We all love the idea of the flaming Christmas pud, but this year you might just fancy something different


Christmas pudding: year after year it turns up and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The rich and spicy dome, garnished with holly and presented at the table ablaze and with a flourish, is the very essence of Christmas.


Christmas pud is packed (literally) with symbolic associations: it was traditionally mixed on the first Sunday before Advent and stirred from east to west to symbolise the journey of the Magi. The holly represented the crown of thorns and the flaming alcohol the Passion. Many people included silver coins (for luck), wishbones (for health) and a thimble (for thrift).


The modern-day twist


Tradition aside, if the rich and heavy Christmas pudding is simply a bridge too far, or you just fancy a change, choose one of the lighter ways to round off the festive feast. 


Sainsbury’s have introduced a new hot sponge pudding for 2015: Taste the Difference Salted Maple, Date, Cranberry & Chestnut Pudding. It's a modern take on the classic pudding, topped with an indulgent salted maple sauce. 


This moreish sweet and sticky hot pudding captures two fashion flavours for 2015 – chestnuts and salted maple – and serves as a tasty alternative to the traditional blazing pud.


Try it with Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Vanilla Custard and our Irish Cream Liqueur.


The sweetness of the pudding might overwhelm a dessert wine, so try a sweet tawny port, sherry or Madeira instead.


Please drink responsibly. For more information visit Drinkaware.co.uk