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December 22, 2023

Festive Cocktails to Make This Christmas

Cocktail of the Week: From winter warmers to boozy showstoppers, these are our favorite Christmas cocktail recipes.

By Kim Ayling

There comes a time when another glass of champagne becomes a step too far. When this state eventually rolls around, it is time to head to the liquor cupboard and impress guests with your very best Christmas cocktail recipes

While some of these recipes require a little more effort (maybe do the prep for these early on in the champagne drinking) others are as simple as adding ingredients to a vessel and stirring (an approach which quite often makes for the most delicious cocktails).

From winter warmers to boozy showstoppers, these are our favorite Christmas cocktail recipes.

[See also: Behind the Scenes: The Distillers’ One of One Whisky Auction]

Frankly, My Dear

For a fresher, zestier Christmas cocktail, try out the Frankly, My Dear by Cointreau. A fun mix between a margarita and a Bellini, this serve blends tequila, peach and Cointreau. Take out the tequila (or leave it in – no one’s judging) and this cocktail is perfect for Christmas brunch too.

Ingredients:

• 0.75 oz Cointreau

• 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

• 0.75 oz peach pureee

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• 3 oz sparkling wine

• 0.75 oz tequila

Method:

Add Cointreau, tequila, fresh lemon juice and peach puree to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice into a Collins glass. Add prosecco and garnish with a lemon slice.

Wintertime Love by Cotswolds Distillery

Wintertime Love by Cotswolds Distillery
This Christmas cocktail is good enough to get anyone in the festive spirit / ©Cotswolds Distillery

Few moments exude the essence of Christmas more than sitting by the fire with a neat glass of whisky.  Cotswold Signature Single Malt, is a wise choice thanks to the fact it’s brimming with notes of honey, Seville orange and dark red fruits. Alas! Neat spirits are not for everybody. Cue Wintertime Love, which sounds a bit like an unreleased George Michael hit.

This is a Christmassy cocktail that brings both looks and flavor to the table. Part whisky for that wintery warmth, part amaro for an herbal hit, combined with fresh lemon juice, cranberry juice and a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters to round things off.

Ingredients

• 45ml Cotswolds Distillery Signature Single Malt Whisky

• 15ml Amaro

• 15ml Lemon Juice

• 15ml Cranberry Juice

• 2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Method

Place all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange zest and star anise.

[See also: The Woodford Reserve Plum Old Fashioned by The Corinthia]

The Mulled Wine Sour by Silent Pool

silent pool gin cocktail

The Mulled Wine Sour is the perfect twist on a classic to enjoy over the next month. The addition of mulled wine syrup enhances the sweet but sour traditional taste of a gin sour and gives the drink a warm, almost peachy look which would look completely at home in any Christmas setting. Make sure to add the Angostura bitters to finish – they’ll add festive notes of cinnamon and clove. 

Ingredients:

• 50ml Silent Pool Gin

• 20ml Mulled wine syrup

• 20ml freshly squeezed orange juice

• 10ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 20ml egg white or vegan alternative

• Silent Pool Christmas mist

Method:

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake without ice first. Open the shaker, add ice and shake again briefly. Double strain in a coupette or Nick and Nora glass and garnish with Silent Pool Christmas mist and 3 drops of Angostura bitters on the surface of the foam.

[See also: The Most Magical Hotels for Christmas in London]

The Speyside Vesper Martini by Eight Lands

vesper martini cocktail recipe
Eight Lands’ gin and vodka pair perfectly in a Vesper / ©Eight Lands

The Vesper Martini: Few cocktails are as glam, nor are many as lethal. Famously named after James Bond’s love interest Vesper Lynd in Ian Fleming’s 1953 Casino Royale novel (as well as the 2006 film), the Vesper Martini recipe pushes any argument about gin versus vodka martinis out of the way simply by using both – we told you it was lethal. Everyone likes theirs differently (a healthy dose of vermouth is key for me) but if you take one piece of advice, let it be this: chill your glass. In the morning, pop a couple of glasses in the freezer and don’t pull them out until the cocktail is fully mixed. No one wants a lukewarm martini.

Ingredients:

–¾ oz Eight Lands Organic Gin 

– ¾ oz Eight Lands Organic Vodka

– ¼ oz Dry white vermouth

– Lemon twist

Method:

Spray three sprays of lemon essence into a chilled martini glass. Add the vodka, gin and vermouth into a cocktail tin with ice and stir (or shake, in true Bond style) for ten seconds, before straining into the glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

[See also: Hennessy Unveils Limited Editions for Chinese New Year]

Hot Rum Toddy

hot rum toddy
Try rum in a hot toddy for a sweeter taste / ©Bacardi

Love it as we do, the festive season takes its toll on even the hardiest of parties. For that quiet in-between period that hides between Christmas and New Year, take things down a notch with a soothing hot toddy cocktail. Still just as boozy and just as fun, but with a healing dose of lemon and honey, a hot toddy is the perfect tonic to heal sore throats after one too many carols. The drink is usually made with whiskey, but try rum for a slightly sweeter taste.

Ingredients: 

●        1 ½ oz  Bacardi Gold Rum

●        3 oz of hot water

●        ¼ oz of honey

●        1 lemon wedge

Method: 

Pour hot water into a tempered glass mug. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the water, add honey, and stir until the honey is dissolved. Add BACARDÍ Gold Rum, and stir gently. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon slice. 

The Celebration Elixir by The Berkeley Blue Bar

the berkeley bar christmas cocktail
Make the Coconut Berry Cordial the night before for faff-free hosting / ©The Berkeley Bar

If you’re hosting this Christmas, try out The Celebration Elixir cocktail if you’re really in the market to impress. Created by the team at The Berkeley hotel’s Blue Bar, the recipe pairs tequila and coconut with a generous dash of champagne. A little more effort is required for this one (make the Coconut Berry Cordial the night before for faff-free hosting) but the results are worth it.

Ingredients:

• 35ml Tequila Blanco

• 40ml Coconut berry syrup (see below for recipe)

• 10ml Lime

• 25ml Aquafaba/Egg white

• Champagne Laurent Perrier La Cuvée Rosé

Coconut Berry Cordial:

Ingredients

• 50g of raspberry

• 50g of blueberry

• 100g of coconut water

• 150g of caster sugar

• 20g of coconut purée

Method:

Blend all ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a shaker (apart from the champagne). Shake well, pour into a coupette glass, and top up with Champagne Laurent Perrier La Cuvée Rosé. Add a raspberry to garnish.

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