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Guest recipe: Elisa’s Christmas cocktails

This summer I wrote excitedly about the arrival of StrEAT, a regular street food market in my home town of Lewes, East Sussex. StrEAT organiser Elisa Furci has since hosted a number of successful markets and is now looking forward to her season finale on Saturday 14th December. Last night I muscled my way in on an invitation to sample some of the Christmas cocktails Elisa will be serving at the Street Bar Named Desire on the 14th. I can think of many worse ways to spend a Monday evening, but I should probably underline here that this is not how either Elisa or myself usually start the week…

First up, Elisa showed me how to make her Classic Champagne Cocktail, a drink that she and her family have enjoyed at Christmas for as long as she can remember. One or two of these beauties will definitely put you in the party mood, and if you’re brave enough to mix grape and grain the drink also tastes lovely on substituting brandy with a drop of Bourbon. Elisa and I agree that extravagant ways of describing tastes can make you sound idiotic, but we still decided that this one is like the cocktail equivalent of a crisp autumn leaf.


Elisa’s Classic Champagne Cocktail

Drop a brown sugar cube – preferably a good quality rough variety like La Perruche – into a Champagne flute and shake over a few drops of Angostura Bitters. Top up with a centimetre or two of decent brandy and fill with Champagne or an equivalent dry sparkling wine. Watch as the bubbles help to dissolve the sugar, lending the drink a hint of caramel sweetness.

Next we have Mistletoe, a drink based on a Nigella invention but with extra Christmassy notes coming from the addition of fresh orange zest and a squeeze of clementine. I think it’s a little like a winter interpretation of a classic Sea Breeze. In other words, this Mistletoe is a little bit dangerous because you can’t taste too much alcohol and the pomegranate, ginger and orange flavours work so nicely together it’s a bit like a long snog.



Fill a jam jar with ice, pour over a 50ml measure of vodka followed by a pinch of finely grated orange zest. Half-fill the jar with pomegranate juice, seal with a lid and shake for a few seconds to mix the drink. Top up with fizzy ginger ale and finish with a squeeze of fresh clementine.

The next StrEAT is on Saturday 14th December at Unit 21, Phoenix Estate, Lewes. Expect tea, coffee and cake from 10am followed by lunch from 12pm, with wood-fired Pleb Pizza, Korean-fusion from Little Hapas, pulled pork from The Hog Hut and spiced thalis from Vegelove. There will be music from Fruitful Soundsystem, cocktails and hot toddies courtesy of Elisa at A Street Bar Named Desire, Christmas trees, wreaths, and stalls selling handmade wooden gifts and spice dukkahs for the foodies you love.


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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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