Christmas is finally upon us, and we believe everything's a little better with some fizz on hand. To make the most wonderful time of year that little bit more wonderful, we’ve spoken to cocktail aficionado Bianca Hall to get her top festive cocktail recipes alongside a few of our own. So grab your best glasses and get mixing...
Cocktails are up there with my favorite things any time of year, but especially in the gloomier winter months because they always bring with them a sense of celebration, even if it is just a cold rainy Tuesday. Always use your best glassware, I don’t believe in saving ‘best for best’, and always, always garnish. From a simple twist of citrus peel or a sprig of rosemary for a more sophisticated take, to swizzle sticks, gold leaf and cocktail umbrellas for a kitsch over the top celebration, I’ve never met a cocktail garnish I didn’t like!
"A twist on the classic, this fun cocktail is like a hug in a glass, and really does just scream Christmas. The trick to a great Snowball is fresh lime juice which cuts through the sweetness of the advocaat balancing it out into a lovely drink. I’ve opted for rose lemonade, but you can stick with classic lemonade too."
15ml lime juice
60ml rose lemonade
20ml maple syrup
Add ice, advocaat and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with more ice (if you like) and add the rose lemonade. To finish off, garnish with a maraschino cherry and a dusting of snow (aka icing sugar).
Top tip: if you want to up the ante, try making it with Champagne instead of lemonade.
Ginger Toffee Apple Mocktail
"Served on ice but deliciously warming thanks to the double dose of ginger, this indulgent tipple packs all the taste without the alcohol. You can go a bit rogue on the measurements so just mix to taste, add more or less ginger syrup until you find the perfect balance."
60ml cloudy lemonade
60ml ginger beer
15ml lemon juice
50g peeled and sliced fresh ginger
To make the syrup, dissolve the sugar in water over medium heat stirring constantly. Add the ginger and bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave it to steep for 30 minutes. Remove the ginger and allow the syrup to cool.
Add ice, apple juice, lemon juice and the ginger syrup to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice and top with ginger beer. To finish off, garnish with a slice of red apple and a piece of candied ginger.
Top tips: gently warm it through and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious non-alcoholic mulled cider. For an alcoholic twist, a dash of golden rum pairs perfectly.
Feeling festive? Read on for more of our favorite classic cocktails with a Christmas twist...
Candy Cane Mimosa
Minty fresh and the sweetest shade of pink, there’s nothing not to love about this merry mimosa. Complete with a chocolate and candy cane rim (and one for stirring) it’ll delight your household.
150ml peppermint schnapps
1 bottle of pink Champagne or prosecco
9 candy canes (3 will be crushed)
Melt your chocolate on a small plate and place your crushed candy canes on another. Dip your Champagne flute rims into the chocolate first and then the candy canes. Fill your Champagne flutes to just below half with peppermint schnapps and then top with fizz. Garnish with a full candy cane before serving.
Thanks to it's festive color a Cosmopolitan is already ideal for serving Christmas afternoon. We're serving ours with extra cranberries and mint for a seasonal twist. You could always add a dash of fizz for extra sparkle.
1L cranberry juice
100ml triple sec
Juice from 5 limes
Cranberries and mint for garnish
Combine the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold. Strain through a strainer or slotted spoon and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with cranberries and mint.
Christmas Party Punch
Christmas is a time of sharing. So share this Christmas Party Punch with your nearest and dearest. An irresistible blend of cranberry juice and your choice of tipple, it’s bound to get everyone in the festive spirit.
1L cranberry juice
1L sparkling water
2 sliced oranges
Rum, Champagne, or vodka in quantity of your choice
Combine the cranberry juice and sparkling water into a pitcher with ice. Add alcohol of your choice stir until well combined. Garnish with cranberries, oranges and mint.
A margarita may not sound like the most Christmassy of cocktails, but trust us, this one is full of festive cheer. And plenty of tequila.
200ml cranberry juice
50ml triple sec
Juice from 1 lime
Sugar, cranberries, and a lime wedge for garnish
Rim a highball or margarita glass with sugar and fill with ice. Combine all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and pour into glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and cranberries.
Festive Dark & Stormy
Simple, delightful, and refreshing, this cocktail is bound to get the party started.
80ml dark spiced rum
80ml cranberry juice
120ml ginger beer
20ml maple syrup
20ml fresh lime juice
A sprinkle of cinnamon
Orange wedges, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks
Fill two tall tumblers or highballs two-thirds full of ice, then add the rum and both the maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix a little. Add in the other ingredients one by one; cranberry juice, ginger beer, lime juice and garnishes.
Gin-gle Bells & Lemon Tonic
A refreshing palette cleanser. This Christmas gin cocktail recipe is perfect for in-between courses.
150ml lemon tonic or bitter lemon
Rosemary and berries to garnish
Splash of prosecco
Pour the 50ml gin over cubed ice and top with the lemon tonic or bitter orange. Add a splash of fizz and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and berries.
Hot Mulled Sloe Gin
One for the gin lovers. This hot mulled sloe gin recipe is perfect for a chilly winter's night.
50ml sloe gin
150ml apple juice
Juice from 1 orange (added to taste)
Allspice, clove, star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla
Mull apple juice with the spices and vanilla. Pour 50ml of sloe gin in to a mug and top with the mulled apple. Garnish with a stick of cinnamon and half and orange slice.
A delicate blend of Italian vermouth, gin, and tea, this Hot Negroni will warm up even the Scrooge-iest of characters this festive season.
25ml dry gin
25ml Sweet Vermouth
Red berry tea
Orange slice, cinnamon stick, and star anise
Pour all of the ingredients into a mug and top with hot red berry tea. Finish with an orange slice, cinnamon stick, and star anise to garnish.
The perfect combination of seasonal fruit and seasonal cheer. Serve in your finest martini glasses with cocktail picks to complete the look.
400ml orange juice
1 bottle of prosecco (chilled)
Mix the orange juice, vodka and Cointreau in a pitcher and leave to chill for at least one hour. Fill your glasses almost halfway and then pour in the fizz to the top of the glasses. Serve with an orange slice.