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Slingsby News

10 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Christmas Party
13th December 2016
What does Christmas mean to us? It’s about gathering with friends and family. It’s about celebrating and creating special memories. And it’s about an array of delicious foods and exquisite cocktails. Add a little magic to your Christmas with these 10 essential tips. While we firmly believe that there’s never a bad time to throw a party, the festive period seems like the perfect excuse for an evening of indulgence.

1. Kick the night off in style.
Christmas parties without fizz are not worth thinking about. Kick things off with a round of Slingsby Rhubarb Bellini’s – add a dash of Slingsby Rhubarb Gin to a Champagne glass and top with your favourite Prosecco to ensure your guests are welcomed in style.

2. Make the very best ice.
Ice is one of the most important ingredients in your cocktails. Instead of buying bags of small ice cubes that quickly melt, make your own ice by filling baking trays with distilled water. Once frozen solid, cut into smaller blocks for individual serves.

3. Let guests serve themselves.
A nice simple way to ensure guests remain well-watered is to allow them to serve themselves. Wintery punch bowls are the perfect solution.

4. Surprise your guests with a homemade syrup.
Gin…check. Premium mixers…check. But why not add your own personal touch to your serves and surprise guests with a homemade Christmas Syrup? Not only do they add personality, but also they take just minutes to make. Here’s our recipe:500g of frozen berries (Cranberries, Blackberries, Blackcurrant, Red currant, Raspberries), 50ml of Spiced Rum, 100ml Red Wine, 8 Cinnamon sticks, 8 Star Anise, 10 All Spice, 10 Cloves, The peel of a whole Orange, 500g of Caster sugar, 350ml hot water. Combine all ingredients apart from sugar in a big pan, (add more water and wine if needed to cover all the ingredients).Heat on a medium heat. Stir in the sugar until fully dissolved. Keep stirring until bubbling and then lower the heat and leave on the heat for about half an hour stirring occasionally. After about half an hour the liquid should be the same consistency as a syrup/cordial. Remove from the heat and strain through a cheese strainer or a fine sieve so that just the liquid remains. Leave to cool and bottle.

5. Delicious nibbles
No good cocktail party is built on drinks alone – delicious nibbles are necessary, too. Read all about Betty’s secret to their award winning Mince Pies at (and if you can’t be bothered to make them, simply order online at

6. Ditch the lemon and lime.
Make sure to go beyond the lemon and lime garnishes. Look to winter fruits or Grapefruit, Rosemary, Star Anise and even Rose Petals – anything that’ll add a point of difference to your serves.

7. Make a Playlist.
The last thing you want to be doing is playing DJ at your own party all night. We recommend creating a playlist on your smart phone or tablet full of your favourite party tunes and leave to play on shuffle throughout the night. That way the music will never stop and you can relax knowing it’s taken care of!

8. Stock up – don’t leave your friends hanging.
Of all the cocktail party faux pas, running out of drinks well before the party’s conclusion has to be one of the most tragic. Keep in mind that the average cocktail party guest will enjoy three to four serves, and amend your shopping list accordingly.

9. Pre-batch your cocktails.
Don’t spend your Christmas cocktail party shaking drink after drink in your kitchen. Instead, prepare a number of classic cocktails – from Negronis to Tom Collins which can be made in large quantities and chilled in advance. Add ice at the last minute for party perfection.

10. Midnight Feast.
After a night of drinking and socialising, guests will start to feel peckish towards the end of the evening. Why not offer them something to help the impending hangover and provide some delicious snacks later in the evening? We recommend cured meats and cheeses with tasty breads for guests to help themselves as they choose. Or if you’re feeling exotic…a build your own Nacho station with an array of delicious toppings – all pre prepared. It’s hassle free yet gives your guests something hearty and enjoyable to finish the night with.