Tag Archives: Winter Sangria

Christmas Recipes…Naga Vodka Bloody Mary…Cocktails anyone?


Christmas is coming only 33 sleeps…Chrismas Pudding(tick), Christmas Cake(tick)…Christmas Cocktails and drinks …they need to be tested and triple-tested (Hic)

Guess who got a bottle of Naga Vodka? A few of them might bring the New Year in with a


In the meantime, I will give you some lovely recipes which don’t pack quite so much of a punch…As this might…

So come on own up has anyone been brave enough to try this??

Next one of my Favourites…




  • I litre bottle of your favourite vodka
  • 10 Lemons
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 cups of granulated sugar

Let’s Brew!

Well, lets cook wasn’t really appropriate …Was it???

First, wash and peel those lemons and put the peels in a glass container ( big) enough to also hold the litre of vodka.

Leave to soak for at least 10 days. then drain off the liquid and dispose of the peels.

Make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water, cool and add to the lemon/vodka mixture. using a clean coffee filter strain the liquid…Voila!

You now have your own homemade Limoncello…Enjoy!

This one is a lovely non-alcoholic apple-based drink.

  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 mace blade
  • 2 whole cloves
  • small strip fresh ginger
  • 1 clementine with the peel very finely zested.
  •  100 gm golden castor sugar

Let’s Cook!

Heat the apple juice with the whole spices, ginger, clementine zest and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then strain the syrup into small bottles.

Refrigerate until required and serve in a glass with some apple slices and ice or warm with a stick of cinnamon it is also lovely drizzled over ice cream.

My favourite Tanqueray Gin no less and a tonic recipe ..you will never ever pull that metal ring and pour it over your gin again…This is sublime, the ultimate in a mixer and just what gin deserves and no I am not including the recipe for you…you will have to pop over to Chez’s blog and find it…haha…….Now you can all guess what I will be making this weekend 😉 If I can get Cinchona bark which gives the quinine flavour of tonic…..but Chez has it covered if you can’t she has given us the link to a man who can!

Who doesn’t love a glass of Irish Cream over ice??

Irish Cream:

Ingredients: Makes about 1 litre.

  • 1 2/3 cup(400 ml) Irish Whiskey
  • 1 cup double(heavy) cream
  • 1  14oz can sweetened condensed milk…
  • 3 tbsp Chocolate syrup or chocolate topping..
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.

Cooks Tips: Irish Cream or Baileys is now sold in many flavours which means you can be inventive…Below are a few ideas…You can also make a dairy-free version which is equally as good…

  1. Replace the coffee and chocolate syrup with Kahlua.
  2. Add orange extract and extra chocolate.
  3. For a dairy-free version use coconut milk to make sweetened condensed milk and then use coconut milk instead of cream.
  4. Use Drambuie instead of coffee and add some Cointreau and a spot more chocolate sauce.
  5. if you don’t have chocolate syrup, use 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder instead. I suggest whisking the cocoa powder with a tbsp of cream until smooth.
  6. Your alcohol…your choice how about Southern Comfort and Amaretto. Brandy… it was awesome! or Bourbon.

Let’s Brew!

Blend all ingredients(except) for the alcohol) together lightly as you don’t want to curdle your cream add your alcohol and then refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice…or buy some pretty glass bottles add a bow and a message…Now, who wouldn’t love to receive that as a Christmas Gift?

How easy is that? plus …you can get about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Irish Cream which we tested alongside Bailey’s and it was very close…yay……

Bloody Mary’s… just saying! One of my favourite cocktails and this Naga Vodka which my son bought me apparently the best way to drink it is in a Bloody Mary.. Shots are not advised! I am waiting until New Year’s Eve until I sample it ….Have any of you been that brave and tried Naga Vodka yet ????



  • 3 ¼ cups of tomato juice
  • 1 ¼ cups of vodka ( or thereabouts) Hic
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or peri  peri sauce
  • 2 tsp Lea & Perrins sauce ( Worcestershire sauce)
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 stalks of celery with leaves.

Let’s Brew!

Combine everything together in a jug or cocktail shaker and TASTE… this is where I adjust and give it a tweak or two…I make my own tomato juice and as tomatoes vary so does the TASTE….It is a fine art and needs much testing to get this just right …Hic
Chill in the fridge until required… this recipe makes about 6 glasses.

To serve.

Add some ice to a chilled glass and fill with the Bloody Mary mix…pop in your celery stick and a slice of lime and or some olives and if you are feeling really….well… If you have some bacon to use up then crisp it up and stick a slice in with the celery… Anything goes when I am making cocktails.

I love the taste of Chai Tea so when I saw this recipe for a Chai Tea Egg Nog I thought…Yes, please!


How about a Winter Sangria?


  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup (237 ml) brandy
  • 1 cup (237 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (237 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, arils removed
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick

In a large jug or serving bowl, stir together the wine, brandy, pomegranate juice, and orange juice. Add orange slices, pomegranate arils, cranberries and cinnamon stick. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Serve with ice cubes.


On a cold winter’s day a mug or three of mulled wine will warm the cockles of your heart…I have many fond memories and the mug of my trip to the German Christmas Markets and my mugs of Gluewein…Just in case you missed it the recipe can be found on my Christmas Treats and Traditions post.


All of these could be given as a lovely Christmas present and everyone loves a gift which is made by your own fair hands much nicer isn’t it????

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome once again to Whimsical Wednesdays where I unashamedly indulge myself…I do hope you enjoy my meanderings today…Come with me and let’s begin…These posts are never planned… if I come across anything which I love or which tugs at my heartstrings then I save it for Whimsical Wednesdays… the rest just happens…It is wherever my thoughts take me at that time…Mainly they are random and unplanned…I mean they are the best thoughts…Enjoy! xxx

Christmas…gaining momentum…In our house, the tree is up…and so were the scales yesterday morning…3lb…Guess who gave themselves a big talking too…Yep..Moi…I have been cold I mean for me 9 degrees is cold aka freezing.. Cardi weather…

I also discovered that these lovely little fried donut thingys tasted lovely with a little golden syrup and even better with bananas and ice cream…In my defence, I had shed loads of bananas to eat…Yep, I have made a few loaves of banana bread as well…No More…That’s It!

That part of the local economy bonding and supporting will be no more…3lb be gone…..

Isn’t this just the cutest??? We kept horses for quite a few years and they are the loveliest of animals…For instructions on how to make this lovely wreath Click Here


I so love this…Such a pretty wreath…

Question: What did the other reindeer not let Rudolph do because of his shiny red nose?
Answer: Join in any reindeer games…Boom! Boom!

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute …intrigued I took her up on this offer so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 15

 by S C Richmond


   Sitting in the safety of her room she was angry at herself for running away, she had seen George as she ran past the window and she thought he had glimpsed her but she had kept running. She no longer knew what to think, she took her necklace off and looked at it carefully, but she didn’t know what it represented and she was beginning to think that the only way she was going to find out was to stand up to Carl. She was more than a little nervous about how to approach that as she had been warned about him, although she had no idea why. She was very aware that he knew something about her and she needed to know what that was. That meant she had to go and find him.

   She took off her necklace and tucked it into a small bag that she slipped over her wrist if it was causing this much excitement and it was worth something she thought it would be best not to wear it all of the time, until she could find someone to take a look at it for her, maybe Mr. James would know someone. She stepped out of her flat and looked around she couldn’t see Carl but she was sure that he would turn up if she walked around the shops for a while, he had every other day. So she wandered towards Georges shop but it was still closed up. Then she changed direction and walked towards the bakers, she was still promising herself one of those indulgent cakes in the window, after all, she had some money to spare in her pouch. Still, there was no sign of Carl, just as she wanted to see him it seemed he had disappeared.

   Being unsure what to do next she bought two cakes and went to see Kathy, she might have some idea of what she could do now.


Question: Which Christmas song contains the lyric “Everyone dancing merrily in the new old fashioned way?”

Answer: “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”

Little Lily has always loved to help me cook…These are some of her early biscuit makings…Pink of course as most little girls prefer a pink Christmas…

iced biscuits 1

Obviously, I supervised her and would do anything which would not be safe for her to do but she sieves the flour, mixes, and rolls out. She cut out her shapes using my Christmas cutters. She also iced the biscuits herself and put the sprinkles on.


  • 140 gm of butter
  • 100 gm of soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 350 gm flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten

Melt the butter, sugar, and syrup and then let it cool for 10 minutes.
Sieve the flour, baking soda and pour in the melted butter plus the egg. Stir to combine.

Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 10 minutes

When chilled roll out to 5 mm thick and cut out shapes. Put on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake at 200C for about 12 minutes until golden turning the tray halfway through cooking.

When cold ice as desired. Lily wanted pink and white with sugar strands so even the penguin was pink…lol The icing apart from the first one when I showed her how to flood the biscuits she did herself…

This biscuit recipe is nice and the biscuits are quite soft in the middle but firm on the outside. it cuts out nice and clean it is a little crumbly and soft when not cooked but manageable..well… Lils managed so I am sure anyone else can.

Question: In the movie Elf, how does Buddy get to the North Pole?

Answer: He hides in Santa’s sack


Time for some music…


music notes

From 1980 until 1986 we heard St Winifreds School Choir singing …There’s No one quite like Grandma…Awww that tugs grandma’s heartstrings. The Human league topped the charts the next year with Don’t you Want Me…a catchy tune and then we got Renee and Renato…Saving our love…The flying Pickets treated us to… Only You…It was then time for Band-Aid’s first Christmas song …It was a joint effort by a rag-tag group of 1980’s musicians and pop stars known as Band-Aid… The original 1984 song, with Bono, Boy George, George Michael, Sting and Simon le Bon, raised £8million for famine-stricken Ethiopia. We then had a rock and rolling Christmas the following year with Shakin Stevens…Merry Christmas everyone…

Last, in this roundup, we had the lively Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson… Well, it was a hard choice but…Shakin Stevens just pipped Band-Aid at the post for me…


Today is National Human Right’s day… It is also Nobel Prize Day…

On December 10th, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This milestone document proclaimed the inalienable rights that every human being is entitled to. These human rights exist regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, opinion, origin, or another status. The UDHR is the most translated document in the world. It has been translated in over 500 languages.

Many of the promises included in the UDHR have yet to be realized. However, the document has stood the test of time. The document’s importance empowers every human being in the world. Along with empowering individuals to stand up for their own human rights, it seeks to enable them to stand up for the rights of others.

Use this #HumanRightDay when posting on social media…

The December birth flower is the Narcissus...often mistaken for a daffodil…The yellow of this flower reminds us that the cold winter will not last forever…Bringing the narcissus into your home is said to attract wealth and good luck…Herbalists use narcissus to relieve stress and to quiet busy minds…

To me, the red of Christmas is brought to life by the beautiful red of the poinsettias…To many, the shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought of as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red coloured leaves symbolise the blood of Christ. The white leaves of the Poinsettia represent his purity.


Native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as ‘Taxco del Alarcon’ where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them ‘cuetlaxochitl’. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today we call the sap latex!)

The Poinsettia is also the National flower of Madagasgar.

With Christmas coming up I always love to get out my cocktail shaker and my punch bowl and make some cocktails…This one always goes down well…

How about a Winter Sangria?


  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup (237 ml) brandy
  • 1 cup (237 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (237 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, arils removed
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick

In a large jug or serving bowl, stir together the wine, brandy, pomegranate juice, and orange juice. Add orange slices, pomegranate arils, cranberries, and cinnamon stick. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Serve with ice cubes.

Do you know? Which female artist features with the Pogues on the song ‘Fairytale of New York’?…..


That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…xx

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx