It’s getting colder. Actually, it’s still really warm. But we’re feeling Christmassy. Or, are we? We can’t walk past exciting Christmas window displays on the commute any more, or even see Santa on every billboard. So instead, it’s time to build up the hype at home. You may have seen how to make wreaths and find cheesy advent calendars, now it’s time to get into the real Christmas spirit, with real Christmas spirits.
Whether you want to warm your cockles with a punchy whisky or heat up your haunches with a fiery tequila, grab a recipe and shake your cocktail mixer. Follow these personal recipes from professional mixologists or order cocktails straight to your door (here’s a list of some people who will deliver beer and wine, too). Shaken, stirred, on the rocks, shots, or out of someone’s bellybutton, however you want to drink them, here’s a list to get your started.
Damson and Cranberry Collins
50ml 6 O’clock Gin Damson
50ml cranberry juice
15ml lime juice
½ tsp caster sugar
A British classic, 6 O’clock Damson Gin is hand-made from British damsons. It makes a delicious solo sip, but mix it up with these ingredients to add a little pizzazz to your evening. Put all the ingredients together, except the soda water, into a cocktail shaker. Give it a shake and then strain into a highball glass and top with the soda water. Garnish with a twist of lemon like the cocktail pro you know you are.
For the gin: www.6oclockgin.com
After Eight Martini
20ml Creme De Menthe
This deliciously creamy concoction can be made at home or you can wait until 3 December for a cocktail connoisseur to mix it at Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock. Or do both. Plop all your ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and then strain into a martini glass and garnish with grated dark chocolate.
Try it at home, then try it here: www.skylightlondon.com
Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
300ml Wildred’s Aperitif (0% ABV)
30ml of honey or maple syrup
Freshly sliced oranges
A small sprinkling of earthy spices from your cupboard (such as cloves, cinnamon, aniseed or coriander seeds)
Mulled wine is basically like hot Ribena, so you could be good to yourself and have the non-alcoholic version. This festive alternative gives a slightly smoother taste by replacing wine with Wilfred’s Aperitif. Place everything in a pan, warm it up to almost simmering (don’t boil) and then leave to rest five minutes. Serve it with a ladle into mugs.
For some sober sipping: www.wilfredsdrinks.com
Spiced-Up Old Fashioned
Haig Club Clubman whisky
Restaurant Kits offer an array of recipe boxes or you can hit the hard stuff with the Haig Club x Mac & Wild cocktail menu. If you’re feeling bad about your alcohol intake, you can balance that out with feeling good about the eco-friendly packing from Puffin Packaging. Each kit arrives in a cardboard box with icepacks insulated by lambswool all of which are 100% recyclable.
Order here: www.restaurantkitsuk.com
A Breakfast Cocktail With A Kick
15ml vanilla syrup
15ml passion fruit pure
50ml cloudy apple juice
25ml Bloom Elderflower and Lemon Gin Liquor
1 generous spoon of Greek yogurt
Start the day as you mean to go on with a bracing pick-me-up. We’ve got insider tips from Searcys head mixologist Alessio Aufiero, on how to make the fruitiest one. Shake all the ingredients together and garnish with an edible flower because, well, why not?
Learn from the best: www.searcys.co.uk
Coffee bean garnish
Surely this has to be London’s favourite cocktail. If it’s not official, it is now. You heard it here first. If you want to stay up longer than necessary, The Cocktail Delivery Company will deliver one of these, pre-mixed, to your door. If that doesn’t say “hangover”, we don’t know what does.
Order from: www.thecocktaildeliverycompany.co.uk
Stork Spiced Snowball
35ml Nigerian Guinness (or regular non-Nigerian Guinness)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
20ml of brandy
Couple of drops of vanilla essence
We’re not quite sure what added extra Nigerian Guinness will bring to the flavour profile, but why not try something new this season? Shake up the all the ingredients and then serve and add a giant bubble on top (we’re not quite sure how you do that bit – best to head to Stork when it’s back open to find out more). This spiced snowball swaps out rum for brandy for a more festive flavour.
Try it with the bubble here: www.storkrestaurant.com
35ml Cane Sugar Advocaat Liquor
25ml Sherry (Amontillado Or Similar)
10ml Coconut cream
Grated Nutmeg garnish
This sophisticated dessert cocktail has a hint of grandmother’s favourite tipple – sherry. But it’s given a punchy twist with a coconut and vanilla finish. Go all out like the bartenders at Novikov and make the advocaat liquor yourself with dark soft brown cane sugar.
Sample homemade avocaat liquor here: www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk
Pink pepper pisco
The restaurant Nutshell opened in July 2019 and is an explosion of taste and flavour from Tehran. Marwa Alkhalaf and her partner, Mohammad Paknejad have brought together their favourite treasured recipes to the table. But not only are the dishes inspired by Iran, but the drinks too. Try an in-house mixed cocktail for a new taste sensation.
For Iranian cocktails: www.nutshelllondon.co.uk