Are you bored yet? How to turn that unfinished bottle of booze into a Christmas cocktail banger | Cocktails

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The aftermath of Christmas is a fine time for messing around with cocktails. There isn’t too much to do, hopefully. With any luck, the kitchen is full of half-drunk bottles, novelty creams, brandied fruits and so on. And at this stage in festive proceedings, the constitution can probably take a mid-morning cocktail or two.

For the sugar syrup, simply dissolve two parts golden caster sugar in one part hot water, and leave to cool. It will keep for six or more weeks in the fridge. All recipes serve one but should really be doubled.

Cream punch

I’ve used the chassis of a ramos gin fizz (the drinking person’s snowball) to create an unholy creamy hybrid with a classic Caribbean rum punch. This is a marvellous way to use up any boozy creams you didn’t get through the day before.

30ml egg white
15ml sugar syrup
45ml dark rum
30ml brandy cream (or similar)
15ml orange juice
15ml lemon juice
Dash of Angostura bitters
Sparkling water
Nutmeg, grated

Freeze a wine glass. Now, using an electric whisk, zhoosh up the egg and sugar syrup until ethereally frothy, then while still whisking, add the rum, cream, citrus and bitters in that order. Pour into a shaker, fill halfway with ice, and shake like mad. Now strain into the ice-cold tall glass and top with the sparkling water, giving it a little stir to combine. Grate nutmeg on top.

The mosel sour

I invented this decadent treat a couple of Christmases ago, as a way of using up a riesling auslese that was a bit too sweet to drink on its own. The formula works with just about any leftover pudding wine: sauternes, jurançon, etc; I just made an amazing one with a muscat from Aldi. The idea is to use it rather as you would the liqueur in, say, a sidecar, as a sweetening agent. You may need more or less sugar, depending on the sweetness of the wine.

40ml brandy
20ml dessert wine
10ml lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup (to taste)

Shake with lots of ice, then strain (through a fine-mesh strainer) into a frozen cocktail glass. Use lemon or orange zest to garnish.

The garibaldi

This simple two-ingredient aperitif becomes sensational when you use fresh citrus and aerate it to the max. Oranges are traditional, but clementines are great and, if you have grapefruit, you have lift-off.

50ml Campari
150ml orange/clementine/grapefruit juice

Squeeze the citrus, strain the juice into a blender and whiz up for 30 seconds. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, pour in the Campari, and top with the aerated orange juice. Add an orange wheel to garnish.

Golden brew

This non-alcoholic mixture has the effect of being warming, decadent and yet also convincingly healthy. Perfect costume drama fare.

200ml milk (or non-dairy alternative)
10ml honey
Five green cardamom pods
A few coriander seeds
One cinnamon stick
Pinch of turmeric

Toast the spices in a dry saucepan for 30 seconds or so, then pour over the milk. Bring slowly to the boil, then drop the heat, put a lid on the pan and allow the milk to infuse for about five minutes. Pour into a mug, add honey to taste and the cinnamon stick, too, if you like.

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