This is a sponsored post done in cooperation with Iceland Foods. However, all opinions are my own.
Try this Mincemeat Christmas Martini to get you into the holiday spirit this year, and also learn about my trip to the Iceland Christmas Event.
If there is any month that requires a martini a day, it’s December. It’s cold, cabin fever is setting in, Christmas madness has been going on for months (since September, or so it seems), there are parties to be planned, and oh, there is so much food and drink to be made.
Yeap, a martini a day sounds like a good idea.
Who’s with me?
I suggest a festive Christmas Martini because it is still the holiday season, after all. We can have a mini-escape with our Christmas martini in hand while still celebrating this time of year.
Luckily for you (and for me), I tried the perfect Christmas Martini last weekend during a different kind of mini-escape. I was asked by the good folks at Iceland Foods to go to their Christmas event in Deeside last weekend, where this perfect Christmas martini was served. A fancy weekend event with food, cocktails, and fun, right before the it’s-almost-Christmas-again madness begins? Sign me up.
The perfect martini? A Mincemeat Christmas Martini. Seriously folks, you have to try it. Sounds weird, tastes awesome.
Make This Perfect Christmas Martini – Step by Step
Here is how to make this wonderful Christmas martini at home that Iceland Foods served us at the Iceland Foods Christmas Event.
Step 1. Make mincemeat syrup by boiling up 100g sugar with 50g mincemeat and 100ml of water.
Step 2. After bringing the syrup to a boil, cool it and strain it into a glass bottle.
Step 3. Pour the martini ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass.
Step 4. Stir for 30 seconds before straining into a chilled cocktail glass.
Step 5. Serve with mince pie on the side.
More About the Iceland Foods Christmas Event
Early Saturday morning, I was in the (delayed) train up to Chester, feeling a little like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting for the excitement to begin. Once I arrived, I boarded a coach and was whisked away to the event.
Peeps, I wish I could have taken you along to this Iceland Christmas event. It was both educational and entertaining, par for the course with Iceland events. These events are how Iceland shows off its new ranges and the quality and style of its (cooked and uncooked) food. And Boy, did they show off their Iceland Christmas range!
We were treated not only to delicious food and a discovery of different ways to present it, of different ways to cook, but also to a live band, hints and tips on Instagram photography and the delicious Mincemeat Christmas Martinis that I already shared with you.
Now to the food.
The food is the important bit, for me. I am a sucker for atmosphere, but food is what really excites me. (This bit of information should come as no surprise.)
So, we met their chef, who took us through cooking two rather important essentials for Christmas: lobster tails and turkey. Now I know you will not think of lobster as the right thing for Christmas food, but I do now. Having tasted Iceland Luxury Canadian Lobster Tails, I now see why they come down as the perfect meal to have around Christmas.
Why? Three reasons:
- They are delicious.
- They really are a ‘special treat’ food, but not too expensive which is always a plus.
- See number 1.
And how do you cook them?
Well, their chefs showed us two ways. One was more sophisticated. The other (which I preferred because I love the smokey flavour) was cooking them with hay. The hay burns slightly when cooking and gives them this delicious flavour – even though the actual cooking is simple, fast and easy. These made fab lobster tacos with frozen avocados and a lovely salsa.
Lobsters certainly coming here at Christmas, I can tell you.
And then onto turkey (in this case, Iceland Luxury Gilded Turkey). We all have turkey at Christmas, but this turkey was awesome. You too can make this at home with the fab sauce that came with it.
Top tip here. DON’T COOK IT ON DIRECT HEAT – it will burn. Cook on indirect heat (the coals of the bbq are around, not directly under the turkey) and it will be the bee’s knees.
Or – cook it in salt. Now this was something I had heard of but never seen. Essentially, you stuff the turkey with flavour (including putting delicious flavours like orange and butter under the skin) then cover it with muslin, and encase the whole thing with a salt/ butter mixture.
You need a good 3 kg salt to do this, so it is a big job. You then cook it in the normal way in the oven, and it comes out covered in a hard plaster-of-Paris like salt coat. You need a hammer to open it, but the smell and deliciousness that comes out….. I’m trying this one at Christmas at my house.
I told you this trip was all about food, right. But also was about other things, and one of the best was something that really brings out the flavours of food. Just think, you use all your senses when you eat, and your eyes are really important.
So what they did for dessert was, to pull back the table-cloth, and cover the table with dessert. Literally on the table, so the table-top became the plate. It was breathtaking really, just a beautiful display that was mesmerizing. Swooshes of pureed fruit, macaroons scattered around, and to top it all, this delicious brownie with chocolate sauce and honeycomb in the middle. (Called the ‘Iceland Luxury Melting Chocolate Snowflake.’)
A few more desserts I loved (all centred around fruit):
- Iceland Fruity Eclairs: Pastry eclairs filled with a fruit filling
- Iceland Luxury Raspberry and Pistachio Layered Pavlova: Whipped lemon cream and raspberry sauce, layered with meringue
- Iceland Luxury Raspberry Panna Cotta Desserts: Dome-shaped pannacotta with a raspberry centre
I’ll tell you what – Iceland were showing us what they have, and I was seriously impressed. I thought I knew food and cooking, but I learned a lot that day. Thank you, Iceland, for the invite. Do check out their Iceland Christmas range for your holiday cooking this year.
As I said, I’m going to be tucking into some delicious lobster, followed by salt-baked turkey and then seriously indulging in their fantastic Iceland Luxury Melting Chocolate Snowflakes. In fact, I might have one or two of those before Christmas, just to check that they really are as good as I remember… and definitely a Christmas martini a day.
Here is how to make this Christmas Mincemeat Martini. Please do try it and if you do make it then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes. You can also share it on my Facebook page.
Thank you for reading my Christmas martini post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
This post is sponsored.
Don't forget to tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter if you try Mincemeat Christmas Martini! It is really, really awesome for me when you make one of my recipes and I'd love to see it. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thank you for reading Recipes from a Pantry.
Mincemeat Christmas Martini
- 25 ml Gin
- 25 ml Dark rum
- 12.5 ml Mincemeat infused syrup (recipe in notes)
- 25 ml Sweet vermouth
- Pour the Martini ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir for 30 seconds strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Serve with a mince pie on the side.