Category: Drinks


A mild take on the bloody mary that swaps the usual heat and spice for more mellow flavours, making it an ideal start to a long day. Serves one.

Bartender’s breakfast recipe

4 cherry tomatoes
3 basil leaves (save 1 to garnish)
1 small pinch ground coriander
1 small pinch celery salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 chives, roughly chopped
25ml vodka (Stolichnaya, for preference)
2 olives, to garnish
1 sun-dried tomato, to garnish

Put everything bar the garnishes in a blender, add a scoop of crushed ice and blitz smooth. Pour into a chilled highball glass, garnish and serve.

Pomegranate and prosecco recipes

Deep ruby red, nicely balanced between sweet and sour, this is a perfect drink for Christmas morning.

Pomegranate and prosecco

Serves about 6
clementines 2
cardamom pods 6
pomegranate juice 350ml to taste
prosecco 1 bottle
ice

Peel the clementines, and break into segments. Remove the skin and pith with your fingers, then lay the segments on a tray and place in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Crack the cardamom pods open with a heavy weight, such as a mortar, but don’t grind them to a powder.

Divide the pomegranate juice between glasses, add two segments of frozen clementines to each glass, then a cardamom pod. Top up with prosecco and serve with ice.

Corney & Barrow Côtes du Rhône, France 2011(£9.50, Corney & Barrow) After last week’s bargain festive bottles, I’m setting my sights a little higher, with Christmas dinner wines from around £10 right up to serious splash-out territory. At £10, posh independent merchant Corney & Barrow has a superb own-label red Côtes du Rhône 2011. Made by the Gonnet family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it’s perfectly pitched between ripe-fruited richness and lively freshness. Just as good with the turkey and trimmings, Tesco Finest Viña del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva 2009 (£10) has a swish of blackberry to go with its classically Rioja oaky mellowness, while Asda has a crisp but mouth-filling white burgundy in the shape of Domaine Marguerite Dupasquier Rully 2013 (£10.50).

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Meyer Pinot Noir, Okanagan, Canada 2014 (£18, Marks & Spencer) Staying with the chardonnays of Burgundy, Oddbins has the very smart, chiselled, creamy-but-racy Domaine Guerrin et Fils Saint-Véran Le Clos Vessats 2014 (£12.50, Oddbins), although fans of the style will be just as impressed by the slightly richer pair from South Africa: Iona Chardonnay 2014 and Paul Clüver Chardonnay 2014 (both £15, from M&S and Morrisons respectively; both seriously good). For reds, I was very taken by M&S’s first foray into Canada with the deliciously pure oaked raspberry of Meyer Pinot Noir, while those who prefer a little more power and density could go for the aromatic D’Arenberg Wild Pixie Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia 2011 (£17, Sainsbury’s).

Bodegas López de Heredia Viña Bosconia Rioja Reserva, Spain 2004 (£21.95, Waitrose) Nudging above £20 we’re into fine wine territory with the silky, savoury Viña Bosconia Reserva from López de Heredia. It’s only in six stores, so you’ll need to get your skates on and order online (waitrosecellar.com), maybe adding a similarly posh white to your order such as the nutty white burgundy Domaine Vincent Prunier Meursault Les Vireuils 2013 (£30.99, Waitrose). Meanwhile, M&S also has a fine festive pair: the magnificently supple, peppered-meaty northern Rhône syrah red of Domaine Coursodon Cuvée Olivaie St-Joseph 2007 (£35) and the soft herbal dry white Italian Pieropan Soave La Rocca 2013 (£27).

Photograph: Dan Matthews for the Guardian

Photograph: Dan Matthews for the Guardian

This is a liquid version of summer pudding. I love all cherries – the sweet, juicy fresh ones; the sticky glacé cherries of my childhood; and fancy maraschinos. I’d use LAM pinotage, a super-fragrant and light wine from Swartland, South Africa, but any soft, aromatic, fruit-driven red wine will do. Traditional drinking vinegars are back in fashion, as are other ancient techniques such as fermenting and pickling; Womersley is my favourite brand, providing a proper zingy tang. Next week, I’ll show you a white wine-based summer punch. Per serving:

1 small mixed handful fresh (stoned) and glacé cherries, plus a maraschino or two
125ml light, fruity red wine, chilled
15ml raspberry drinking vinegar
Ice
1 twist orange peel

Fill the bottom of a tumbler or highball with the cherries. Pour over the wine and drinking vinegar, add a few cubes of ice and a twist of orange, stir and drink.

• Ruth Spivey is wine buyer at Craft London and founder, Wine Car Boot.