Tasty Treats and Festive Drinks: Nigel Slater’s Relaxed Holiday Recipes

Festive drinks. There’s something special about having a glowing drink in hand and enjoying homemade bites. Yet, truth be told, I’d rather be the host, welcoming folks in, fixing drinks, and passing around some simple homemade snacks.

While a cocktail is nice, the food steals the show. It’s all about that crispiness factor—a parmesan biscuit sprinkled with black sesame seeds, a mini potato cake with crispy edges straight from the frying pan, or a crackly almond cookie with a fudgy chewy center.

To keep things easy, I’m suggesting just a couple of cocktails and some delightful nibbles for those who aren’t into drinks. A mulled cider brings warmth and pairs well with cheese wafers or potato pancakes topped with crunchy sauerkraut or pickled cabbage. And for the almond cookies, a gorgeous pomegranate mimosa adds that festive touch.

Festive drinks: Mulled Cider with Potato Cakes

Grate 750g of potatoes and a medium onion. Let them sit for 15 minutes to drain excess liquid. Mix in crushed garlic, flour, black pepper, and eggs. Fry small flat cakes in oil until pale gold. Top with coleslaw or pickled cabbage and poppy seeds. Serve pronto!

Combine 1 litre of cider, 500ml of apple juice, 80ml of brandy, and sugar in a pan. Add orange peel, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Warm it up, ensuring the sugar dissolves. Adjust sweetness and add more brandy if you like. Ladle into glasses and enjoy.

Crispy Spiced Cheese Biscuits

Festive drinks. Mix flour and Aleppo pepper. Rub in cold butter, then add an egg yolk, grated parmesan, and black sesame seeds. Roll out the dough, cut into random shapes, chill for 20 minutes, then bake at 180C for 15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Pomegranate Mimosa and Orange Almond Cookies

Whisk egg whites and caster sugar until glossy. Stir in ground almonds, almond extract, and orange zest. Roll into balls, coat in icing sugar, and bake at 180C for 12 minutes until lightly crisp outside and gooey inside.

Festive drinks. Pour 80ml of fresh pomegranate juice into glasses and top up with 320ml of sparkling wine.

These recipe are meant to make hosting a breeze—simple yet delicious. Whether it’s a warming cider or a delightful mimosa, paired with crispy snacks or chewy cookies, they’re sure to spread holiday cheer. Enjoy!