The Best Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Raise your hand if you actually like eggnog. Yup, we’re not too keen on it either. Yet, it seems to be the holiday tipple of choice. Not any more. We’re pretty sure there are neo-Christmas classics out there just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
To find these elusive beverages, we turned to the folks that drink for a living (a.k.a London’s leading mixologists) and asked them to share their favourite festive cocktails. Ahead, 10 of the most delicious drinks you’ll enjoy this Christmas. Cheers!
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Photo: Courtesy of Brown's Hotel.
Bah Rumbug
Serves: 1

Bah Rumbug should be served on name alone, but it also happens to be potent enough to a) get you through tireless games of family charades and b) think you’ve won even if you haven’t. Double score. Thanks to step-by-step instructions from Martin Siska of the Donovan Bar at the Brown's Hotel, making it at home is a cinch.

40ml of Ron Zacapa 23-year-old rum
2 tsp of Madagascar vanilla-infused sugar
10ml Taylor's port
15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Bay leaf for garnish

Add ingredients to cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a bay leaf.
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Photo: Courtesy of Belvedere.
Kind(RED) Spirit Punch
Serves: 4 to 6

Christmas is a time for giving and what better way to do so than by buying a bottle of limited-edition Belvedere (RED). Fifty percent of the proceeds go toward the Global Fund for battling HIV/AIDS. That pretty much makes this the most feel-good punch ever, right?

200ml Belvedere (RED)
350ml cranberry juice
100ml ginger ale
75ml fresh lime juice
6 slices burnt orange

Combine all the ingredients together in a large pitcher with ice. Serve immediately.
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Photo: Courtesy of Drake & Morgan.
El Jardin
Serves: 1

Yes, the air may be filled with equal parts cinnamon and glitter, but what about those of you who fancy something a little fresher? Enter in Gin Mare’s El Jardin.

45ml Gin Mare
3 cubes of pear
3 sticks of fennel
1 stick of celery
1 fresh lime wedge
Fresh fennel and celery for garnish

Pour the gin into a jam jar and mix in the pear cubes and fennel. Squeeze some of the lime into the cocktail before leaving the wedge in the mixture. Add the stick of celery and finish with fresh fennel.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bombay Sapphire.
Clove Kiss Gin & Tonic Twist
Serves: 1

Created by Sam Carter, Senior Mixologist at Bombay Sapphire, this tipple is inspired by Fiona Leahy, one of London's foremost event designers. It was created as part of The Ultimate Gin & Tonic Project.

50ml Bombay Sapphire (infused with blood orange and cloves, see below)
100ml tonic water
2 tsp caster sugar
1 cardamom seed
1 whole blood orange wheel slice studded with 5 cloves for garnish
Cardamom-infused sugar for glass rim

1. To infuse the Bombay Sapphire, take one bottle and pour out 50ml (save for another use). Replace with 35ml of fresh blood-orange juice, eight large peels from the skin of a blood orange, and 10 cloves (adjust to taste). Replace the cap, shake well, and place in the fridge for 24 hours to infuse.

2. To create the flavoured sugar, take the seeds from one green cardamom pod and place in a mortar. Crush well with the pestle until a powder is formed then add a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar. Mix well with a teaspoon. Reserve to one side on a saucer.

3. To mix the drink, take a chilled balloon glass and wipe some blood-orange juice on the rim. Then turn it upside down and roll the rim around the saucer of cardamom-infused caster sugar until it is fully covered. Shake off any excess. Fill the glass with cubed ice being careful not to knock the sugar off. Pour in 50ml of the blood-orange-and-clove-infused Bombay Sapphire. Stir briefly. Top the glass with 100ml of tonic water and stir briefly. Finally, add a whole wheel slice of blood orange studded with 5 cloves to the top of the glass.
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Photo: Courtesy of Baileys.
The Gingerbread House
Serves: 1

There’s nothing more Christmassy than the sweet aroma of freshly baked gingerbread. Except, maybe the even sweeter aroma of Baileys. Add some vodka, and it’s a party in a glass!

25ml Baileys
12.5ml Smirnoff Gold
12.5ml Smirnoff Vanilla
12.5ml Frangelico
1 German biscuit for garnish

Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Gently shake and then fine strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the biscuit on the side of the glass and serve.
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Photo: Courtesy of Newman Street Tavern.
Spiced Mulled Cider

Ah, the great Christmas tradition of mulling. This year, join the fun. Thanks to Nigel Sutcliffe of the Newman Street Tavern you can concoct a mulled cider that will truly impress your friends.

2 litre still dry cider
6 cloves
1 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 thumb-end of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp of whole mace
Canale of lemon zest and juice of one lemon
One dessert spoon of English honey
Fortify with 70cl Somerset cider brandy (optional)

Warm the cider in a pot, add the spices, bring up to a simmer and allow the ingredients to mull for 20 minutes. The longer you leave it, each ingredient will increase its flavour, so if you want more heat leave in the ginger. The lemon adds a nice acidity, but it won’t improve the flavour after the first 20 minutes, so you can discard.

If you can help it, don’t use ground spices, as they exaggerate the dryness. If you must, strain the mixture before you serve.

“I like to add a little Somerset cider brandy for a bit of Christmas merriment. Not essential but jolly festive,” Nigel shared us. Who are we to argue?
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Photo: Courtesy of Pimm's.
Pimm’s Blackberry Spice
Serves: 1

Fancy giving your shindig a smidge more spice? Pimm’s ain’t just for summer you know.

50ml Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower
10ml vanilla syrup
6 mint leaves
Pinch of cinnamon
Mint sprig and cinnamon stick for garnish

Add all the ingredients to a highball glass and churn over crushed ice. Garnish with a large mint sprig and a cinnamon stick. And, if you’re going all out, you can even dress your glass with ribbons to make it look gift-like!
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Photo: Courtesy of The Playboy Club.
Silent Night Cap
Serves: 1

When Kate Moss partied at the Playboy Club this month to celebrate her cover for the iconic mag’s 60th birthday, Salvatore Calabrese, a.k.a Sal, was the guy they turned to for the cocktails. And, if it’s good enough for Ms. Moss, it's good enough for your holiday party.

40 ml Sherry
20 ml Cognac
20 ml anise syrup
10 ml Cointreau
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Fresh Pineapple
Sprigs of red berries for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and muddle together. Fill a julep cup halfway with crushed ice, and pour liquid over it to the top. Decorate with a sprig of berries.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hendrick's.
Hendrick's Purl
Serves: 6

Warming, spicy, and, just plain festive, the Hendrick’s Purl is a revolutionary way to serve gin. This concoction is devised by Tristan Stephenson of Purl London, one of our favourite cocktail bars. And, as far as we’re concerned, where there’s gin, there’s happiness.

5 parts Hendrick's Gin
33 parts of good quality hoppy ale
7 parts cloudy apple juice
5 slices of satsuma
1 cinnamon stick
3 parts sugar
2 cloves
1 dessert spoon of honey
2 large splashes of Angostura bitters
1 whole star anise

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and warm over low heat. Pour into a teapot and serve hot in teacups with slices of gingerbread on the side.
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Photo: Courtesy of Absolut Vodka.
Vanilia Espresso Martini
Serves: 1

Hello, staying up all night dancing! Let’s all raise a glass to an espresso martini with a delicious vanilla twist. We’ll take three, please.

2 parts Absolut Vanilia
1 part Kahlua
1 part espresso
1 dash simple syrup
3 whole coffee beans for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all the ingredients, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Finish by garnishing with coffee beans.
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