Russian Standard Vodka has teamed up with MasterChef 2009 winner Mat Follas to bring you something different for your dining table this Christmas and has come up with four alternative recipes to serve your hungry guests. Instead of the traditional turkey and Brussle sprouts this year why not indulge in alternative high dining with some tantalising Russian Standard cocktails to celebrate in style! Portion sizes are for four people:

Non traditional, Partridge and pear

‘My Partridge & Pear recipe gives a nod to an old Christmas song but is served in a modern and non-traditional way. I guess my feeling is that, like any home-made present, putting a lot of thought and care into recipes, makes them a better Christmas gift to customers, friends and family.”


4 partridges

4 sprigs of Thyme

100g wild mushrooms

150g butter

Marsala wine

  • Buy prepared partridges. Roughly chop the mushrooms and mix with 100g of soft butter. Stuff the partridges with the mushrooms and butter mix. Season the birds and place inside some cooking foil with a sprig of thyme on top, making a loose fitting parcel with the foil taking care not to touch the sides of the bird
  • Place the birds in an oven at 220C for 30 minutes
  • Take the birds out, rest for 10 minutes them pan fry quickly in hot butter to brown, finishing with a little flambe Marsala wine


200g Puy Lentils

400ml veal stock

150ml good red wine

50g finely chopped cabbage

  • Add all ingredients to a pot with a little seasoning and simmer gently for 45minutes till cooked


Mixed salad leaves, get a good mix of lettuce, rocket, watercress, red endive or similar

50g Hazelnuts

1 pear

  • Cook off the hazelnuts in a dry pan till lightly browned, remove and gently crush in a pestle and mortar
  • Peel the pear and cut into rough squares, lightly caramelise in a hot pan
  • Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl with a little French dressing
  • Serve the partridges on a bed of lentils surrounded by the salad

Russian inspired Sevruga Caviar dish with a Standardtini cocktail

For those who’d like a Russian twist on Christmas Mat has created a traditional, hearty Russian dish; Sevruga Caviar, smoked roe, squid and chilli which would go very well with a ‘Standardtini’ – Russian Standard vodka and Dry Vermouth served glacially cold and dry, a great contrast to the rich, salty seafood

20 g Sevruga Caviar

200g smoked herring roe

4 baby squid

1 lime

sesame oil

2 medium red chillies

1 red endive

100g white miso paste

100ml beef stock

  • The Sevruga Caviar is a lighter, more delicate caviar and a little more reasonably priced than Beluga. Salmon roe is a good alternative but for Christmas why not splash out and try some real caviar? Buy from a source that uses farmed and traceable caviar
  • Slice the chilli diagonally and finely to create attractive pieces of red chilli
  • Cook the miso and beef stock together till combined
  • Prepare the squid, slice the body to create a single flat piece of squid meat and keep the tentacles together. Lightly cross cut the body meat
  • Cook the squid and a few chilli slices in a hot pan in a little sesame oil for 20 seconds, then squeeze the lime over to take the heat off
  • Serve the squid on the plate then on top place slices of herring roe and then squid tentacles and dress with a little caviar. Around the plate drizzle the miso sauce

35ml Russian Standard Vodka

10ml Vermouth

Shake ingredients gently over ice. Strain and serve in a chilled martini glass. Alternatively combine ingredients with crushed ice in a mixer glass and stir well. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a small cornichon cucumber. Serve immediately

Vegetarian: Chestnut and caramelised sweet red onions

For the vegetarians amongst you, Mat’s created a wonderful chestnut and caramelised sweet red onions on French bread with melted gorgonzola cheese and sprinkled walnuts to whet your appetite

6 medium red onions

200g chestnut puree

100g chestnuts

400ml good quality vegetable stock

150g Gorgonzola cheese

1 French style ‘Bateau’ loaf

100ml double cream

75g walnut halves

unsalted butter

  • Prepare the onions by chopping into slivers from top to bottom. Add a generous pinch of salt then cook in a little butter on low for approx 30 minutes till caramelised. Add the stock and simmer till reduced to a thick sticky consistency
  • Crumble the Gorgonzola into the cream and cook gently to create a thick paste
  • Cook the walnut halves in a dry pan till lightly browned, remove and roughly crush in a pestle and mortar
  • Slice the French bread in half lengthwise then across to create four pieces. Gently toast under a grill
  • Spread the puree on to the toast then add some whole chestnuts and grill to warm before adding the hot onions. Pour over with the Gorgonzola cream then sprinkle with the walnut pieces and serve
  • Low Cal (less than 350 kcal/portion) Spelt risotto with pomegranate and edamame beans with turkey

Low Cal (less than350kcal/portion) Spelt risotto with pomegranate and edamame beans with turkey

Finally, Mat’s low calorie Risotto recipe will leave you feeling less guilty about those Christmas calories; allowing you to splash out on the festive cocktails! His Spelt Risotto with pomegranates and edamame beans with turkey is a light and refreshing alternative to the traditional Christmas menu and ‘The Fountain of Youth’ is the perfect cocktail to compliment its flavours. Feel the pomegranate and Russian Standard Vodka explode with fresh energising flavour with every sip you take

200g pearled Spelt

600ml good quality vegetable stock

1 pomegranate

100g frozen edamame beans

2 turkey breasts (75g per portion)

100ml good quality white wine

bunch watercress

  • Clean the turkey breasts, removing all the skin and poach in a pan with the vegetable stock and wine for 20min at a low simmer. Remove the breasts and set aside. Skim the stock of any fat or scum then leave on a low heat
  • Remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit and clean the watercress
  • In another pan place the spelt, add approx 1/3 of the cooking liquor from the poaching and bring up to a low simmer. Simmer for 35min stirring regularly. Add another 1/3 of the liquor when the risotto starts to dry out. When the final 1/3 of liquor is needed add it to the pan then add the edamame beans, check the seasoning to taste. While the final liquor is reducing roughly chop the breasts and add to the risotto. Check the spelt is cooked, it should be soft with a slight al dente firmness in the middle
  • When completed stir through some of the pomegranate seeds and watercress then serve, use the remaining seeds and cress to dress the plate.

35ml Russian Standard Vodka

45ml Pomegranate Juice, freshly squeezed where available 20g/0.7 oz thinly sliced ginger

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice, double strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a piece of ginger, pass a mint leaf around the glass rim