It’s cocktail hour! Olly Smith’s cocktail recipes and Eleanor Maidment’s canapé recipes

Let’s get the festive party started with our drinks expert Olly Smith’s sublime mixes and food editor Eleanor Maidment’s classy canapés.

Poinsettia

This is so simple to make and is an easy recipe to customise to your own taste – add a little more fizz for a lighter flourish, or a little less if it’s richness you’re after.

poinsettia
Matt Russell

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Blue cheese, candied pecan and fig bites

The candied pecans really elevate these, but can be swapped for simply roasted pecans to speed things up.

fig bites
Matt Russell

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Amaretto sour

During a particularly ferocious winter living in Edinburgh, amaretto was my drink of choice. My curiosity with cocktails led me to this, and I realised just how sublime the Italian liqueur can be.

amaretto sour
Matt Russell

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Mulled white wine

A cosying drink to turn your kitchen-table gathering into an intimate chorus.

mulled white wine
Matt Russell

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Rosemary polenta chips

These are perfect for preparing in advance and utterly moreish.

polenta chips
Matt Russell

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Espresso martini

Fair warning: Espresso Martinis may make your leg jiggle and you will sometimes find yourself irrepressibly enhanced on the dancefloor. Is it worth making the freshly brewed espresso? It sure is.

espresso martini
Matt Russell

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Smoked trout pâté on charcoal crackers

Either hot smoked trout or salmon works well in this very simple pâté.

trout pate
Matt Russell

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Steak, beetroot and horseradish Yorkshire puddings

A canapé classic. Vegetarians might like a slice of griddled portobello mushroom instead of steak.

Yorkshire puddings
Matt Russell

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Bramble

A divine drink elevating the blackberry to its brambly zenith.

bramble
Matt Russell

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Raspberry Watkins

‘Raspberry Watkins’ would be an excellent pen-name, to be signed with a flourish of a luxurious fountain pen. It’s also the name of this drink, which stands for two of the greatest things in life: refreshment and all things pink.

raspberry Watkins
Matt Russell

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Scorpion

You don’t need to be terrified of this drink, just feel its thrill. It is really easy to make, and that judicious addition of orgeat makes it even more delicious than you can imagine – and there’s no sting in the tail.

scorpion
Matt Russell

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Frozen Margarita

As well as the classic frozen Margarita, the flavoured varieties are also sublime. You can try this at home – just add 60ml (2oz) of your favourite fruit purée to the recipe. Kapow!

frozen margarita
Matt Russell

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Chicken, tarragon and brioche sandwiches

These Christmassy little sandwiches make a filling option when the cocktails are flowing.

chicken sandwiches
Matt Russell

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Now buy Olly’s cocktail book

home cocktail bible
Our drinks recipes are taken from Home Cocktail Bible by Olly Smith, to be published by Quadrille on 2 December, price £20. To pre-order a copy for £16 until 28 November, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.


Food styling: Loic Parisot. Styling: Max Robinson.