Three 60-Second Cocktails for Christmas

A new book by drink writers Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley helps you whip up inventive drinks in next to no time. Here are three festive recipes from 60-Second Cocktails to test out this Christmas

Words by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley

Photography by Vinny Whiteman

60-second cocktails

In their latest book release, drink writers Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley deliver 60 cocktail recipes designed to be created in under one minute. 60-Second Cocktails aims to introduce home bartenders – from the beginners to the more experienced – to easy-to-make classics as well as inventive twists on some old favourite recipes, with the overriding idea that all drinks featured can be created in next to no time at all.

Here, the pair share three Christmassy cocktail recipes direct from the book, fit for the festivities ahead.

Three festive drinks from 60-Second Cocktails

affogato snowstorm cocktail

Affogato Snowstorm

Affogato, the classico Italian dessert of vanilla ice cream and espresso coffee, is perhaps the perfect way to end a meal. This cocktail version combines the added punch of a shot of vodka and the spice of Angostura bitters. Grab a spoon and get stuck in!


  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 part vodka
  • 2–3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 parts freshly brewed hot espresso coffee
  • 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut


Which glass?
A wide-brimmed coffee cup works perfectly, with a spoon.


What about a garnish?
None needed, but we found this little skiing chap who fancied his chances off-piste!


What equipment will I need?
A jigger measure and teaspoon.


Do I add ice?
None needed.


How do I make this?
Add the ice cream to the cup and pour over the vodka. Add the bitters to the coffee and then pour into the cup. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and serve with a spoon to eat it with.

ultimate champagne cocktail

The Ultimate Champagne Cocktail

Using sparkling wine, particularly Champagne, elevates any cocktail to another level of decadence and sophistication. This bona fide classic is one of the most impressive party drinks and is devilishly easy drinking, with a delicate floral note and rich sweetness. We’ve jazzed it up by using muscovado sugar syrup for extra complexity.


  • 1 part brandy – Cognac is the classic choice, but any good, fruity brandy will do
  • 1/2 part muscovado sugar syrup
  • 3 parts well-chilled Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


Which glass?
A flute.


What about a garnish?
A spiral of lemon peel.


What equipment will I need?
A jigger measure and bar spoon.


Do I add ice?
None needed, but ensure the sparkling wine is cold from the refrigerator and chill the glass in the freezer beforehand.


How do I make this?
Add the brandy and sugar syrup to the glass and give a quick stir with the bar spoon to mix. Then carefully add the sparkling wine, leaving a little room at the top. Add the bitters and gently stir until frothy. Garnish with the spiral of lemon peel, with a little dangling from the glass.

nan's sherry trifle cocktail

Nan’s Sherry Trifle

As it’s a seasonal drink, you’re probably only going to see advocaat, or eggnog, the custard-like, egg-based liqueur, go on sale in December for making Snowballs. We’ve used that traditional classic cocktail here as a template to create a liquid take on another festive treat, the sherry trifle, which brings back so many happy and tasty memories!


  • 3 parts advocaat
  • Warninks is the classic – or eggnog
  • 1 part amontillado or oloroso sherry
  • 1/2 part cherry liqueur
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
  • 4–5 parts ginger ale


Which glass?
A large wine glass or Hurricane glass.


What about a garnish?
A dusting of grated nutmeg, a cocktail cherry on a cocktail stick and some optional flaked almonds.


What equipment will I need?
A jigger measure and bar spoon.


Do I add ice?
Yes, some large ice cubes are perfect.


How do I make this?
Add all the ingredients except the ginger ale to your glass and stir with the bar spoon for a few seconds to mix together. Add the ice and top up slowly with the ginger ale, giving a final stir to bring a creamy, frothy head to the drink. Grate some nutmeg on the top, add the cherry on its cocktail stick and sprinkle the top of the drink with flaked almonds to garnish, if you like.

60 second cocktails book cover

60-Second Cocktails by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley is published by Mitchell Beazley (£12.99)