Sat | Aug 19, 2017

A Campari Christmas

Published:Thursday | December 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMNashauna Lalah
CGR Events' sous chef Damion Keating
Christmas is the perfect time for family and friends to enjoy a meal together and what better way to do it than with Campari?
Grilled beef tenderloin with sorrel chutney
Honey lemon chicken with fruit salsa, herbed roasted potato wedges and grilled asparagus.
Deli Platter of ham, turkey, cheese and olives.
Cheers all around between from left: Oniel Brissett, Alison Moss-Solomon, Tobi-Ann Chang, Nashauna Lalah, Dominique Bell and Natassia Morrison.
Flaming Campari Red Christmas build in a bowl.
Campari infused cheesecake.
For those who like a little something sweet, the Pink Pussycat is perfect.
The gorgeous Tobi-Ann Chang enjoying her Campari Spritz
Campari Red Christmas
The beautiful centre piece by Tai Flora perfect for your Chiristmas dinner table.
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A great Christmas dinner requires four ingredients: good food, great company, fabulous decor and amazing cocktails.

On a recent Sunday, these elements came together to make an unforgettable afternoon. It was a menu of gastronomic proportions created by GCG Events, presented against a background of seasonal red decor created with expertise by Thai Flora. All this, with the proverbial cherry on top - delectable Campari cocktails.

While guests munched on appetisers of salmon and cream cheese bruschetta spread and a deli platter of ham, turkey, olives and vegetable sticks and dip, the taste buds were tantalised by a refreshing Campari mint spritz. Not only was it the perfect starter cocktail, but if you were new to Campari, it was perfect to get your palate acclimatised. If you were as seasoned as some of the dinner guests, it was very refreshing on what was a warm Sunday afternoon.

CGR Events presented a masterpiece and the conversation was suddenly hushed. Thoughts focused on the grilled beef tenderloin with sorrel chutney; honey lemon grilled chicken with fruit salsa; herb-roasted potato wedges; and grilled asparagus and baby carrots.

Things got even hotter when bartender Maurice Chung and his Sorrel Campari creation - presented with dancing flames - made a grand entrance. The drink was also fuelled by Wray & Nephew White Rum.

The first sip of the very tasty concoction created a buzz in the room. While conversations covered many topics, ranging from politics to religion to the nuances of male and female relationships, inevitably, talk returned to the cocktails.

The best is always saved for last, and that was the case with the Campari-infused cheesecake. It was gobbled up in no time, even before the final sweet treat cocktail - the Pink Panther - was presented. It was a mixture of Campari and rum cream. Enough said. One thing is for sure: everyone present will have a Campari Christmas, and so can you. Incorporate the recipes below into your Christmas feast. Remember, as always, to drink responsibly.

 

Tablescape tips by Tai Flora

 

Pick a theme: Incorporate more of our heritage and colours around the table this year.

Use the guideline 'less is more': That helps keep things and the budget balanced! Keep it simple, but significant.

Collect the items progressively: Some people may have had the same tablecloths and dinner plates for years, maybe some things were passed down from your mother, some things you may need to purchase. Don't wait until the season, take advantage of the sales before and after Christmas. This way, when Christmas rolls around, you are already prepared. This will eliminate being overwhelmed and going over budget.

Mix and match is OK: There is more interest with coordinating rather than matching table pieces. Use dinner plates, bowls and glassware from different sets.

Think outside the box: Be creative! Watch DIY shows, go to the hardware store, get the kids and hubby to help. Have fun! Use napkin rings made from ribbon and a few small Christmas balls pinned together with a safety pin. Use candleholders made from old vases and use ornaments and battery-operated votive candles. Put together centrepieces by placing different sizes of white candles and ornaments on chargers. These things make for an amazing tablescape.

Campari Spritz

- 1oz Campari

- Topped with Cinzano Prosecco Sparkling Wine

- Splash of Soda Water

Served over ice and garnished with orange wheel.

Campari Red Christmas

Build in punch bowl:

- 3oz Campari

-1oz J. Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum

- 1 quart sorrel

-Add orange wheels, sorrel fruit and pimento seeds.

- 1oz J. Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum

Set it on fire and serve over ice.

Pink Pussycat

- 2oz Campari

- 2oz Sangster's Original Jamaica Rum Cream

Serve over ice, garnished with mint leaves.