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Food and drink trends expert, Libby Robertson, reveals the simple ways to refresh the seasonal classics you’ll be serving this Christmas.

Weary of eating the same old Christmas classics? Keen for something new to toast the festive season with? Food and drink trends expert Libby Robertson has the answer, with three simple twists to some Christmas favourites, guaranteed to add some extra sparkle to your holiday repertoire. 

While Christmas is synonymous with tradition, Brits are showing themselves to be keen to roll up their sleeves and get experimenting in the kitchen this season. Emerging trends such as spiced and exotic meats are being opted for over age-old dry turkey, and easy-to-prepare cocktails are also being favoured to seasonal bedrocks like mulled wine. 

“2015 will see a modernisation to Christmas with really unusual trends popping up from this year that have even been inspiring top restaurant chefs,” says Libby.  “As you fill your trolley for the festive season ahead, take a look at the twists you can make to the Christmas classics to impress your guests.” 

Sausage Rolls but not as you know them…
Sausage rolls have been a mainstay on the Christmas party menu in Britain for generations but ever since the New York Times tweeted a standard sausage roll recipe this year, their popularity in the US has soared. Patriotic Brits have responded to this increased demand by experimenting with numerous twists on sausage roll recipes. The Ginger Pig restaurant now serves a pork and Stilton variation while Two Doors Down in North London has even created a quails egg sausage roll. Try creating your own unique fillings to surprise your guests this Christmas, such as caramelised and blue cheese stuffing or sage and apple for a festive treat.

Say goodbye to dry and dull turkey…
A multi-cultural twist on classic British dishes is the new craze being used by some of Britain’s top chefs as the nation’s taste buds continue to evolve to enjoy more spicy foods. Leading London restaurants like Dishoom[ are now serving up dishes like Turkey Raan, which is cooked at a low temperature, marinated with spices and braised for three hours.  Adding spice to your turkey and all the trimmings is easy to do and this year many celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver have been championing the use of spice to flavour our traditional Christmas meats. Nigel Slater even suggests beef with Madeira and mustard gravy for something a little different.

Christmas Cocktail Hour….
As the cocktail culture continues to sweep the nation, some of the country’s leading bars are creating their own takes on classic cocktails, giving them a unique twist. One cocktail leading the trend is the new Flat White martini, following its creation in Selfridges’ trendy Forest Bar last month.  A twist on the classic Espresso martini, the Flat White martini sees Baileys original Irish cream mixed with vodka and espresso to create a smoother, richer blend. The cocktail, which is currently taking London by storm, has recently been spotted in the hands of Alice Temperley, Arizona Muse, Laura Bailey, X Factor presenter Caroline Flack and even the Bond girl herself, Olga Kurylenko. Everyone knows Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass of Baileys and with the Flat White martini boasting such a simple recipe it’s an easy one to create at home, for your own glamorous Christmas party.


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A twist on the festive classics
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