Drink this season to be joyful, fa la la la la la la la!
‘Tis the season to be celebrating yet, people are doing the exact opposite. I mean, I get it; 2020 has been apocalyptic in every sense — no destructive ‘comet-to-end-it-all’ in sight yet but, it could be a possibility given how shitty the year turned out to be!
Just hear me out: you deserve to give yourself a break and have fun. Sure, the overly exciting Christmas party seems to be out of the question, however, a cosy meet-up with your besties or even just a pick-me-up treat is always a possibility. Everyone needs a bit of Christmas cheer, after all, ‘adulting’ in a crisis is hectic.
What better way to do this than with delish festive cocktails? I found the perfect way to unwind and introduce myself to some COVID-friendly socializing at the Capital Bar & Grill, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo with their Christmas-themed cocktail menu.
Is it cliché to say it seduced me? Because that’s exactly what it did. I started the night with “oh no! I can’t finish that drink” to chugging it down without regrets. For someone with a sweet tooth, it was heaven. It didn’t even feel like an alcoholic drink but was reminiscent of the creamiest dessert milkshake. A dash of peppermint underneath introduces you slowly into that Christmas feel. Don’t even get me started on the small ice crystals that come in as a surprise at the end of each sip — just delightful!
Stronger than the Casanova with major eggnog vibes, this drink was pretty rich! For anyone who’s had the pandan treats, this cocktail tastes like a creamy, alcoholic version of the dessert. To those who haven’t, it is quite sweet, almost as if you’re drinking the tail end of milky dessert that had a kick of spice.
Side note: I have to mention that by this point we were in a happy place, which was made even happier with the arrival of an array of bite-sized dishes. From calamari to tender mushroom cutlets, we were spoiled for choice. The attentive staff also kept refilling a cup of popcorn they noticed me enjoying — the royal treatment (of course this should be expected, it’s the Shangri-La, after all).
Another dessert-centric drink, the Joyeux Noel, lived up to its namesake with its cute appearance, not to mention it was comparable to a fancy latte — made fancier by the amaretto on the cream and my favourite Kahlua to top it off. With a strong milk base, you could see this being a hit in coffee shops, if you overlooked the obvious alcohol levels which had me quite light-headed by this point.
This drink appeared in an oh-so classy teacup and was delicious to boot. You can’t go wrong with this red wine choice, infused with cinnamon, orange juice, bay leaves, and star anise amongst other things. It was so smooth to drink, I am willing to add it to my nighttime schedule before bed, where all the delicate flavours blend into a warm and comforting mix. Imagine sitting curled up in front of your tree, Netflix on, maybe, with a warm drink — the drink in hand would be this version of Mulled Mead.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
As I tottered off to my cab, warm and immensely happy, I couldn’t fight off the thought that “Yup, it’s Christmas time now!”. Maybe festive drink concoctions wouldn’t have been my first thought to introduce the season, but it was effective; surrounded by the calm atmosphere and soft chatter of the bar, I felt hopeful for the festive season for the first time in a long time.
PS – Don’t forget to drink responsibly.
Note: The menu also includes non-alcoholic drinks if you’re not up for a boozy drinking sesh. Also, if Paolo De Venuto, Beverage Manager for Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, is around, ask him about the backstory of the drinks, particularly the Casanova!
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