Hosting this Christmas

With the festive season approaching, now is the time to forward-plan and think ahead if you’re hosting this Christmas. We (if we may be so bold) consider ourselves experts in the field of hosting, especially when it comes to impressing guests with fabulous food and drink.

We’ve put together a super easy canapé recipe, paired with a gin cocktail as a little helping hand for inspiration to really wow your guests this year. Hosting needn’t be stressful… you deserve to enjoy the merriment too.


Goat's Cheese Canapes


Nat’s Goat’s Cheese and Balsamic Bites

Impress your guests with this super easy but delicious canapé recipe from our Head Chef, Nat. Perfect if you’re hosting drinks and nibbles at your house or if you’re looking to keep your guests fed and happy whilst you’re busy cooking the main course.


Sliced white or brown bloomer bread
Goat’s cheese spread
Red onion chutney
Balsamic glaze
Salt and pepper
Micro basil
Mixed leaves


Using a small biscuit cutter,  about 2 inches in diameter (you can free-hand this if you haven’t got a cutter), cut out circles in the bloomer slices – for 10 canapés, you’ll need 20 circles of bread.

Take half of the circles and make them into rings by cutting a smaller hole in the middle, about the size of a 1p coin.

Toast each piece of bread, then spread a thin layer of goat’s cheese spread onto the half that are still whole circles.

Place the rings on top of the whole circles (they should stick together with the spread).

Put the remaining goat’s cheese spread into a piping bag then pipe it into the hole of each ring until it flows over the top of the toast.

Put a teaspoon of red onion chutney on top of the goat cheese.

Drizzle each canapé with the balsamic glaze.

Finally, finish each canapé by topping it with a piece of micro basil and a pinch of salt and pepper.


Chase Seville Marmalade Gin


Alongside this tasty canapé, greet your guests with a warming welcome cocktail using up some of the liqueurs that you may have been tucked away in your liquor cabinet.

We’ve asked one of our favourite gin suppliers, Chase for their recommendation on the ultimate gin cocktail to kick-start your Christmas gathering (be careful, it’s a boozy one – it is Christmas though!).

Seville Orange Negroni

For each cocktail serving, you’ll need:

37.5ml Chase Seville Marmalade gin
12.5ml Campari
25ml Sweet Vermouth

We told you it was boozy! Don’t worry, the canapés will soak it up.


Simply add all of the above measures to a mixing jug and stir with cubed ice until thoroughly chilled.

Then strain into a short tumbler, filled with ice and garnish with a slice of fresh orange.

Alternatively, you can serve Chase’s Seville Marmalade gin with your favourite tonic (less boozy but just as tasty!).


We hope this inspires you to do something a little different this year, rather than the usual bowl of mixed nuts to keep everyone settled before serving the dinner. However, remember this is also time for you to enjoy too, so try and prep as much as you can in advance so you can simply spend quality time with your friends and family when they visit.

From all of our team here at The Royal Exchange, we wish you a very merry Christmas and hope to see you over the festive season.