Nothing quite says Christmas like a cocktail. There’s a sense of occasion in setting up your home bar and getting creative with a new recipe during the festive period. If you’re looking for drink inspiration, where better to look than the menus of some of London’s best bars?
Embrace the trend for kitsch cocktails and try out a Snowball from Hawksmoor, or warm up with a Mezcal Hot Chocolate from renowned agave bar Hacha. Whether you’re craving something warm and whisky-laced or tart and sparkling, one of these bartender-approved Christmas cocktails should satisfy your sipping needs.
Five festive cocktails from London bars
- 30ml Irish whiskey (Sailor’s Home, or any light blend)
- 20ml Oloroso sherry
- 15ml lemon sherbet
- 15ml sugar syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 large ice cubes
- 30ml soda water
- Put all the ingredients, apart from the soda water, into a blender. Add two large ice cubes and blend on a high setting (breaking down the ice cube and whipping the egg mixture).
- Take a rocks or highball glass (ideally, chilled in the freezer in advance) and pour in the soda water. Top with the blended mixture and garnish with a maraschino cherry on a stick.
The Macallan Manor House’s Hot Toddy
- Half a cinnamon stick
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp cocoa nibs
- 2 tsp Jing English breakfast tea
- 200ml boiling water
- 10-20ml organic honey (adjust for sweetness)
- 10ml fresh lemon juice
- 50ml The Macallan Harmony Collection: Rich Cacao Scotch whisky
- Place the spices into a pestle and lightly crush with a mortar. Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat and toast the spices for five minutes.
- Add the spices to a teapot along with the tea, hot water, honey, and lemon. Brew for three and a half minutes.
- Pour the whisky into a heatproof glass, then pour the mixture from the teapot into the glass.
Hacha’s Mezcal Hot Chocolate
- 200ml milk or oat milk
- 3 tbsp Cool Chile Oaxaca hot chocolate
- 2 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 25ml Pensador Espadín mezcal
- Orange twist
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Warm the milk in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling. Add the Oaxaca hot chocolate, sugar and salt and stir until thick and luscious.
- Remove from heat and add mezcal, then pour into a mug. Take a strip of orange zest and twist over the mug, expressing the oils, then discard. Dust with cinnamon.
(Or click here to purchase an at-home Mezcal Hot Chocolate kit.)
The Sun Tavern’s Pixie Fizz
- 20ml vodka
- 15ml blood orange sherbet (see ingredients below)
- 20ml fresh lemon juice
- Handful of ice
- Sparkling wine to top
- Put the vodka, sherbet and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake, then double strain into a flute or coupe glass.
- Top with sparkling wine (Prosecco or Blanc de Blancs) and garnish with a lemon or blood orange twist or wedge.
For the sherbet:
- 250g caster sugar
- 50ml lemon or pink grapefruit juice
- 125g leftover citrus fruit peels
- 200ml blood orange juice
Mix the caster sugar with the lemon or grapefruit juice. Add the peels and leave to marinate overnight. Then add the blood orange juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Sieve and pour into a bottle.
Swift’s Signature Irish Coffee
- Double cream
- 75ml strong, Robusto filter coffee
- 40ml Jameson Caskmates Irish whiskey
- Demerara sugar (to taste)
- Fresh nutmeg
- Lightly whip the cream so it’s very slightly thickened, then set aside.
- Pour the hot coffee into a mug or heatproof glass, then add the whiskey and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Gently float the cream on the top and sprinkle the nutmeg on top.