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What To Do With the Embers of December?

Despite considerable cocktail consumption in December, we appear to have been left with a couple of leftovers!

As we needed a bit of time off from the party zone, we decided to use our mixology lab this month for more culinary pursuits. We were also looking to cut back a little on the heavy handed approach in December to Christmas cake, rich puddings and endless rounds of 'pass the chocolate'. We still wanted something that feels sweet and tempting, just a little lighter. So what did we come up with?

Both the Damson Vodka and the Christmas Liqueur work well mushed with a variety of other ingredients to make cheesecakes and various forms of Eton Mess, both of which can be made with lighter ingredients. So we headed to the supermarket to stock up with a few less decadent morsels to begin the experiments.

WILTSHIRE MESS

Eton mess is traditionally a mixture of strawberries, creram and pieces of meringue and is named after Eton College's annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School, where is was served. For our own version we flung together low fat greek yoghurt, pieces of meringue and a delicious mix of cherry compote and damson vodka. In the spirit of leftover value we did also drizzle a touch of our Christmas Liqueur.

DAMSON AND CHRISTMAS CHEESECAKE

We discovered that cheesecake can be as light or as heavy as you like. All you need is a biscuit base, made with or without melted butter and using lighter biscuits such as ginger or reduced sugar digestives. Simply crumble to a dustlike texture and put in the base of your chosen dessert vessel. When it comes to the creamy section you can be very light with just mixing low fat cream cheese and yogurt, going up the scale to using mascapone or condensed milk (lite versions of which do exist). Our favourite combination was mascapone and low fat greek yogurt. We added the obligatory Christmas Liqueur and dolloped upon the biscuit base. Again, in the spirit of leftover value we added our mixture of cherry compote and damson vodka.

We hope our culinary experiments inspire you to try your own versions. Do let us know how you get on.

Wiltshire Liqueur Company,
Henley Lodge, Henley,
Marlborough,
Wiltshire SN8 3RJ