December is here and we all know what that means: it’s time for party season! From now till 1st January ’tis the season for holiday soirees, dinner parties and festive activities. And I for one am feeling it: my weekends – and most weekday evenings – are booked till 2016!
And while I love the season, when it comes time to hosting friends and family there can sometimes be a pressure (in addition to great food and entertainment) to make sure there’s something special about the event.
So when the team at Echo Falls got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in trying out the newest additions to their Fruit Fusions range and their seasonal cocktail recipes written by one of London’s expert mixologists, Clotilde Lataille, I was up for the challenge.
To put these cocktail recipes to the test we decided to invite a few friends over for am impromptu Christmas party. And it’s not a party without food, so we brought out the mince pies for nibbles on the side.
We may have cheated and picked up our mince pies pre-made at the store, but I dusted that icing sugar on them by hand. 😉
Chocolate Orange Snowflake
The first cocktail we tried was the Chocolate Orange Snowflake, which is a bit like a smoothie. We forgot to buy an orange, so improvised the ganish with a few cranberries instead. Making it we also slightly tweaked the recipe, replacing the coffee and sugar with a coffee milk syrup we picked up the last time we were in the USA (we were feeling lazy!). While it tasted OK, it was a bit watery for my liking. Next time I’d probably skip the ice cubes and use frozen banana slices instead for a thicker texture.
- 70ml Cocoa & Orange Echo Falls Fruit Fusion*
- 1/4 banana
- 10ml orange juice
- 5ml coffee
- 10ml sugar
- 9 ice cubes blended
- Garnish with a slice of orange and grated chocolate
Pour 70ml Cocoa & Orange Echo Falls Fruit Fusion into a blender and add a quarter of a banana, 10ml of orange juice, 5ml black brewed coffee, 10ml sugar syrup and 9 ice cubes. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a large wine glass and garnish with a slice of orange and sprinkle with grated chocolate.
Partridge in a Passion Fruit Tree
The second cocktail we tried was the Partridge in a Passion Fruit Tree, and this one ended up being my favourite. Like with the Chocolate Orange Snowflake we forgot to buy the passion fruit to garnish (oops!) so improvised with a slice of lemon sprinkled in sugar. If you enjoy a sweet drink this one is a good bet. I also think the Passion Fruit & Peach Fruit Fusion* would taste lovely as a spritzer.
- 50ml Passion Fruit & Peach Echo Falls Fruit Fusion*
- 15ml pineapple juice
- 15ml lemon juice
- 15ml vanilla syrup
- Garnish with half passion fruit
Pour 50ml Passion Fruit & Peach Echo Falls Fruit Fusion into a shaker, add 15ml pineapple juice, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml vanilla syrup and shake well. Strain and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with half a fresh passion fruit.
For our final drink we made the Mistletoe Mojito. This one was my least favourite because it tasted a bit watery / weak, but I think that’s got more to do with the amount of ice we put into the cup vs how much of the Strawberry & Lime Fruit Fusions* was included. If you’ve got a big glass, you might want to pour a bit more of the Fruit Fuisions*, a bit more lime juice and perhaps a splash of soda water. That said, it was still an easy-to-drink cocktail.
- 70ml Strawberry & Lime Echo Falls Fruit Fusion*
- 10 mint leaves
- 5ml lime
- 5ml sugar
- Crushed Ice
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and some black pepper
Pour 70ml Strawberry & Lime Echo Falls Fruit Fusion into a julep tin or hi-ball glass, add 5ml lime juice and 5ml sugar syrup. Stir and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Which of these cocktails would you try first?
Please note: while the products marked with a star (*) in this blog post were gifts, the views expressed are my own.