Christmas drinks are all a bit predictable aren’t they? Mulled wine, egg nog, port, hot buttered rum. Even the flurry of excitement I experienced upon discovering Winter Pimms last year was not enough to sustain me for the entire festive season. So thank St Nick that The Waldorf Hilton has taken it upon themselves to reinvent our festive drinking habits by launching their ‘Twelve Drinks of Christmas’ – a selection of cocktails themed around, you’ve guessed it,The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Whilst the snow had disappeared from our city’s streets, the Arctic winds whipping around Aldwych on Monday certainly made an appropriate night to launch a set of wintry drinks. Walking into the magnificently dwarfing Waldorf ballroom bathed in warm red light, I was presented with six cocktail stations with samples of each alcoholic offering. A lesser man may have been daunted with the prospect of drinking 12 cocktails in an evening; I saw this not only as a challenge, but also as my journalistic duty.
Created by the masterful mixologists behind The Waldorf’s bar, there is a cocktail for every palate in this selection. Encouraged by my friend David Brownlie-Marshall, who had very kindly invited me, and his brother, Ritchie, I managed to sample every drink. For once my strong tolerance for alcohol was put to a practical use! My favourite was ‘Seven Swans A-Swimming’, a light and elegant cocktail of vodka, lemon and elderflower liquor, served with a wonderfully aromatic sprig of rosemary. Also worth an honourable mention were David’s favourite, ‘Eight Maids A-Milking’, a creamy mix of strawberry and vodka; ‘Four Calling Birds’, a refreshing raspberry, mint and vodka concoction; and ‘Five Gold Rings, a Christmassy blend of cinnamon schnapps, port and apple, sparkling with 24 carat gold leaf.
This might be the 12 cocktails talking, but it was hard not to be in the festive spirit that evening. So if the cold weather is getting you down and the dark nights are driving you into an early hibernation, drop in at the Waldorf for a decadent holiday pick-me-up. At £12 a glass it might be a tough call to sample the entire range like myself, but one or two are sure to lift your spirits. If only Scrooge had known…
‘The Twelve Drinks of Christmas’, will be available in sixteen Hilton hotels across the UK for the month of December. The Waldorf Hilton can be found on Aldwych, WC2B 4DD. Keep checking www.waldorfhilton.co.uk as we have heard that there will soon be videos of how to make each of the 12 cocktails on the site.
When not writing under duress for LDNISTA, I also write my own blog on all things Stateside happening in the capital. Feel free to check out The Closet American at www.closetamerican.wordpress.com!