There are just 87 days until Christmas but normally we don't get much into the spirit of things ooh ... until at least a week before. Bah humbug!
This year we are actually debating whether to put the tree up on Christmas eve, and after Little D has retired, such are his mountaineering aspirations. On several occasions we have caught him browsing the laminated book of dreams (aka The Argos catalogue) for crampons and ice picks. We are quite honestly expecting to turn on the ten o clock news one evening to find he has conquered Everest.
Back to festivities however. We were thrilled to receive a box of treats from our Bite N Write conference sponsors Steenbergs Organics stuffed to the gills with beverage treats. Amongst them Christmas Hot Chocolate, Christmas Tea and Mulling Wine sachets. It was no good we were mentally transported to a winter wonderland. Despite the good weather, and with imaginary jingle bells ringing in the background, we couldn't wait we simply had to try them. All in the name of research of course ;)
First up was the Christmas Tea. Truly delicious and warming. It would make an excellent non alcoholic alternative to mulled wine. Steenbergs blend Fairtrade Keralan black tea with their organic Fairtrade spices cinnamon. cloves, cardamon, ginger, vanilla and orange peel to make this really refreshing festive brew. We will be serving this up to guests this year with homemade mince pies. £5.50 for a 125g tin.
The Organic Fairtrade Christmas Drinking Chocolate was incredible. Quite the best hot chocolate we have tried in a very long while. Lovely dark chocolate mingles with vanilla, cinnamon , ginger, cardamom , allspice and cloves. Deliciously different and so Christmassy (but we are sure we are not alone in the fact we would drink this all year round). It might not be to the taste of littlies but Steenbergs also does a standard Fairtrade hot chocolate which has a hint of cinnamon and that is perfect for all the family. £5.50 for a 125g tin.
Last but not least we tried the Mulled Wine. With a generous five sachets in each box this would be enough to carry you through Christmas to New Year. We really love Mulled Wine and this was a gorgeous version, well balanced and evocative of parties and warming by the fire after snowy trips outside. We didn't have any brandy so we replaced it with a splash of homemade cherry schnapps and it was delicious. £1.75 for 5 sachets.
As well as the products we tried Steenbergs has lots of other goodies up their sleeve for Christmas. The Organic Fairtrade Spice Box £6.99 contains four of Steenbergs’ Fairtrade organic spices, whole cloves, nutmeg, 4 colour pepper and ground cinnamon in the mini versions, packed in a red box with snowflakes for a wintery Christmas feel. They have also launched a fantastic Christmas hamper £35, bursting with festive organic goodies. Christmas Tea; Christmas Drinking Chocolate; Cinnamon Quills; Mixed Spice; Mulled Wine Spice, Mulled Wine Sachets and a large jar of cinnamon sugar. All presented in a lovely white wicker hamper. It would make an amazing present for someone special!