Top 10 cocktails for ChristmasBy Amy Hopkins
Festive drinks don’t always need to fit the thick, sweet and creamy taste profile, as this list of the top 10 cocktails for Christmas shows.
As Christmas office parties the world over begin to take affect, sales of mulled wine, Advocaat and Sherry skyrocket.
But some of the best international bars have created an array of modern twists on these classic festive serves, with egg nog inspired cocktails and variations of the hot toddy.
In this list, we take a look at some of the cocktails recommended by bars around the world – from the kitsch and fruity to the hot and chocolatey.
Click through the following pages to discover 10 cocktails for Christmas, with details of how to recreate them at home.
This fruity cocktail is available through Australia’s Speakeasy Group, owner of the new Boilermaker bar in Melbourne.
20ml Beefeater gin
20ml pineapple vinegar
20ml Dolin Chamberyzette
20ml marshmallow Syrup
30ml soda water
15ml egg white
Dry shake, wet shake, strain and add soda water. Pour into a stemless Champagne glass and garnish with a toasted marshmallow.
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Created at Brixton-based Eckovision, Twelve Drummers Drumming forms part of Fair Spirits’ 12 days of Christmas initiative, where a different bar across London has been selected to serve a special cocktail on one of the 12 days of Christmas. This refreshing take on the traditional festive mix is available on 23 December – for those wishing to lubricate their senses ahead of quality family festive time in the days to come.
40ml Fair Belize Rum 5yo
20ml Cartron fume noir
15ml vanilla syrup
1 dash angustura bitters
Simply stir in an dld fashioned-style glass. Garnish with dehydrated orange and flower
The Business Christmas Edition
Served at the Gin Palace at the Strand Palace Hotel, this light cocktail offers some relief to the often rich and indulgent Christmas mixes.
2 oz Hendricks Gin
1 oz elderflower cordial
1 oz lemon
Dash of pepper
Sprinkling of icing sugar
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Add sprinkling of icing sugar for a festive touch
Ginger Spice Hot Cocoa
This cockle-warming cocktail is the brainchild of Shawn Chen of RedFarm and Decoy in New York City.
3 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
3 cups whole milk
½ cup water
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated ginger
¼ tsp. sea salt
In a heavy saucepan, pour in whole milk, water and unsweetened cocoa powder. Cook on medium heat and do not allow to boil. Whisk occasionally until cocoa powder is melted and mixture is well combined. Stir and whisk in ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, grated ginger and sea salt. Immediately whisk in the Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, pour into a mug or glass and top with optional toppings.
A Winter’s Tale
This variation of the traditional egg nog drink – a modern twist on a festive classic – has been created by the team at Whisler’s bar in Texas:
1 oz Elijah Craig 12-year-old Bourbon
1 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz 2% milk
1 egg yolk
Grated cinnamon on top as a garnish
Add all ingredients into a building pint glass. Be sure to dry shake (no ice) for a good 20-30 seconds so that all of the ingredients can incorporate well. Then add ice, shake again briefly in order to chill the drink and strain into chosen glassware. Grate cinnamon on top of cocktail as a garnish and serve.
Giving Christmas drinking a tropical makeover is Cleopatra, a cocktail created by Garret Richard at New York’s new Slowly Shirley.
1 oz Avua Prata Caçacha
1 oz Zubrowka bison grass Vodka
1/2 oz banana cordial*
1/4 oz demerara syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz lime cordial+
2 dashes McCormick Buco Pandan extract
Shake with three cubes and Strain over crushed ice in a hurricane glass. Garnish with a pandan leaf ribbon and an orchid
- Infused Banana liqueur: take 500 ml of 99 Bananas and combine with one package or 70g of freeze dried bananas. Infuse for 24 hours.
- Lime cordial: equal parts, by weight, lime juice and white, granulated sugar to half a part lime oleo saccharum (see below).
- lime oleo saccharum: rest equal parts, by weight, lime peels on white, granulated sugar until the lime oils extract and completely break down the sugar.
Inspired by both Christmas Eve and bartender Amanda de la Nuez’s family in Cuba, this egg nog interpretation is available from Leyenda in Brooklyn, New York.
3/4 oz Black Bottle Scotch
3/4 oz Plantation Jamaican
1 oz Lustau East India
1/2 oz Coffee Heering
1/2 oz cinnamon
3 dashes aromatic bitters
Dry shake and serve in a coupe with grated nutmeg and espresso bean.
Ember Yard in London uses smoked Campari (which can easily be created with a smoking gun), however the below recipe is a version that can be easily created at home.
25ml – Tanqueray 10 Gin
25ml – Campari
25ml – Antica Formula Ice
A large segment of orange
- Heat a griddle pan, cut your orange in to large segments and grill on both sides until slightly charred. Leave to cool.
- Place your ice in to the glass. Ember’s Yard uses large ice balls, however ice cubes work just as well.
- Pour in the gin, Campari and Antica Formula to build your cocktail over the ice.
- Stir vigorously until the ingredients have been blended together and chilled down.
- Garnish with one of your grilled orange segments.
Bright & Stormy
Served at London’s high-end Chinese restaurant Hutong, based in the iconic Shard building, this cocktail is a more exotic version of the classic Dark ‘n’ Stormy.
25ml Zacapa rum
5ml lime juice
5ml passion fruit syrup
Top with ginger beer and grenadine float
Simply build the cocktail in a highball glass and garnish with half a passion fruit squeezed with a mint.
The Warm Embrace
This warm tea cocktail from Middle Branch in New York City is perfect for those cosy nights in at Christmas time.
Build in a heatproof glass. Serve warm and garnish with an apple slice.