No one informed us - family bereavement
Should we ban them? - politicians on TV
Hard to develop relationship - family far away
Make your Christmas that little bit merrier with an assortment of delicious festive drinks. Round off your Christmas lunch with an orange coffee liqueur or whip up a champagne cocktail ahead of New Year's Eve. Find your perfect holiday tipple with these great recipes. You could even try something a bit exotic while you're at it and, if you're feeling creative, mix up your own and adding it to our recipe cupboard here.
Pour the brandy and Cointreau into a glass over a sugar lump.
Top up with champagne and garnish with orange and lemon.
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
Dry shake the ingredients to emulsify, add the ice, shake and serve straight up.
Add some lemon juice and you're good to go.
Pour the Angostura Bitters into a tumbler, swirl it around to coat and pour away the excess.
Half fill the glass with cracked ice, add the gin, brandy, lime juice and sugar syrup (or caster sugar) and stir well to mix.
Top up with ginger beer and decorate with a sprig of mint and a slice lime and cucumber.
Serves as many as your bottle allows
Put the sugar and vodka in a wide-necked preserving jar with a close fitting lid.
Give it a stir every time you walk past it over a day or so until the sugar has dissolved.
With a small sharp knife, make 40 cuts in the washed and dried orange. Push a whole coffee bean into each cut and then place it in the vodka.
Pick up the jar and swirl the contents at least once a day for 2 weeks. Over the next 2 weeks, swirl when you remember. It will be fabulous after 4 weeks, and will improve daily thereafter.
Remove the orange carefully and leave to drain through a sieve, so that as much liqueur as possible is returned to the bulk before bottling. Be careful not to squeeze the orange at this stage as it will make your liqueur look very cloudy.
Once your lovely clear liqueur is bottled, squeeze the life out of the orange and drink the cloudy liqueur straight away.
"My father always used to make a coffee laced with rum after we got back from midnight mass. After all that fasting and abstaining in Advent, it had an amazing effect!"
Usually served at room temperature.
"I only drink Tia Maria at Christmas - I never touch it at other times, but it's lovely after Christmas pudding especially when I can slide down in my chair and have a little snooze after all the dashing about!"
Serves as many as your bottle allows
Pick your sloes when they are nice and purple, but before they become overripe and squishy.
Wash the sloes, put them in a bown and pierce them to allow the juice to come out. The accepted method is to pierce each piece of fruit with a darning needle, but an easier technique is to plunge a carving fork into the bowlful and piece several in one go.
Pour the gin into a jug. Fill both empty bottles with fruit and sugar (approximately equal amounts or to taste) and top up with gin. If any gin is left over, drink it! Cap, shake well, and put away for a month, shaking every week or so, or when you remember.
Handy hint: If you don't like sloes bobbing against your lips, pour it through a strainer into the glass. The longer you can leave it, the better it becomes.
"If you have it in a mug you can pretend it's cold coffee if the vicar pops in!"
"The orange juice counts as one of my five a day!"
"With added brandy, of course...or brandy and Babycham!"
If you're putting on a fancy soirée, you might want to make an impression by serving up your cocktail menu with a bit of pizzazz. Need a helping hand? Here are some top tips:
"Rub the sugar lump over the outside of an orange to collect some of the volatile oil before you put it into the glass. And it's always a good idea to chill cocktail glasses before using them. Diluting cocktails with ice is not the plan."
"Prosecco with hibiscus flower in the bottom of glass looks nice and gives a different slant on apéritif."
And if you're looking for teetotal tipples to whip up this Christmas, visit our non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails page.