Christmas Leftovers - Spirits

We always buy loads of spirits at Christmas time and then part-bottles sit hidden at the back of the drink's cupboard for the rest of the year, forgotten and untouched. This year, I'm determined to put them to good use, whether as additions to food recipes, to give a dish that extra 'zing' or to make cocktails for guests at parties. He's a few ideas for cocktails, using up the popular trio of whisky, gin and rum.

Whisky - It is the ultimate winter warmer when you return from that long country walk. A hot toddy to warm the hands and heart. But whisky is also a great match with spices such as nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon - all those ingredients you have left from your festive home-made mulled wine. Don't forget the whisky-mac too.

Gin - The juniper that gives gin its distinctive flavour is a sharp taste that's great for winter cocktails, Also the whole range of herbs and botanical spices can flavour gin, such as bitter orange peel, lemon, cloves and star anise can be perfect.

Dark Rum - Rum is perfect in cold weather as it delivers the sunshine of the Caribbean to your glass. Although there is also light rum, there is something warming about the dark variety in winter, when its rich, deep flavours can be put to good use in cocktails such as 'dark n stormy'. A good rum punch is ideal for parties and so too is an eggnog laced with rum. Alternatively, if you like fiery drinks, a spiced-up rum is ideal to make up a hot rum cocktail.


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