It happens to the best of us. We grab a quick bite or order meals with the click of a button, and then it’s all over but the chewing. Well, during the holiday season, we’re slowing things down a tad. After all, the best part of the holidays is enjoying meals with loved ones. The perfect way to do this is with a slow cooked meal at home, cocktail in hand.

Slow cooking is a great technique to develop flavour, because the lower temperatures and longer cooking times allow more flavour to develop while enhancing the overall texture of the dish. Slow cooking also allows us to develop flavours naturally, without relying on harsh carcinogenic open flames, deep frying or other methods that take away from the natural flavour of a dish. When preparing your protein, be sure to season it in advance so the flavours really have a chance to shine through. Seasoning with various botanicals like ambrette seeds or dried bergamot allow for a unique flavour that is guaranteed to blow your guests away. These botanicals are new to the super premium Star of Bombay gin, resulting in a taste like no other. They work perfectly with a slow-cooked meal!

While slow cooking may take some planning, the result is an elevated feast. And while the flavours simmer, you can take the time to focus on what truly matters—quality time with your guests.

Your Guide to Throwing a Slower Paced, More Relaxing Holiday Dinner


Once your recipe is in the oven, it’s time to welcome everyone with a pre-dinner cocktail. This is the perfect opportunity to wow your guests with a creative holiday cocktail recipe, and this holiday season, we’re loving slow-distilled gin. Not only is it smooth as silk, but it allows everyone to cleanse their palate before a big meal. And we’re betting you don’t know this: Many of the most famous pre-dinner cocktails are actually gin-based, because gin is the most chameleon of all the spirits.

Slow Cooking: How to Throw a Relaxing Holiday Dinner Crafting a classic martini is the perfect for way to start your evening and is surprisingly simple to craft. For a festive twist, try a 50/50 Star Martini made with Star of Bombay slow-distilled gin. It’s also a lovely treat to pre-batch a festive holiday punch with edible flowers for a beautiful pop of colour, such as The Laverstoke Punch.


What You Need

  • 1.5 parts Star of Bombay gin
  • 1.5 parts Martini Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Orange peel

What You Do 

Stir ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass.

Fine-strain the liquid into a chilled coupe glass in a circular motion from the outside of the glass towards its centre.

Garnish with orange peel.


Slow Cooking: How to Throw a Relaxing Holiday Dinner This season, slow-cooking expert and NYC restaurant owner, Chef Michael Kaplan suggests veering away from your traditional turkey, ham or roast beef and learn the art of braising with a slow-braised duck ragout with handmade pasta. Going with a different protein is a great way to expand your flavour palette. It’s time to embrace change and start a new tradition!

(If you’re crunched for time – you can always pick up homemade pasta from a local grocery store).


Winter Root Vegetables, Bergamot Oil

1. Pasta Dough

What You Need

  • 80 g 00 flour
  • 50 g egg yolk
  • ½ g of salt
  • 2 g water

What You Do 

Mix dry ingredients together in a mixer with dough hook.

Add the egg yolks and water in until dough forms.

Knead by hand and let rest for 1 hour.

Roll the dough through a pasta machine or by hand into sheets that are about 1mm or setting number two on a pasta sheeter.

Cut the pasta ¼ inch wide into ribbons by hand, coat with 00 flour.

2. Braised Duck Legs

What You Need

  • 6 per pack, 1 lb.
  • ½ oz of rosemary
  • ½ oz of thyme
  • 56 g carrot
  • 56 g sliced celery
  • 56 g onion
  • 5 g sliced juniper
  • 5 g coriander
  • 1 orange peeled
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 4 quarts of duck stock, or chicken
  • 1 pint Star of Bombay gin
  • 2 g shallot, small, diced
  • 2 g celeriac, small, diced
  • 2 g rutabaga, small, diced
  • 2 g carrot, small, diced
  • 3 g parsley
  • 4 g grated parmesan
  • 2 g butter
  • 2 g EVOO
  • Bergamot oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What You Do 

Season duck legs with salt and pepper. Heat large rondeau add oil and sear duck legs, skin side down, until golden brown.

Remove legs, add in sliced vegetables, cook until translucent.

Then add in aromatics and spices – thyme, rosemary, coriander, juniper and orange peel.

Deglaze with the Star of Bombay gin, reduce by half. Add 4 cups of duck stock, bring to a boil.

Pour liquid of duck legs in a 4’’ hotel pan, cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Cook in oven at 325 F for 1.5 hours.

After duck is cooked, cool in ice bath in the liquid.

3. Mise en place

What You Need

  • 56 g of fresh pappardelle
  • 28 g braised duck
  • 2 g celeriac, small, diced
  • 2 g rutabaga, small, diced
  • 2 g carrot, small, diced

Cook the pappardelle in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.

Heat sauté pan to medium, cook all root vegetables and shallots in EVOO until translucent.

Deglaze with the duck braising liquid, add in pasta.

After pan comes to a boil add in the duck, simmer for 1 minute then add in butter and parmesan.

Finish with parsley and bergamot oil.

S&P to taste and serve.

Enjoy your slower paced holiday season! 

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