Sustainable Christmas Essentials: Cocktails To Condiments
Here are a few sustainable Christmas essentials that often get overlooked amongst all the talk of Christmas dinner and decorations. They’re zero-waste, great fun to craft and will make your festive season extra sustainable and special.
Fri 15 Nov 2019
Keen to have a more sustainable Christmas this year? If you’re incorporating some DIY and zero waste swaps into your festivities, don’t forget that this extends to Christmas trimmings, nibbles and drinks. These lesser talked about seasonal essentials can be extremely wasteful. Crafting your own zero waste Christmas cocktails and upcycled Christmas dinner place settings is a great opportunity to get some more sustainability into your holiday.
The focus tends to fall on vegan Christmas dinners, sustainable Christmas gift wrapping, ethical Christmas trees etc. These are all so important for the planet, but don’t let the festive details get forgotten!
1. Sweet Treats: Candied Peel To Chocolate Clusters
Sustainable sweet treats are essential to have around when you need something to go with your afternoon tea, or a pick me up after a wet winter walk… They do not have to be complicated or expensive either! Try stocking up your biscuit tin with some of these simple, sustainable sweets:
Treat 1. Dark chocolate covered candied orange peel from Went Here Ate this.
It's easy, it's vegan and the bitterness of the peel sets off the sweetness of the chocolate.
Treat 2: Sweet and spicy candied pecans by Delicious Table.
If you can never choose between sweet and savoury, these will satisfy your sugar and your salt cravings.
Treat 3: Dark chocolate almond and cranberry clusters from Love Food Nourish.
They're rich, decadent, crunchy and creamy. These easy-to-make clusters are a foodie favourite.
2. Christmas Cocktails: Rosie And Gin
Enjoy putting on drinks ‘dos’ to spread the festive cheer? Or are you just after something special and sustainable to sip on a cold winter’s night? This creative Christmas cocktail from Larder by Robin Gill will wow guests and warm your eco-friendly cockles.
You will need:
- 35ml Rosemary Gin (or whichever kind you have!)
- 10ml Campari
- 5ml gin
- 35ml grapefruit juice
- 10ml fresh lemon juice
- 15ml Sugar Syrup
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
If you or your friends are trying to cut back on the booze this year, this drink is easily adaptable. Sea Arch’s not gin is the perfect alternative.
Make your Rosie and Gin as follows:
Step one: Place you Rosemary in a mixing glass and muddle it by gently pressing down to release it’s aroma.
Step 2: Add all the other liquids with some ice and shake together.
Step 3: Fine-strain the mixture into a martini glass.
Step 4: Garnish your cocktail with the remaining sprig of rosemary, feel sophisticated and enjoy.
3. DIY Decorations: Origami Star
It's essential to set set the Christmassy scene with a few eco-friendly festive flourishes when you host your sustainable Christmas cocktail party. These eco-friendly origami stars are light, pretty and can be strewn over drinks tables, hung from picture frames, and displayed on the ethical Christmas tree.
They look lovely made from old newspapers or, like the ones in the image here, you could find some second hand music sheets in a charity shop and craft using those.
You will need:
- Old newspaper, music, or any other type of eco-friendly paper.
- Eco-friendly glue
- Whole punch
Follow Homemade Gift’s tutorial to make these lovely zero waste decorations.
4. Place Settings: Upcycled Fabric
There’s more to a sustainable Christmas dinner than the food. Making your own, personalised, zero waste place settings is a great way to use up any scraps of fabric you have lying around and make them look a bit fancy and festive.
You will need:
- Old material
- Twine or string
- Sprigs of rosemary, anything you have foraged or some sticks of cinnamon
There’s no set formula for this activity. The idea is to just layer up materials that have a mixture of patterns, textures and colours until you get a combination you’re pleased with.
Making Your Upcycled Christmas Place Settings
Step 1: If you have a few big pieces of fabric, you could wash them and cut them up for each place setting. Or, you could create a runner that stretches down the length of the table as shown in the picture.
Hessian has been used here and the rustic look goes really well with warm Christmas colours and smoother pieces of material.
One of the perks to setting up your dinner table in this way is that if you have a lot of mis-matched crockery or cutlery, your coordinated place settings will bring everything together.
Step 2: It looks lovely if you roll up a napkin on top of your material. Tie a piece of string or twine around it, and tuck in a sprig of something nice! You could use anything you’ve foraged like berries, or a dried orange slice that you made earlier. Sage leaves, cinnamon sticks and rosemary look beautiful.
Step 3: For the full homemade experience try making your own reusable Christmas crackers. These will go so much better with the rest of your hand crafted table. Plus, you can control what’s inside them, and have full creative and eco-conscious control over sustainable gifts and silly jokes.
5. Condiments: Christmas Chutney
When the (vegan) cheese board comes out at the end of the Christmas meal, it’s great to have a jar of something sweet, spicy and sustainable to make those salty flavours pop.
Have you gone for a vegan Christmas dinner? Keep the meat free flavours going right up to this course by trying this veggie and vegan friendly carrot, tomato and cardamom chutney by Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey.
After some vegan recipes to go with your place settings?
Check out these delicious and seasonal vegan dinner recipes
Still need to do some Christmas shopping?
Our Ultimate Ethical Christmas Gift Guide has 32 Eco-Friendly Presents for 2019
Are you a gin lover?
Read About How To Launch Your Own Sustainable Gin Distillery
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