As the saying goes, it's starting to look a lot like Christmas!
For some reason, I just haven't been able to get in the festive mood this year. Normally all it takes is the sight of the supermarket shelves stacked with mince pies to get that "it's nearly Christmas" feeling, but this year it's just not been happening. Nothing.
I'm pretty sure it's a knock-on effect from going to Cuba in the middle of November, but whatever the reason, *it* finally happened on Saturday. I finally woke feeling like Christmas was on the way. And because I'd started to think that maybe I'd gotten too old and it just wouldn't happen anymore, it felt even more exciting.
Fact: The only thing better than being a child on Christmas Eve is being 25 and finally feeling like Christmas is real again.
So now I'm in a weird place where I'm finally excited for Christmas but still not quite ready to let go of the Cuba day just yet... So I combined both and made a rum-based eggnog!
Even before I went to Cuba, rum has always been my spirit of choice, and Captain Morgan my favourite of them all. But when it's Christmas, you just want to go for something a little bit different, don't you? Something a little more special. For some reason I'd never actually had eggnog before, so this was the perfect way to try both a new cocktail and a new way to drink my favourite rum.
I took inspiration from this super simple eggnog recipe, and switched a couple of ingredients. I kept the single cream but swapped the milk for almond milk on this occasion. I tend to avoid dairy as much as possible (it gives me terrible skin) but inevitably end of eating quite a lot more than usual at this time of year. Then, because the almond milk is less creamy than dairy milk, I used a vanilla syrup instead of pure sugar syrup to add some of the creamy flavour back in.
For amateur mixologists and generally impatient people like me, this is the perfect beginner recipe to get started. It only uses 5 ingredients, so there aren't many places where you can go wrong! It's as easy as throwing the ingredients together in a shaker and it's super quick to make, so it's the perfect drink to whip up to surprise unexpected guests over the holiday season or for an impressive end to a festive dinner party.
If you're feeling a little braver or want to really show off, there's currently a total of 61 other Christmas cocktails to try on thebar.com, from Baileys Espressotini to a "Slim Santa". My next one will be a Hot Buttered Rum or a Baileys Chocolate Orange. What will you be trying?