Our Favourite Christmas Cocktails.
It’s that time of year when getting together with friends and family (albeit maybe virtually this year) is synonymous with making delicious cocktails and mocktails. In my household, it’s a fun, messy and slightly chaotic activity. I never have enough ice. Anything complicated and I’m likely to be missing an ingredient or two. And, by the time I’ve made and tried a few myself, they all seem totally fabulous!
Team London-Unattached cocktails are for the most part, simple and easy to make and reasonably flexible. We won’t expect you to stock homemade shrub or to have garnishes imported from the Himalayan mountains. And, we’ll forgive you if you adapt the recipes to suit what you have to hand. The main thing is to enjoy whatever you make. Do you have a favourite Christmas cocktail? For some people it’s a Snowball with Advocaat, for others an Old Fashioned. For me, I tend towards cocktails that include autumnal and winter fruits – I love our Rhubarb and Custard cocktail with Advocaat and rhubarb gin, or our ultra-simple Damson Vodka Martini. It’s all about what works for you at this time of year, with the caveat that we recommend keeping your Christmas cocktail simple!
To get started, we suggest stocking a few basics. Lemon and orange slices, maraschino cherries, angostura bitters, good quality mixers and a few fresh herbs. We also make our own simple syrup and variations. We make 1:1 and 2:1 dilution syrups by gently heating sugar and water until the sugar dissolves (1 part sugar to 1 part water for 1:1 and 2 parts sugar to one part water for the richer 2:1 syrup). We’ve also made a spiced orange syrup and we generally make a 1:1 honey syrup instead of using the agave syrup that you’ll sometime find recommended for drinks like margaritas. The syrups will keep well in the fridge in a screwtop jar or bottle for a few weeks.
You’ll also need a cocktail shaker and a few glasses. Don’t worry too much about having every possible glass you might ever need – but do try to have a few coupe glasses and some tumblers as an absolute minimum. Then, make as much as ice as you can in preparation – and get ready to shake, rattle and roll! Remember that you can switch out ingredients for low alcohol varieties – try some of the new low alcohol gins. We’ve tried quite a few, including CleanGin which has no alcohol at all and Trinity25 which has just 25% ABV. Both a great substitute for the real think in a cocktail that might just leave you feeling better the morning after!
Here’s our roundup of festive drinks