The Best Christmas in July Menu to Keep You Warm This Winter
Have you ever been envious of our Northern Hemisphere friends’ cold, Christmassy weather? We sure have. We can just picture them snuggled around the twinkling Christmas tree sipping on spicy glasses of glühwein. Their faces seem to glow from a flickering fire. Everybody is safe from the cold outside and they laugh, smile and joke together late into the night.
Well, if you love the idea of a cold weather Christmas, then for us Southern Hemisphere dwellers, July is the season to be merry.
Get ready for a cold weather treat that will bring your loved ones together and warm your heart this winter. Get ready for: Christmas in July! (cue festive music and the jingling of bells).
To help you out, we’ve found the best ‘Christmas in July’ recipes to make your shindig a roaring success.
So, without further ado, here is our top 2016 ‘Christmas in July’ menu.
1. To Drink: Glühwein
Glühwein, also known as mulled wine, is a treasured, traditional German drink that is enjoyed at Christmas Markets or after skiing sessions to make you glow with warmth again.
There’s nothing better than a spiced, steaming glass of Glühwein to get you into the festive spirit, and it’s super simple to make.
The secret to delightfully delicious Glühwein is the correct mixture and ratio of red wine, cinnamon sticks, sugar, oranges and cloves. Nobody does this better than Jamie Oliver. Check out his mulled wine Christmas in a glass recipe.
2. For Starters: Thick, Creamy Soup
Your starter sets the mood for your dinner, so select it carefully. Make sure you kick-start your evening with an impressive, yummy recipe.
We love the idea of a thick and creamy butternut soup. It’s easy to make and freeze ahead of time, which takes some pressure off in the kitchen on the day. Butternut soup with a pinch of cumin is particularly fantastic as the root vegetable and cumin prepare your palate for the roast to come.
Give your humble butternut soup a new lease on life by roasting your vegetables in honey before blitzing them into this silky smooth soup. Sprinkle your soup with croutons or even pumpkin seeds for some added crunch.
We love this creamy butternut soup recipe that has just a hint of chilli to warm up your guests.
3. For Mains: Classic Roast Beef
Now that your taste buds have been sufficiently tantalised, it’s time to move on to the main event: a delicious, juicy roast.
Our personal favourite has to be a good old fashioned beef roast. Nothing quite beats tender, melt-in-your mouth beef, slow roasted to succulent perfection. Mmm…
When selecting your cut, prime rib, standing rib roast and beef tenderloin are great for special occasions. They only need a simple seasoning rub to add to their already mouth-watering flavours.
For golden brown, crispy roast potatoes, add some parboiled potatoes to your roasting tray. These will soak up all the delicious pan juices for extra tastiness.
We love Martha Stewart’s recipe for prime rib and oven roasted potatoes with sage and bay leaves. The mere thought of that sends our tummies into grumbling spasms.
4. And For The Piece de Resistance: Warm, Chocolate Pudding
Have yourself a very sweet Christmas in July by ending off your dinner with a wonderfully sweet treat.
The most delectable dish we could think of has to be a chocolate fondant. This is a rich, chocolatey pudding with a delicious, crunchy top and gooey, soft interior. Go ahead. Indulge in this little bowl of chocolate heaven.
Top this with ice cream and you’re sure to win the hearts of your guests eternally.
But cooking timing is key here. Too short and your pudding will be more like a soup, too long and you’re left with a dry cake. Be warned and be careful.
If all this sounds like far too much work, effort and stress, why not leave it to the professionals? These places do it better than we do anyway:
- In Cape Town, head to Eden on the Bay and try out Cup ‘n Cake’s amazing butternut soup. It’s hands down the creamiest butternut soup we’ve ever tried. Eden on the Bay also boasts the best views of Table Mountain. With their larger-than-life Table Mountain photo frame, you can capture your magical Christmas in July moment for life.
- In Wilderness along the garden Route, check out Zucchini Restaurant. Their fireplace and cosy décor makes it the perfect setting for a tasty meal. We love their gravy-covered beef with Yorkshire pudding – a Christmas in July winner.
- In the Winelands, try out Stables Bistro Restaurant at the beautiful Vergelegen Vineyard for the gooiest chocolate fondant. Sip on award-winning wines, enjoy breath-taking views of the Hottentots Holland mountain range and soak up the creative juices of the local artists whose artworks adorn the walls.
So whether you’re dining at home or at a restaurant, grab your family, friends and Christmas jersey (so you don’t offend Aunty Beatrice) and make the most of this holiday season.