Far surpassing any of the amazing (or intriguing) gifts that Christmas involves, the best part of the festive season no doubt is the food and drink. Tis’ the time to indulge in all of the treats even the strictest year-round health enthusiasts avoid. This year, will be no different I’m sure – aside from the fact everything I indulge in will be dairy and egg free. In aid of this, I thought I’d put together a little round up of all my favourite festive drinks and sweet treats that even someone with an irritating intolerance can enjoy!
Blue Nun are famed worldwide for their crisp tasting wines, with their recognisable blue bottle dominating the shelves around the festive season. Affordable and universal, it’s a great one to stock up on if you’ve got friends or family coming over – as it has a very light and refreshing flavour! I won’t proclaim to be a wine connoisseur and start spouting fancy words to describe the flavour (even though I already have attempted to), but it tastes lovely, doesn’t give you a horrible headache after a few glasses and is really good value for money! Say no more!
Again, another tipple with a recognisable bottle – is the green staple of Tanqueray gin. Worth stocking up on if your family and friends prefer a martini or a G&T, the spirit is actually far more versatile than you think. I’m not necessarily a massive fan of gin as it’s a little too bitter for me, however Tanqueray’s is the smoothest I’ve come across and it doesn’t leave that horrible aftertaste. In fact, I’ve become quite partial to a gin & juice (orange juice, in case you were wondering) lately. A great alternative to Buck’s Fizz if you’re not a fan of bubbly!
If you want your drinks to be in keeping with your glitzy decor, then you’ll definitely want to get stocked up with 9ct’s shimmering vodka drinks – which can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed in with soda water or lemonade for a fabulous festive cocktail. The Toffee Caramel is probably my favourite (sweet but not sickly) however the Blood Orange is great for mixing and has a very strong, delicious flavour. They also make for perfect gifts for the friend who has everything!
There’s something very festive about red wine, however I’m very fussy when it comes to flavours (as usually it’s a bit too strong for me). This Pinot Noir has a very oaky, smokey smooth flavour which means you easily enjoy it with a festive roast or a meaty dish. Available from Tesco, it’s a great option if you’re having a large gathering for family and friends!
Shloer has always had Christmas memories associated to it, because I remember begging my family to buy some so I could join in drinking ‘wine’ at the table! It’s always reminded me of special occasions and celebrations, so there’s definitely happy times attached to it! Their new Sparkling White Bubbly is great for stocking up on if you have kids coming along, as it ensures that everyone is involved in the fun – drinking age or not! Plus it’s super tasty, so if you’re trying to stay off the booze as much as possible – this is the perfect solution!
When it comes to alcohol, Prosecco is definitely my first choice – because it’s so easy to drink and immediately puts you in the party mood. I do find I’m not overly keen on the drier tasting ones however, so have been on the lookout for a really tasty, sweet variety! Wild Thing’s Prosecco is the perfect balance of refreshing flavours with delicate apple and pear aromas. It’s delicious – and definitely worth bringing in a few bottles this festive season!
Being dairy free this December has already meant that I’ve had to forgo my usual advent calendar (sob) and although there are chocolates out there that don’t contain dairy on the supermarket shelves, I have tried them in the past and they’re totally not worth the calories. I never thought I’d be saying that about anything chocolate related. The versions I’ve tried are flavourless, dry and just plain weird tasting. Dark Chocolate doesn’t usually tickle my fancy because it’s too bitter on its own, so I went on the lookout for another solution.
The two favourites I found were Lovechock and Ombar, both of which come in an assortment of flavours and are very rich (but deliciously so, rather than leaving you gasping for water). My favourites included the Cherry & Chilli from Lovechock (not actually spicy at all, just a great aftertaste) and the Coconut and Strawberry from Ombar! Mmm! Both are worth a try if you have a dairy intolerance or aren’t a fan of massively processed chocolates, as they’re both entirely raw and full of natural antioxidants. They make great stocking fillers – or little treats (to make up for you missing out on daily chocolate via the advent calendar).
My tip is to go for the Ombar selection if you prefer something a little creamier and milk chocolate – esque and then LoveChock if you prefer the fuller flavour, deeper variety!
Do you have any festive drink or nibble recommendations? When it comes to the roast dinner my favourite elements are definitely pigs in blankets and roast potatoes – I’d love to know yours! It’s not long now – eek!