Tia Espresso Martini
25cl TIA MARIA
25cl espresso coffee
10cl sugar syrup to taste
Coffee beans to Garnish
Combine all ingredients together with cubed ice in a Boston and shake. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans.
This is a good one for a short drink, although some people will find the vodka a problem (my wife can't take white spirits for example). For a longer drink try this:
Tia Ginger (pictured)
35cl TIA MARIA
Half a fresh lime
Pour ingredients into a highball glass filled with ice, squeeze in the juice of half a fresh lime and garnish with fresh mint
Very refreshing and warming I find, and if Christmas is going to be as wet as it's threatening to be then this is going to be a good option.
For mealtime I won't be driving this year for once (YAY!) so I'll be on the white with the starter and red for the main course. I can recommend some of the Absolutely Cracking French Wines selection. This is a promotion in which drinks journalists selected their best wines of the year and as you can imagine the results are pretty good.
On the white front you could do distinctly worse than IGP Pays d'Oc, Marquis de Pennautier, Terroirs d'Altitude 2009 (Majestic, £9.99) if you like oaky wines with a bit of an acidic tang; for something a bit more citrussy have a look at AOC Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, Domaine Capmartin 2010 (Enotria, £10.95).
As always, enjoy sensibly and don't drive afterwards. And in January remember I'll be giving up for the Dryathlon in aid of Cancer Research - why not sponsor me?