Christmas means cocktails and never more so than after the year we’ve had! So get mixing and raise the spirits of everyone in your bubble with these brilliant beverages.
Juniper Fortified Eggnog
A classic Christmas cocktail with a long history, eggnogs are traditionally made with brown spirits but I couldn’t resist this ginny version from Emma Stokes’ (aka Gin Monkey) new book Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail. With its Alpine influence and beautiful festive bottle, Off-Piste Gin proved to be the perfect match.
40ml Off-Piste Gin
15ml pomegranate liqueur
15ml sugar syrup
1 whole egg*
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all the ingredients and shake until cold, making sure the egg has completely combined with the liquid. Fine strain into a coupe glass.
One Good Martinez
With its balance of red fruits, gentle spice and oak notes there’s something fantastically festive about One Gin’s limited edition Port Barrel Rested Gin. What’s more, 10% of profits fund life-changing water projects in the world’s poorest communities, making it even easier to give back this Christmas. Delicious neat or in a Negroni, I think it also works brilliantly in my take on a Martinez.
40ml One Port Barrel Rested Gin
20ml Agora Vermouth
Bar spoon of Luxardo maraschino cherry syrup
2-3 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and garnish with a maraschino cherry and twist of orange peel.
Hot Gin Punch
Rested in organic red wine barrels with cinnamon, cloves and vanilla added at different stages, Palma Spiced Gin brings (dried) fruit and spice and all things nice to the apple juice, so no other mulling ingredients are needed! Simple perfection.
50ml Palma Spiced Gin
Hot cloudy apple juice
Slice of orange
Fill a mug with Palma Spiced Gin and add hot cloudy apple juice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange.
Masons’ latest release, Orange & Lime Leaf Gin, offers a pleasing mouthfeel and juniper backbone, with the spice towards the front of the palate followed by an assault of oranges and a delicious dry finish. Paired with cranberries and cinnamon this makes a beautiful festive drink that’s sure to impress (especially if you flame the orange peel!).
35ml Masons Orange & Lime Leaf Gin
20ml lime juice
35ml cranberry juice
5ml cinnamon syrup
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice until mixed. Strain into a glass and garnish with a twist of orange zest.
Luxardo recently challenged me to make something with their classic maraschino cherries and this was the result. Combining sweet cherries, gin and bubbles, it’s downright delicious; even if I do say so myself!
45ml Bullards Old Tom Gin
22.5ml Luxardo maraschino cherry syrup
15ml lemon juice
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Cava, Prosecco or Champagne
1 maraschino cherry
Shake all the ingredients except the sparkling wine with ice. Fine strain into a champagne flute, drop in a maraschino cherry and top up with festive fizz.
Buttermilk Maple Gin Flip
Another cracking cocktail from Emma’s book – which features recipes to see you through from Halloween to St Patrick’s Day – I made this with one of my favourite gins from one of my most local distilleries, but any decent Navy Strength will do the job.
60ml 58 Gin Navy Strength
15ml maple syrup
1 egg yolk*
Add the egg yolk to a cocktail shaker with two ice cubes and shake for 10 seconds. Open the shaker and fill with ice. Add the gin, buttermilk and maple syrup and shake until cold. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.
**if you can’t get your hands on buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 250ml milk with 1tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar. Leave at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until the milk has thickened slightly.
Dickensian Gin Punch
This stunning enamel mug is currently available as part of a Bathtub Gin gift set (affiliate link) and demands to be filled with a heavenly hot serve. For something a bit different try this delicious Dickensian hot punch from Gin Foundry.
200ml Bathtub Gin
200ml cranberry juice
6 – 10 dehydrated orange wheels
The peel of one lemon, studded with cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 apple cut into wheels
1-2 pieces star anise
A pinch of ground nutmeg
3 tbsp molasses (or brown sugar)
Add the lemon, cinnamon, apple, star anise, nutmeg and molasses to a pan with cranberry juice and heat, slowly, for around 20 minutes, allowing all of the flavours to infuse. Once this is near boiling, turn the stove down to its minimum heat and add in the sherry. Cook through for another 10 minutes, then add in the gin. Keep on the stove for a further 3-5 minutes, before serving and garnishing with a dehydrated orange wheel.
Sugar Plum Royale
When you want something special yet simple it doesn’t get much easier than topping up a glass of fizz with a measure of gin. I’ve used Sugar Plum Gin Liqueur, one of Sipsmith’s seasonal spirits, which you can currently purchase as part of their build-your-own stocking, but sloe gin also works wonderfully if that’s what you have to hand.
50ml Sipsmith Sugar Plum Gin Liqueur
100ml Champagne or Prosecco
Add your choice of sparkling wine to a chilled champagne flute and top with Sugar Plum Gin Liqueur.
*please only use fresh British Lion stamped hen eggs. Pregnant women, those vulnerable to infection and the elderly should be extra cautious when consuming raw eggs or avoid them altogether.