Christmas cocktails are recipe for success! How fabulous festive drinks can add extra yuletide cheer

Xmas Log Fire

It’s that time of year again! I have no doubt that many of you will be indulging in a tipple or two over the coming weeks. Why not add a different dimension to this festive period — and impress your family and friends at the same time. Here are three of my favourite festive recipes for you to try at home this Christmas.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine at Christmas is the law, or at least it should be. My advice for this recipe is choosing the right wine. Stay away from lighter reds such as Pinot Noir or Merlot, as the subtle flavours will be lost. I’ve gone with an Australian Shiraz, it is full bodied, with sweet and spicy flavours that will combine perfectly with the winter spices in this recipe.


1.5L water

2 x 70cl bottles of Australian Shiraz

50ml Tawny Port

50ml Grand Marnier or Cointreau

5 tablespoons of sugar

2 Oranges, sliced

1 teaspoon of cloves

2 star anise

2 teaspoon of grated ginger

1 cinnamon stick

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan and gently heat for 20 minutes, do not let it boil as the alcohol will evaporate. Serve hot in half pint jugs or sturdy wine glasses with a slice of orange and a star anise.

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

Another warming recipe for those cold winter nights and a well known cure-all for all of the nasty colds that make their rounds at this time of year.

I’ve chosen Aberlour 10-year as my whisky of choice; it is very good value for money and easily found in most supermarkets. The rich fruit and spice characters of this whisky are ideal for this drink.


2 teaspoons runny honey

60ml Aberlour 10yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky

15ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Teaspoon grated ginger

3 cloves

Add all ingredients to a half pint jug or coffee mug, top up with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.

Sparkling Snowball

Sparkling Snowball Cocktail

The Snowball cocktail found fame in the 1970s. The original recipe calls for Warnicks advocaat liqueur, lime juice and lemonade; however, I believe this cocktail deserves a bit of an update. This easy recipe is a sure Christmas party favourite.

I’m removing the lemonade from the recipe and adding some local luxury with Nyetimber English Sparkling wine because, well, why not? it is Christmas after all!

The beautiful brioche notes in the Nyetimber work fantastically with the velvet creaminess of the Advocaat.


60ml Warnicks Advocaat Liqueur

10ml lemon juice

Shake both ingredients briefly with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top up with Nyetimber Classic cuvée. Simple!

Merry Christmas!

About the Author

Sam Fraser
Sam Fraser has worked in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years in venues ranging from traditional pubs, and night clubs to boutique hotels, 3 rosette restaurants and cocktail bars. A bit of a jet setter having worked in bars in South America and Europe has given Sam a wealth of knowledge and influence that he now applies to his work.