WITH CHRISTMAS fast approaching, many people are looking for ways to make this year's festive season extra special.
If you're looking to make this festive period one to remember, why not experiment a little by incorporating a new ingredient into your Christmas food and drink?
Not only is Guinness Ireland's most popular stout and one of Ireland's most loved exports, but the malty sweetness of the drink works perfectly with festive food too. If you're looking for some inspiration for including the beverage in your festive celebrations, Alliance Online Ireland are here to share five of the most creative ways to use Guinness this Christmas.
You'll have probably already enjoyed a delicious mulled wine or cider before, but did you know that Guinness is tasty mulled too? The malty sugariness and smooth texture works perfectly with the mulled spices, making this an ideal warming festive tipple.
And this winter drink is easy enough to make too. All you need to do is combine 500ml of apple juice with a 440ml can of Guinness, half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, and a star anise, and leave it to simmer on a medium heat. For an extra hint of sweetness, mix in a tablespoon of honey just before removing the pan from the heat. Make sure to remove the cinnamon stick and star anise before serving in heat proof glasses.
Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy a sweet treat. But why not give your festive chocolate a twist this year by including some Guinness in the recipe? Guinness chocolate truffles are the perfect sweet to enjoy on Christmas evening, and you can even give them to loved ones as a present too!
To make these tasty treats, melt a kilogram of the chocolate of your choosing. The rich flavour of dark chocolate works particularly well with the malty Guinness flavour, but any type would work well, and you can even do a mixture.
Then heat 100ml of Guinness with 400ml of cream and mix with the melted chocolate. Allow this to cool for around an hour, and then create small truffle balls, using around a tablespoon of the mixture for each truffle. You can then decorate the truffles with anything you fancy, such as shredded coconut, freeze-dried raspberries, or white chocolate drizzle, and store them in the fridge until they're ready to be served.
While brandy sauce may be your go to pairing for a Christmas pudding, Guinness cream is a delicious alternative that will take your festive dessert to the next level. And as it's so versatile, it can be used on a wide range of other sweet treats too, such as on a Bailey's hot chocolate or with some festive gingerbread.
To make a Guinness cream, simply combine 235ml of whipping cream, 3 tablespoons of Guinness, 70g of powdered sugar and half a scraped vanilla bean (or half a tablespoon of vanilla extract for an easier alternative) in a bowl and mix for a few minutes. You can tell when the mixture is ready when you see medium peaks start to form in the bowl. If you're looking for an extra thick and creamy consistency, try adding a couple of tablespoons of mascarpone to the mixture too.
Looking to bring some extra flavour to your meat dish this Christmas? Make sure to add a delicious glaze to your main meal. Guinness glaze is great for adding a sweet and tangy taste to your dish, and it goes with a wide variety of meats too. Plus, it's incredibly simple to make, and only requires three ingredients: Guinness, honey, and sugar.
Simply whisk together 340ml of Guinness, 210g of Muscovado sugar, and 170ml of honey into a saucepan and bring it to boil. Then leave the mixture to simmer until it has reduced around half. Don't panic if the glaze looks too runny, as it thickens up as it cools. To use it, simply brush a generous amount of the mixture on whichever meat you're having on Christmas day, cook, and enjoy!
Who says that Guinness can't be fancy? This simple yet delicious festive tipple is the perfect drink to use for a Christmas day toast, and it only requires two ingredients. To make a black velvet cocktail, simply fill a champagne flute glass halfway with Guinness, and top it up with chilled champagne. While it may not seem like an obvious pairing, the creaminess of the Guinness perfectly compliments the fizz of the champagne to make this a delicious drink to enjoy throughout the festive season.