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Top 10 Christmas cocktails

Looking for inspiration for a festive cocktail? Look no further. We’ve asked the industry and its top bartenders to recommend a tipple or two and compiled a list of our favourite Christmas cocktail recipes.

Is there a Christmas cocktail recipe amongst our list for you?

Predominant flavours dominating the festive cocktail suggestions this year are the obvious spices, chocolate and honey, with several traditional recipes featuring time and again. Punches are big this season, with consumers continuing to favour sharing bowls and dishes, while hot drinks also feature highly.

There are a few recipes taking a break from traditional Christmas flavours, including a hot meaty punch, and sunshine-filled tiki cocktail.

Take a flick through our list and see if any take your fancy. If we’ve missed out a particular favourite of yours, leave a comment below.

Inverno a Napoli

An Italian take on the traditional mulled wine from Bunga Bunga in London. Prepare this spiced, fruity cocktail a few days ahead of Christmas to allow the Martini to absorb the flavours of the cloves and orange zest.

40ml Orange zest and cloves infused Martini Bianco
30ml Calvados
60ml Apple Juice
2 drops Home made chocolate bitter (for those making this at home bought chocolate bitters is a totally acceptable quick cheat)
Optional Caramelized Apple and Cinnamon stick as a garnish.

Warm all ingredients together in a pan before pouring into a Brandy glass. Garnish as you please, if you dare pour some extra Martini into half a passion fruit shell and set it alight for a real festive flamer!

Rusty Hot Apple Toddy

A Christmassy twist on Drambuie’s signature cocktail, the Rusty Nail. This is sure to keep you warm and cosy and in the festive spirit, and may even help banish a cold or two!

50ml Drambuie Original
150ml Pressed Apple Juice
1 Cinnamon Stick
4 Cloves
20ml Sugar Syrup
25ml Lemon Juice
2 Orange Twists

Heat all the ingredients together except the Drambuie. Add the Drambuie to a teacup or handled latte glass, then, strain in the warm apple juice mixture. Garnish with a lemon slice and a fresh cinnamon stick.

Courvoisier Smoking Bishop

The recipe below is for one glass full of Courvoisier’s Smoking Bishop punch, so if you’re making a bowlful for several people, multiply the recipe accordingly. This drink is rich and fruity with a touch of spice.

25ml Courvoisier VS/VSOP
50ml light red wine
25ml ruby port
10ml gomme syrup
40ml blood orange juice
25ml pink grapefruit juice
2 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
1/3 Seville oranges (sliced)
1/3 pink grapefruits (sliced)
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg

Put the cloves, Seville oranges and pink grapefruit slices into a small saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the cognac and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, being careful not to boil, stirring in the Courvoisier Cognac as you go.

Serve in a mug or cup with an orange slice and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Hendrick’s Purl by Tristan Stephenson, Purl

Tristan Stephenson, founder of Purl, has created this lively recipe using Hendrick’s gin and ale. An unexpected blend but the ale’s hoppiness will pull out the fresh notes in the gin.

150ml Hendrick’s Gin
1 litre of good quality hoppy ale
200ml cloudy apple juice
5 slices of satsuma
1 cinnamon stick
90g sugar
5g hops
2 cloves
1 dessert spoon honey
2 large splashes of Angostura Bitters
1 whole star anise

Heat ingredients in a pan. Simmer for 20 minutes then strain the hops out and serve in teacups with satsuma slices and a stick of cinnamon to garnish.

Christmas Puddingtini by Salvatore Calabrese

This is one to pull out the bag if you’re one to show off at a Christmas party. Created by ‘The Maestro’ Salvatore Calabrese, and served at his eponymous bar at The Playboy Club in London, the Christmas Puddingtini is certainly a fire starter. Exercise caution when making this cocktail.

75ml frozen Tanqueray Gin
10ml Courvosier Cognac
10ml White Creme de Cacao
Dash of Sambuca
Miniature Christmas pudding

Pour all of the ingredients, except for the Sambuca, into a mixing glass with ice and stir, before straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Using either spoon or a metal cocktail stirrer, dip a mini Christmas pudding into a small liqueur glass filled with Sambuca and soak, before lighting your pudding and dropping it into the prepared cocktail. Eat the pudding and enjoy the cocktail.

Golden Prestige by Nicolas Michel, Beau Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland

Fed up of sherry notes, Christmas pudding cocktails and mulled wine? This tropical cocktail is inspired by the warmth and sun of a tropical island to brighten up cold wintery Christmas. It was the only one chosen from the francophone part of Switzerland to be selected for the national Bacardi Legacy 2013 final.

50ml Bacardi Superior
2 pinches of saffron
15ml of fresh passion fruit
15ml simple syrup
10ml fresh lime juice
5ml Orange flower water

Shake and double strain ingredients into a coupette and garnish with orange zest.

Mince Pie Martini, Honky Tonk, London

This festive cocktail goes perfectly with sweet desserts such as Pecan Pie, and unlike other pudding-inspired recipes this time of year, is not too sweet.

25ml Santa Teresa Rhum Orange
25ml Flor De Cana 7 Yr Old Rum
75ml Cloudy Apple Juice
2 Spoons Mincemeat

Shake ingredients and strain into a martini glass. Top with a layer of double cream and a dusting of ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

Maggie’s Wham Ice Tea

Combining 80s cool with Christmas? It’s got to be Wham, baby. Maggie’s in London spices up its Christmas cocktail list with a festive mug sure to get its patrons in the partying spirit.

20 ml Malibu
20ml Bacardi 8 years old
20ml banana liqueur
35ml pineapple juice
35ml passionfruit juice
10ml lemon juice

Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a Wham Last Christmas Mug.

Reindeer Punch (aka Hot Bloody Bambi)

Fed up of sweet cocktails? Mulled wine making you gag? Do you long for the days when a roaring fire and mug of Bovril was your idea of a good night? Try this recipe for Reindeer Punch, featuring Bloodshot Vodka. A delicious savoury alternative to mulled wine, and of course the name is very festive.

150ml venison stock
50ml Bloodshot Spiced Vodka
Piece of Orange Peel
1 Juniper Berry

In a pan heat the venison stock, juniper and orange peel to simmering point then stir in the Bloodshot Vodka. Serve warm and garnish with a thin slice of orange.

*Either make your own venison stock (by roasting venison bones and small chunks of cheap venison meat for 30 minutes at 190C then simmering with water, bay leaves, celery and carrot for four hours, straining and simmering) or cheat by using 50% Baxters Game Soup & 50% Baxters Beef Consomme.

Marmalade Fizz, London Cocktail Club

A more sumptuous recipe for the traditional Bucks Fizz to enjoy on Christmas Day morning, from the guys at London Cocktail Club. It packs a hefty punch with both gin and Champagne, and is guaranteed to get you in the mood for the day ahead.


20g Thick cut marmalade
10ml Acacia honey
25ml Bombay Sapphire
25ml Orange juice
80ml Champagne

Mix all the ingredients together except the Champagne. Strain into a coupe, and top with the Champagne.


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