Feeling festive? I hope we all are, by now! So that you can enjoy the holiday season and keep our favourite historical family in mind at the same time, I give you my Tudor-inspired toastmakers to enjoy* during the Christmas season, for New Years, for the third Thursday in January, or for whenever you like. I did create these so do blame me if you love them or loathe them; I hope it’s the former!
(Yes, there are generalisations of each Tudor’s personality in this piece and I realise that we can’t pigeonhole them with just a few words; please allow the descriptions for the sake of the post. Thanks!)
The Henry VII (dependable and non-extravagant) Mix a bottle of shiraz with 1 cup of orange juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 sliced orange, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of cardamom pods, and about 5 whole cloves. Simmer and serve very warm.
The Henry VIII (big and charismatic) Drop 2 big scoops of dark chocolate ice cream into a frosty mug and top with cold Guinness.
The Catherine of Aragon (long-lasting and loyal) For white sangria, mix 1 bottle of white Rioja with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 sliced peach, 1 sliced mango, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 2 sliced apples, and 1 sliced lime in a large punch bowl. Add ice.
The Anne Boleyn (spicy and spirited) In a martini glass, pour 2 oz vodka, 2 0z ginger brandy, and 1/4 cup lime juice; mix.
The Jane Seymour (low-key and family-oriented) For non-alcoholic eggnog, slowly heat 1 cup of milk and a 1/4 cup of condensed milk with a pinch of cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar. Very slowly, whisk some of the the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture drop by drop, then add it all back to the saucepan with a sprinkle of nutmeg and 1/2 cup heavy cream, whisking constantly.
The Anne of Cleves (pleasant and barely noticeable) Pour a tall wine glass of cold riesling and garnish with a lemon wedge
The Katherine Howard (light and bubbly) Add just a drop of peach nectar to a Champagne flute, top with Champagne or sparkling wine, and float a few fun raspberries at the top
The Catherine Parr (a strong ending) To a cup of hot coffee, add 1/2 cup Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of ground cocoa.
The Edward VI (small and a bit salty/sour!) Make a mini-margarita by combining 1/2 cup of lime juice with 1 oz tequila and a splash of triple sec, over ice. Be sure to salt the rim!
The Lady Jane Grey (over in an instant!) Mix 1/2 oz of amaretto with 1/2 oz of Kahlua, add a splash of cream, down as a shot, finished!
The Mary I (old-fashioned and staunch) Pour a dash of Angostura bitters and an equal amount of water over 1 tbsp sugar, add 1 1/2 oz whiskey and set a twist of lemon peel on top.
The Elizabeth I (the center of attention) Pour 1 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps into a heat-proof glass, add 1 1/2 oz of Bacardi 151 and a splash of pomegranate juice, stand well back and carefully light with a long match or lighter, blow out after a few seconds.**
*Enjoy responsibly and if you’re of-age, of course. **Obviously, do not drink this whilst it is still flaming and I have no responsibility for complications that come from this process. ***Silly that anyone needs to add disclaimers such as these but at the present time it seems the norm.