Monday, 30 December 2013

Apple Juice Cocktails

If you're hosting a New Year's Eve party this year, have you thought about kicking off the celebrations with cocktails? I have two fantastic cocktails for you, based around apple juice. This post is written for Lathcoats Farm, which is the family apple farm of one of my best friends. They make the most AMAZING apple juice, and if you are ever in the Essex area you should pop in and visit their wonderful farm shop and stop for coffee and cake at their lovely cafe.

apple blossom cocktail, brandy and apple juice

Apple Blossom
This is a lovely fresh cocktail, very simple to make and beautiful in summer or winter.

You will need: (makes one)
2 shots brandy
1 1/2 shots apple juice
Squeeze of lemon juice

Measure all ingredients into a old fashioned glass full of ice.

malabecca, malbeca red wine cocktail with apple juice

We learned to make this cocktail in Argentina at The Argentine Experience, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires. Malbec is the wine of Argentina, although if you don't have this you can substitute it for any other medium red wine, like merlot.

You will need: (makes one)
Juice of half a lime
1/2 shot sugar syrup (caster sugar dissolved in water)
2 shots malbec wine
1/2 shot of Pisco or brandy
2 1/2 shots good quality apple juice

Squeeze or muddle the lime in a cocktail shaker. Add all the other ingredients, fill up the shaker with ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a martini or champagne glass.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Project Round-up (Part 2)

I hope you are all enjoying the festive celebrations and staying warm!

Here's the second part of my Christmas project round up (first half here), the project links are below the picture.

easy christmas holiday craft ideas with kids, simple projects

Clockwise from top left...

Personalise your Christmas dinner table with homemade Christmas crackers

Add some vintage decoration with a button heart

This silver and gold toilet roll garland is a great craft with kids

Amazingly simple chocolate mints for after dinner treats

Sunday, 8 December 2013

How to make a homemade Christmas wreath

If you are out and about on a wintery walk this month, take a bag and some garden secateurs with you and collect some pretty foliage to make a homemade Christmas wreath.

how to make a Christmas wreath with pine and holly

You will need: 
Cut stems, I have used pine (from the Christmas tree) and holly.
2 wire hangars
Scissors and/or garden secateurs
Decorations such as pine cones, candy canes & ribbon.

Step 1: Bend two wire hangars into a circle, and wrap in sellotape, leaving gaps to hold the stems.

Step 2: Layer your first plant (mine is pine). Trim to shape with the shears, then push the stems between the sellotape and/or hangars.

Step 3: Hold the stems in place with thin wire, twisted around the stems. Trim any excess wire.

Step 4: Layer a second plant (mine is holly)

Step 4: Add any additional decorations, I have used dogrose buds, red bows, mini pine cones and candy canes.

homemade christmas wreath tutorial, instructions

Hang the wreath using the hangar hooks, and ribbon if needed.

Happy Christmas crafting!

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg
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