Christmas is a time of indulgence, but you can indulge your taste buds without punishing the liver. How about introducing a few cocktails into your regime that will actually make you feel better? These all use fresh herbs to give your immune system a boost. Take the occasional break from the booze in December and you’ll reap the benefits next month. Just remember not to skimp on the garnish.
1. ROSEMERRY CHRISTMAS
sprig fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
100ml pink grapefruit juice
200ml soda water
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Make the rosemary syrup: mix together the sugar, water and chopped rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to heat gently until all sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely.
To make the drink: Pour grapefruit juice and syrup into a highball glass and stir. Fill glass with ice and top off with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
2. AROMATIC TODDY
4 tsp lemon
2 tbsp lavender flowers (available from health food shops)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
2 green tea bags
Combine water, lemon juice, lavender, ginger, honey and tea bags in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Strain, pour into a cup or glass. Enjoy warm or cold.
3. A GREEN CHRISTMAS
1 mint tea bag
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 slices of lime for garnish
2 sprigs fresh mint for garnish
2 teaspoons simple sugar syrup
150ml sparkling water
Steep mint tea bag in freshly-boiled water for 10 minutes. Discard tea bags and allow to cool.
Add crushed ice, sugar syrup and lime juice, and give it a good stir. Add sparkling water. Give the mint sprigs a quick rub in your hands to release the oils and add to glass. Garnish with lime slices and enjoy.
basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2tsps lemon juice
100ml sparkling water
Muddle together basil and lemon juice in a highball glass. Top with lemonade and stir. Add sparkling water and lemon slices. Top with ice.
5. ICED WISDOM
200ml cranberry juice
salt, to rim glass
In a cocktail shaker combine ice, sage leaves and cranberry juice. Shake for about two minutes to infuse the sage thoroughly. Rim serving glass with salt and pour into glass. Enjoy!