For well over a decade I’ve had the pleasure of a full table of friends at Christmas. For me, the 25th of December is the most special day of the year and with each passing turkey dinner I remain humbled by the love that comes along with the copious amounts of food, the glittering parties and of course the drinks.

I’ve also spent the last ten years perfecting the Blairy Christmas, a cocktail that takes days to prepare. I start with Mariage Frères Esprit de Noël (Christmas spirit) tea and cranberry juice. I save the loose tea leaves that I’ve used and wrap them in cheese cloth. I then pop them into jugs of cranberry juice, allowing the tea to steep for a few days in the fridge. This creates great flavour.

img_3408When it comes time to make the cocktail, I only use the best ingredients. Skyy Vodka and Grand Marnier have both become the main ingredients in my potent Christmas cocktail. I use a shaker, adding ice to start. I then pop my martini glasses in the freezer for a few minutes to have them chilled. I add two ounces of vodka followed by two ounces of Grand Marnier. For these cocktails I went all out and used the special edition Grand Marnier Louis-Alexandre to make the cocktail that much better.

img_3410I then top the shaker up with the cranberry/tea mix and shake until well blended. The shaker I used makes up to 4 cocktails at a time. Once the cocktail is poured up, I finish it with a little bubbly and garnish with frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

img_3416I encourage you to take this recipe and make it your own. Every year I vary in how I prepare the Blairy Christmas and each year I have my guests coming back for more.

Please enjoy responsibly.