Each Christmas, cocktail king Oisín Davis concocts an irresistibly drinkable seasonal brew for friends and family – here he shares his recipe for his all-Irish cider and whiskey punch, plus tips for rustling up other tantalising tipples at home.
Oisín Davis may be one of the country’s most in-demand mixologists, but he prides himself on having perfected the art of the no-fuss cocktail. Forget Tom Cruise’s flair stylings: far from being fancy, Oisín’s preferred drinks call for zero cocktail equipment – no muddlers, no mixers, just fruit juice and lashings of liquor. They’re the opposite of 007, really: more stirred than shaken. He says, “My philosophy is that, with the same level of skill required to make a really simple food dish, you can make an elegant party drink.” So, no time like the present to get started …
YOU WILL NEED
* 1 bottle of Jameson
* 1/2 litre of pressed apple juice
* 1 jar of Irish honey
* 1 jar of boiling water
* 4 sticks of rhubarb
* 1.5 litres of dry Irish cider
* juice and zest of 3 lemons
1 Wash and slice the rhubarb and place it in a domestic blender with the lemon zest and juice, apple juice, honey and boiling water.
2 Get the lid on it and blitz till smooth. Strain with a baking sieve to remove all solids.
3 Start mixing it with the Jameson by pouring equal amounts of both into a large Kilner jar and shaking it with 20 per cent ice.
4 Strain using the baking sieve into a punch bowl and top up with the cider.
5 Garnish with thin slices of rhubarb and lemon.
** Expert tip **
Sweet divine Sugar syrup is really simple to make and always worth having on hand. Simply mix equal amounts of boiling water and sugar, and bottle it! This can be made in 30 seconds. You don’t even need to put the syrup on the hob. Perfect for making mojitos and whiskey sours (although be warned: mojitos, while delicious, are not the ideal party drink – they’re labour-intensive and easy to mess up). Alternatively, invest in some date syrup, a richly flavoured alternative to sugar syrup – the tannins react very well with whiskey too (try Meridian Natural Date Syrup, €4.35, nourish.ie).
Pick up the gorgeous November-December issue, on shelves now, for more of Oisín’s expert tips for making crowd-pleasing Christmas cocktails…
Photography Nathalie Marquez Courtney