As with everything this year, Christmas will be quite different thanks to Covid-19 restrictions. Even when hunting restarts over the festive period, it may be lacking the usual crowds and revelry, so it’s up to all of us to make the best of it we can. It won’t be possible to pass hip flasks round to share and compare, so all the more reason to nail your own recipe this year.
SURREY UNION joint-master Camilla Swift has refined her preferred tipple over the years.
“I always used to plump for a homemade sloe or damson gin, but in the past few years I’ve switched to a whisky mac – a concoction of ginger wine and whisky,” she explains (see box, right).
“I was first converted at the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent-Christmas meet where they serve a potent version. I found it just the ticket for that bit of Dutch courage before heading off around their Blue Anchor hedges.”
Camilla admits that for her own hip flask, she prefers a less overpowering version.
“I use Stone’s ginger wine and a splash of American whisky, rather than a proper Scotch or Irish whisky. I know it’s sacrilege to many, but I’d rather leave the nice stuff for the true aficionados; it’s wasted on me.”
Rather than a hard-and-fast recipe, Camilla adds a slosh of both to the hip flask until it meets the taste-test: “The hip-flask tasting the night before makes the last-minute boot polishing or tack cleaning a bit less of a slog.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Vital to act now to save our equine heritage
The science and technology are there to protect the future of Britain’s native horses and ponies
More forest road deaths show need for awareness
Seven donkeys and ponies died in two road accidents within a month in the New Forest at the end of last year
Cobs may have the attitude for top-class sport, but does their conformation stop them reaching the heights, asks Andrea Oakes
How to blow a hunting horn
It’s a skill that will win you admirers and teach you more about what is happening on a hunting day, says Rory Knight Bruce. Just warn your neighbours first...
The former master and secretary of the West Norfolk, who has an “uncanny affinity with animals” and works as an auxiliary nurse
Behind the gawky facade of this sensitive soul lay an outstanding talent. Alice Collins uncovers the story of a powerhouse who set global dressage alight
Brexit headache for UK horse businesses but hope for better
Equestrian firms are facing extra issues but it is hoped the situation will improve soon
The in-hand show producer on the importance of patience, his obsession with breeding the best and his days as a restaurant manager
Game of bones
New insights into how bone forms, adapts and heals are revolutionising fracture prevention and repair, explains Patrick Pollock FRCVS
A late starter who took an unorthodox route into eventing, the five-star event rider’s life experiences nonetheless prepared him well. Pippa Roome meets him
Christmas FROM HELL!
WITH DUCHESSES KATE AND CAMILLA AT WAR OVER WHO SHOULD FILL THE QUEEN’S SHOES, THE HOLIDAYS WERE ANYTHING BUT MERRY FOR THE ROYALS.
CHARLES PURGES SISTER FROM ROYAL FAMILY!
Camilla doesn’t want to share the limelight
KATE GETS ROYALLY SCREWED BY MONSTER-IN-LAW CAMILLA
PRINCE CHARLES’ beastly wife, Camilla, is making life miserable for their already stressed out daughter-in-law Kate, sources claimed.
QUEEN DEMOTES HUMILIATED CAMILLA!
Dropped to bottom of pecking order – UNLESS Charles is actually at her side
DIANA'S Secret DIARIES IN HER OWN WORDS
NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN JOURNAL ENTRIES SHED NEW LIGHT ON WHAT THE BELOVED “PEOPLE’S PRINCESS” ENDURED BEHIND PALACE DOORS.
On the Dark Side
Writer-director Emerald Fennell is proving that certain stories are best served cold.
DYING CHARLES RIPS CAMILLA FROM HIS WILL!
Fed-up prince takes $1.3B revenge for decades of boozed-up torment
Charles In Charge!
Camilla gleeful as SNEAKY PRINCE SEIZES CROWN from ailing Elizabeth
Camilla Assassination Terror!
Prince Charles’ wife believes two midair misses on same flight were murder attempt
Maternity Leave Meghan's Trump Card
The return of the duchess ruffles a few royal feathers.