A Taster for Cocktail Season

Image Credit: Laure Noverraz

Sophia Finucane shares a cocktail recipe for post-exam celebrations!

I’m obsessed with Nigella Lawson and if I did not get her name into this paper before my time ran out as Food & Drinks editor, I would have failed. She is posh, yes, and everyone makes fun of her innuendos, but she can help one’s self image and relationship with food if you watch her programmes. You can tell - and you can’t always tell this with celebrity cooks- she genuinely likes eating, and doesn’t seem to despair into diet culture when she gains a bit of weight.

One thing people forget to talk about, though, when praising Nigella, is her recipes are genuinely brilliant. She knows how to make things taste good and how to convey in words exactly how that should taste to a reader, so that their meal tastes just as good as hers. The number of people who tweet her about how her recipes have become family favourites is a testament to that.

Nigella Christmas, the book, is my bible. If you are ever tasked with entertaining at Christmas, it will be the only way to survive, I guarantee. I know it’s now April, but there is a recipe in the book that makes the most delicious cocktails that are very much all-rounders, and can be made very cheaply. The recipe would work all times of year, and if you happen to be having friends over, it is made in a pitcher so there’s no work involved in terms of having to make each drink individually. You can make a pitcher and pour the contents into plastic cups if you wish! Because, frankly, who in college has a set of cocktail glasses at hand!? This is especially great, in fact, for those like me who want to disappear into their little fantasy of being a fancy hostess who makes cocktails and holds garden parties for guests like Nigella does at the end of all her episodes, but instead the garden is a random field and I have no money and I’m really stressed.

I can’t recommend this enough, it’s like a cosmopolitan with wine instead of vodka, so it seems more friendly… but, warning: it tastes like some kind of non-alcoholic wine or kombucha and you’ll think ‘oh how refreshing this can’t be bad for me’ and then you’ll get really drunk and pick up the pitcher and spill it everywhere…not speaking from experience or anything…

‘Poinsettia’ Cocktail, as Nigella calls it:

(you can double or triple this recipe up)

-1 bottle of prosecco (or let’s be honest, literally anything marginally fizzy and alcoholic)

-125 millilitres Cointreau (or Triple sec which is a third of the price, I am unrefined and can’t taste the difference)

-500 millilitres cranberry juice (chilled)


Mix the Prosecco or other fizzy wine with the Cointreau (or Triple sec) and cranberry juice in a large pitcher.

Pour into wine glasses or champagne flutes (or plastic cups or mugs or pint glasses you definitely didn’t steal).

Enjoy (responsibly)!