The seas and lush, rolling hills of Ayrshire and the south-west of Scotland are well-known for producing a wonderful larder of food and drink. That is worth celebrating at any time of year - but with Christmas festivities rapidly approaching, this selection of cocktails created by Caroline Kennedy and her team of expert mixologists at Trump Turnberry, will help you cause quite a “stir” at your next drinks party.

G & Tree

The Herald: G & TreeG & Tree

 “This pretty gin cocktail is a Christmas party in a glass,” says Caroline Kennedy. “It would lovely as an aperitif or as a pick-me-up after shopping."

The Hills and Harbour gin, made nearby in Newton Stewart, is infused with Noble Fir needles so it’s perfect for this time of year when people are starting to put up their trees. 

“The recipe includes a homemade fir syrup ... don’t be put off by that at all though as it is very easy, just pluck a few needles off the Christmas tree and pop them in the syrup overnight,” adds Caroline.

“When this is combined with the cranberry it makes a beautiful pink party drink. I am sure Santa will love it too … it will put a bit of fizz in his tank.”

50 ml Hills & Harbour Gin
50ml Cranberry juice
15 ml Fir syrup
15ml St Germain elderflower liqueur (optional)
50ml Soda (or sparking elderflower if St Germain not used)
Orange zest and fir sprig to garnish

First make the syrup. Pluck a sprig from a fir tree - your Christmas tree if it is up. Noble Fir, which is used in Hills & Harbour’s botanicals, is ideal. But Douglas Fir, Spruce or Pine will also work. Rinse the needles in water and roll between your palms to release the natural oils. Infuse overnight in sugar syrup, shop bought or homemade (ratio of 1:1 sugar to water).

To make the cocktail, half fill a glass with ice.  Combine gin with Fir syrup, cranberry juice and St Germain and pour into glass. Top with soda (or sparkling elderflower). Garnish and serve.

Some Like It Hot

The Herald: Some Like It HotSome Like It Hot

“You can enjoy this rum cocktail hot or cold … but we prefer it hot, especially after a nice long winter walk,” says Caroline.

Some Like It Hot celebrates the days of the great maritime merchants of the west of Scotland who brought barrels of sugar and warming spices from the Caribbean to Scotland - in those days rum, not whisky, was distilled here and the caves on Ayrshire’s coast were thought to have been used by smugglers. 

“It’s fiery and wicked … but romantic too. You can imagine drinking this in a Christmas market,” says Caroline.

“This cocktail includes juice from apples which have been so abundant this autumn. Make your own or buy a good cloudy one, such as Copella.

“We suggest a piece of ginger about half the size of a thumbnail, but you can use more if you want to give it an extra kick.”

50ml Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
50ml Cloudy apple juice
1cm Square cube fresh ginger
15ml Cinnamon syrup. (Buy ready-made or add two cinnamon sticks to sugar syrup and leave to infuse overnight.)
75ml Hot water
Two dashes of walnut bitters (optional)
Fresh apple fan and cinnamon stick to garnish

Muddle fresh ginger with cloudy apple juice. If you don’t have a muddler, use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently crush the ginger in the apple juice.

Combine hot water with rum, apple juice and cinnamon syrup and combine with the apple juice.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and fan of apple and serve.

For a chilled version: Change hot water for 50ml cold water and serve over ice.

Perfect Ten

The Herald: Perfect TenPerfect Ten

“This is a special variation on an Old Fashioned - our most popular cocktail at Turnberry. People order them at lunch, before dinner, after dinner … it’s great at any time,” says Caroline.

You may be familiar with the 19th hole but the Arran course at Trump Turnberry has nine holes … so the bar is the tenth. And what better way to celebrate than with a beautiful, mellow ten-year-old malt form the Isle of Arran? But you don’t have to be playing golf to love this cocktail.

“Its honeyed, biscuity notes are comforting and soothing. It’s a pure joy to drink and a great way to begin a journey into whisky appreciation too,” adds Caroline.

50ml Arran 10 single malt whisky
1tsp Clear honey
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel studded with cloves to garnish

Stir honey into whisky until dissolved.

Add Angostura bitters and stir again. 

Add ice to the top of the glass.

Garnish and serve.

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