With Christmas just around the corner alongside other gatherings and celebrations, it's that time of year where I try to come up with a few new ideas for holiday entertaining. This season I have teamed up with Urban Outfitters to bring you one of my favourite cocktail recipes and a few little tips for fun and affordable gift-giving. UO is always one of my favourite stores to pop into when I'm in New York. With everything from dresses to polaroid cameras, records, homewares and beauty products, they offer a fashionable and accessible take on just about anything you could need.
First up is this Cocktail recipe, created with the help of my little brother (and cocktail mastermind), Tyrone. With December being the start of our Summer, I wanted something that is light and refreshing but still has that festive and spicy element.
Pineapple Spiced Rum Cocktail
1 and a half shots (45mls) of Mount Gay or other medium rum
Half a shot (15mls) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 slice freshly cut pineapple
150mls pineapple juice
Egg white (optional)
Method: Create mixture of 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, half a tea spoon sugar and ¼ tea spoon ground nutmeg.
Prepare pineapple by coring and slicing into 1-2cm slices and removing skin leaving one triangle with skin on for the garnish. Coat generously with ground spice mixture on top side. Place pineapple on grill tray into oven at 180 degrees, cook for approximately 50 minutes until golden and caramelised.
Slice cooked pineapple into chunks and add to cocktail mixer*. Muddle pineapple chunks and then add rum, lemon juice add dash of egg white if desired (creates a frothy texture). Add ice to mixer and shake vigorously until ingredients are combined.
Strain into glass over fresh ice. Garnish with pineapple triangle, cinnamon quill and mint sprig.
*We used the Makerskit Mason Cocktail Kit
Next up is gift-giving. This can be one of the most enjoyable, but also stressful, parts of the holidays. I always find my self doing last minute shopping and being stuck for inspiration when it comes to finding the perfect gifts. At the moment I'm saving for my next trip, so I decided to keep gifts nice and simple this year.
Rather than buying individual presents for my friends, distant relatives and colleagues, I have instead opted for more of a lucky-dip approach. Depending on who you are entertaining for (the men in your life might not want bath salts, but never say never!), I have a bunch of smaller gifts (between $15-$30), all wrapped simply in coloured card using washi tape and string. These are placed on a tray or bowl at the front door, and guests are invited to take one at random as they leave. A fun and easy party favour! I used Aquarian Rose Body Oil and Herbivore Botanicals Bath Salts in the examples above.
Photos by Ana Suntay-Tanedo