8 Easy, Festive Cocktails To Make Your Christmas Merry

Merry Christmas!

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Hosting friends and family this Christmas and determined to a) impress them with your urbane sophistication, and b) get wasted?

Here are the festive cocktails - all dead easy to prepare - that have you covered.

Gingerbread Bellini

It's possibly sacrilege to defame Champagne this way but hey, you didn’t invent Christmas. If you think your guests might be impressed with a festive twist on their fizz, chill some flutes, then mix lemon juice, a shot of ginger cordial, and double shot of hazelnut liquer, pour the mixture into your glasses and top up with Champers (or Prosecco). Serve with a plate of gingerbread biscuits you definitely made yourself and didn’t just buy from Coles last night. 

Winter Whisky Sour

Shake a large measure of bourbon with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice, plus half a tablespoon of sugar syrup. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. You can also add some honey around the rim of the glass then press it down in finely grated orange zest, salt and sugar - in case you’re worried you aren’t being festive enough. 


Cranberry Margarita

Mix the juice from one orange, one lime, 200ml of cranberry juice, 200ml of tequila, a shot of triple sec in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake it all very hard, strain and serve into chilled cocktail glasses. As above, trim with honeyed-fruit zested rim.


Reverse Espresso Martini

Fill an ice cube tray with espresso and get that in the freezer. When you taste how good this is, you’ll want to have plenty prepared. Meanwhile, take a very large vodka and a slightly smaller Baileys and plenty of ice (regular) and smash it all around in a cocktail shaker. Line up your glasses, put a few of the espresso ice cubes in, then pour the booze over. Hey presto, the best cocktail you’ll ever make. Merry bloody Christmas. 


Hedgerow Royale

We’re into real “What’s left in the drinks cabinet?” territory now. If you have over-ordered on the Prosecco and the taste is starting to grow old, get a glass, fill it with crushed ice and pour your fizz over it. Add a small sprig of rosemary and slowly pour 25mls each of sloe gin and cherry brandy to top it up. Easy as that.


Salted Caramel Pecan Sour 

For the long (but, to be honest, better) version of this, you can toast your own pecans in a pan for a couple of minutes, add sugar and water to caramelize them, then add the salt and drain through a sieve. If that sounds like too much effort, buy your own salted caramel syrup and put 100ml in a cocktail shaker with 300ml vodka, 3 egg whites, 120ml orange juice, and 20 drops of chocolate bitters. Shake very hard for 30 seconds, add ice, shake for another 15 seconds, then serve – it will probably need another light strain/sieve. Grind some cinnamon or nutmeg over it or dress with some caramelized fruit to really show off. 


Mulled Rose Wine

Lighter and fruitier than the original served up to warm those cold winter Christmases in England or the US, this alternative is much more Aussie-friendly. Throw a load of rose wine into a large saucepan along with fruits and spices such as oranges, apples, grapefruit, cloves, nutmeg, stem ginger, peppercorns, allspice berries and star anise. Bring to a simmer then sitr in some crème de cassis, strain and serve (NB: In mugs or heatproof glasses NOT regular glasses).


Rumberry Punch

If you can’t be bothered with making lots of small, individual drinks and are all about big jugs of brutal booze, this is your shout. Fill a bowl with Dark Rum, Cranberry Juice and Ginger Ale – start with 1 litre of the juice and ginger ale to a third of a litre of rum and see how you go from there. Make sure everything’s very cold and pour over tons of ice when you serve.

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Ryan Warren

30 November 2022

Article by:

Ryan Warren

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