Christmas is the only time of year that I'd even look at a bottle of Brandy.
It's one of those spirits that I'd never think of picking up in the shop but there's always a bottle lying around the gaff for some reason.
Thing is, brandy is actually pretty savage.
Every time I have it I'm reminded why we have a bottle in our drinks cabinet at home. It warms up your soul and it's so nice with desserts - this time of year especially (Christmas pudding anyone?)
If you've never tried brandy before, now is your chance to give it a go.
This Christmas, why not nab yourself a bottle?
Welcome to The 12 Twists Of Christmas with Schweppes!
This series was created to bring back the luuuuv for making cocktails at home again. You don't need to be wearing a tiny dress, fake eyelashes and tan to be acceptable enough for a fancy cocktail - sure you can make them yourself... even in your pjs!
Ehhhhhh hello? Dream.
This week I'm going to be showing you how brandy can be used to make an unreal cocktail.
Say hello to the Cucumber Cobbler.
A delicious blend of Chardonnay, Hennessy VS Cognac and maraschino cherry syrup, mixed with Schweppes 1783 Quenching Cucumber Tonic Water and garnished with a fresh mint sprig and lemon wedge.
This cocktail has a real Christmassy feel to it, between the Chardonnay, Hennessy VS Cognac and maraschino cherry syrup, it ticks all the boxes.
The Hennessy VS Cognac is a blend of about 40 types of fruit brandy from four growing areas in the Cognac region. It has a bright golden colour, with powerful aromas of oak and delicate hazelnuts. It's intense and floral and has a sweetness of red fruits with a hint of vanilla that lingers on the palate - this is top quality stuff.
You'll find a bottle of this magical stuff in O'Briens Wine, The Whisky Exchange and other premium off-licence stores.
Here's how to make this intriguing cocktail:
• 50ml Chardonnay (preferably oaky)
• 25ml Hennessy VS Cognac
• 15ml maraschino cherry syrup
• 150ml Schweppes 1783 Quenching Cucumber Tonic Water
Garnish: sprig of mint and lemon wedge
There's something really lovely about making your own cocktail at home. You can take your time and completely chill.
Fill 3⁄4 of a copa glass with cubed ice, add the Chardonnay, Hennessy VS Cognac and maraschino cherry syrup. Stir for one minute. Mix with Schweppes 1783 Quenching Cucumber Tonic Water and stir for a further 30 seconds.
To garnish: add a sprig of mint and a lemon wedge.
This Christmas, why not spoil your Irish Mammy or loved one by making them a stellar cocktail. Sure they'll be only buzzing with you.
(No coal for you!)
Cheers to the Christmas season!
Don't forget to drink responsibly.