I thoroughly enjoy a limited edition winter cocktail over the festive season, you might remember my most festive bars in Newcastle post from last year, with All Bar One’s Christmas pornstar martini being one of the nicest Christmas cocktails I’ve ever had. Leila Lily’s and their espresso martinis are always a winner too. But sadly this year the bars of Newcastle are currently closed, and just like the summer I’m having to make my own until they reopen. I’ve tried and tested most of these, so here’s my easy Christmas cocktails to make at home.
For reference here’s the post I did in the summer, and some of these basic recipes are included here but with a festive twist. Most of the same ingredients are required with just a couple of extras needed. Aside from the spirits and mixers you’re likely to already have at home, especially if you have a dedicated bar cart or drinks cupboard, additional ones you will need for these easy Christmas cocktails are:
Monin winter spice syrup – a key ingredient to turn some of the basic recipes into more festive ones. It’s like golddust though there are extended delivery times on Amazon but it is available, I ordered mine directly from the Monin site.
Cranberries and cranberry juice
Spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves – you might already have these if you’ve been making mulled wine or mulled cider
Cointreau or any other orange liqueur
Pomegranates, pomegranate juice
Sloe gin (or any winter gin you like, I’m a fan of Poetic License fireside, or Ophir spiced gin)
This might seem like a lot but this covers all the cocktails I’m going to mention, so you can pick and choose which ones you’d like to make to keep costs down if you prefer.
The first Christmas cocktail I made at home as we got a bottle of Bailey’s as a gift off Kieran’s mum back in November. After having a couple of Baileys hot chocolates I ventured out into Bailey’s cocktails and this one is really easy to make. This recipe makes one cocktail so alter for more.
1 shot Khalua or coffee liqueur
1 shot vodka
Optional: whipped cream and chocolate powder/sprinkles/flake
Start by chilling a glass in the freezer, and then put your Khalua or coffee liqueur, vodka, Baileys, a big squirt of cream and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside is freezing.
Take your glass out the freezer and swirl chocolate sauce around the edge. Give the shaker one final shake and then strain into the chilled glass over ice. If you’re going for a milkshake option then add squirty cream to the top and any other toppings you like. I prefer it without though as I drink milkshakes far too fast. This also makes a really good desert cocktail, especially if you’re tucking into the Celebrations tin too.
Festive Flavour Espresso Martini
You may remember from the first lockdown the trauma I had every Saturday until I perfected the espresso martini. Well I finally got there with the following recipe, which I’ve copied straight from my lockdown cocktails post, the only difference is you add whichever festive flavour you prefer. It could be salted caramel Bailey’s, Christmas spice syrup, cinnamon, gingerbread or any other you choose.
Double shot vodka
Single shot espresso coffee
Single shot Kahlua
1 tbsp sugar syrup – use the Christmas spice syrup here
Add a shot of flavoured Baileys here
All in a shaker with loads of ice and shake for ages to get the froth.
Chill a martini glass, and pour in. If you have two coffee beans add them on top. I found that adding the espresso last gives the best result overall and it transformed my espresso martini cocktail making from a total disaster into a success.
The sangria I made in the summer was one of my favourite drinks this year, so here’s a twist on the classic summer favourite for winter.
Bottle of red wine, ideally Spanish but any you like will do
Sparkling water or soda water for bubbles, or just normal water if not. I think for this one the sparkling tastes better
Grapefruit and orange slices, you could also use apple and lemon too
A cinnamon stick, star anise and a couple of cloves
Pour the wine into a jug of ice, then top up with the sparkling or soda water. Chop up your fruit and add in, give it a good mix. Add in the spices and mix again. Leave it in the fridge for at least an hour, but with these spices adding in they’ll mix into the flavour over a longer period of time so the longer the better. You could even leave it overnight. Serve and for an extra festive touch add cranberries or pomegranates to make it look beautiful.
Spiced Pornstar Martini
Another one where the only difference is the addition of spiced syrup to give it a Christmas taste.
Double shot vodka
Single shot Passoa
1tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Monin winter spiced syrup
Halve a passionfruit and scrape into a cocktail shaker, add the vodka, passoa, lime juice and winter spice syrup, as well as a lot of ice. Shake well before pouring into a chilled martini glass. Add half a passion fruit on the top, or a star anise if you don’t mind the strong taste and depending how you drink yours add a shot of prosecco into the drink or into the passion fruit half.
It doesn’t quite taste the same as All Bar One’s amazing ones but it’s not too far off and will do until we can get back there.
I thoroughly enjoy a margarita, but again when they’re made for me. I’ve been getting mine from Lobo Rojo on the North Shields fish quay as they’re so nice. Here’s how to make this Christmas one, and it’s loosely based on this recipe I found online. You can mix about with the measurements depending how strong you want each flavour.
Shot and a half tequila
Sugar syrup (I used plain not the Christmas spiced one here)
Double cranberry juice
Double pomegranate juice (if you have it I didnt bother)
Half shot of lime juice
Put some salt on a flat dish and run a lime wedge around the rim of a glass, rub in to the salt to get the salt rim. Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a bit of ice, then pour into the glass. Add a lime wedge, or if you’re feeling more festive then use frozen cranberries, or a sprig of rosemary.
Sloe Gin Easy Christmas Cocktails
Sloe gin is a great Christmas equivalent for gin cocktails at this time of year. I made my own sloe gin last year and still have a bottle left so I’ve been using that, but you can also buy it. Here’s some ways to drink it:
Sloe Gin Fizz
Probably the easiest one to make, you just add a shot (or two) of slow gin, a dollop of syrup, and a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake before pouring into a glass and topping up with Prosecco or champagne. Some recipes also suggest using egg white too for a frothy top but I prefer to keep it simple.
An even simpler way is to just put a shot into the bottom of a champagne flute, top up with champagne/Prosecco and give it a stir. I like this one for New Years Eve.
Mulled apple and sloe gin
Use the same recipe to make the mulled apple as you would for my mulled cider here, but use apple juice instead. Then squeeze some fresh orange juice in too, and add a double shot of sloe gin. Serve with any of the spices or fresh orange and cranberries.
Sloe Gin Toddy
I’m not a fan of whisky which is what hot toddy’s traditionally come with but you can swap out the whisky for sloe gin instead. Using BBC Good Food’s recipe as inspiration:
Shot of whisky – swapped for sloe gin
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Mix together the sloe gin, honey and lemon and top up with boiling water. Add the cinnamon stick and slice of lemon to garnish.
There are obviously so many more variations to these cocktails I’ve mentioned and other ones you could make. If you don’t fancy making them yourself though then some places are doing takeaway cocktails which is a great way to support your local bars.
I recently tried a bottle of Mother Mercy’s ‘Run for the Sun’ (PR gift) and it was so delicious, it tasted very festive despite the name which sounds quite summery. It was fizzy and not too sweet which some bottled cocktails can be. I already mentioned Lobo Rojo who do takeaway margaritas, but they have a full cocktail menu here which has plenty others. Lola Jeans and Allards are both serving takeaway cocktails too.
If you fancy giving it a go yourself then all 8 of these are really easy Christmas cocktails to make at home, especially if like me you have a bar already stocked with most of the ingredients from having to do it for most of the year anyway. Cheers!
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