Island Reserve, both of which are the right size to share.
Nollaig Spruce Beer £12.95 here
Dark Island Reserve £17.45 here
Now to the sweet stuff
First, created by our older sibling Royal Mile Whiskies, a raspberry liqueur that would go fantastically alongside a chocolate dessert or drizzled on said dessert. Second, Donnafugata Ben Rye, a dessert wine with such complexity, fullness and fruitiness, you may just want to count this your dessert, and not worry about the trifle.
Royal Mile Whiskies Raspberry Liqueur £16.95 here
Donnafugata Ben Rye £33.50 here
The courses just keep coming: Cheese
This is where Port makes an appearance at your epic Christmas dinner. We recommend a tawny or Colhieta Port for hard, nutty cheeses and a ruby Port (like an LBV) for softer, stronger cheeses.
Krohn Colhieta 1995 £24.95 here
Krohn LBV £11.95 here
Now to the armchair
Darker, richer, oak aged spirits tend to aid the relaxation at the end of dinner, as you sink further into the armchair, the coffee at your side keeping you from succumbing to sleep. Luckily, we have a plethora of rich, fruity, complex spirits to fit the bill. Whether you fancy a sherried, spicy, dried fruit and chocolaty Glendronach 12, a rich, sweet Pusser’s 15 rum or a more spicy, but still very fruity Maxime Trijol VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac. Good aged spirits at very reasonable prices
Glendronach 12 Single Malt Whisky £34.95 here
Pussers 15 Oak Aged Rum £44.95 here
Maxime Trijol VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac £44.95 here