With Christmas just around the corner it’s the perfect time to start thinking about those warming winter cocktails and hot drinks. Nothing wrong with a mug of mulled wine or cider, but sometimes we need to surprise our taste buds and try new flavours. I have listed six delicious cocktail recipes, all with lovely winter flavours, and simple enough to make at home. Whether you are planning a party, hosting a dinner or just want to enjoy a drink with a friend, these recipes will certainly add to the occasion.
We have all been drinking Negronis all summer long and we are not ready to stop for the winter. With Carpano Antica Formula and spice-infused gin you can create a tasty winter version of our beloved classic.
You can use an alternative vermouth, but in Antica you can taste dried fruits, spices, vanilla and a little bit of orange, making it a great base for a Winter Negroni.
25ml Infused gin*
25ml Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
Add all ingredients into the glass part of a Boston shaker and stir well with ice. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and garnish with an orange slice.
*To infuse the gin you’ll need some lovely Christmassy spices. I used the ingredients below, but feel free to play with alternatives (such as bay leaves, vanilla pods, all spice, cardamom…).
50g Brown sugar
Skin of half an orange plus zest of the other half
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star anise
Add all but the gin into a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil and leave it to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool down before adding gin. Store the mixture for a few days, even a week, before making the cocktail. When you feel the flavours are ready, strain the mixture.
Christmas Pudding Vodka
Why eat the cake when you can drink it?
300g Mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, figs)
75g Caster sugar
2 Cinnamon sticks
2tsp Ground mixed spice
Finely grated nutmeg (be careful with nutmeg as it can become overpowering)
1 Orange, zest
1 Lemon, zest
2tbsp Fresh orange juice
2tbsp Fresh lemon juice
Add all the ingredients into a big saucepan or a bowl and top up with vodka. Cover the mixture with a cling film. Store in the fridge for two to three days. Try it after two and decide on the flavour. Strain the vodka mix before pouring into bottles.
Check my previous post, DIY Flavoured Vodka, for other Christmassy vodka recipes.
Hot Buttered Rum
I feel the title says it all. Delicious.
1 Small knob of butter
1½tsp Brown sugar
A pinch of Cinnamon
A pinch of Grated nutmeg
Dash of Vanilla extract (optional)
Tiny pinch of Salt
50ml Dark rum (I use Santiago De Cuba Anejo)
Mix the soft butter together with all the spices, sugar and salt in a toddy glass. Pour over the hot water and top up with dark rum. Stir well. You can adjust the spices according to your taste or try the recipe with alternative spices, such as ground cloves and allspice. Serve with a side of gingerbread cookies, because why not?
If you aren’t a huge fan of Cognac and therefore have missed out on Sidecar cocktails, this is a recipe for you to try! Winter Pimm’s together with Grand Marnier makes a killer winter take on the classic!
50ml Winter Pimm’s
20ml Fresh lemon juice
15ml Grand Marnier
Shake all and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This beautiful prosecco cocktail will transform your usual Christmas party fizz into an elegant cocktail.
120ml Dry Prosecco
1 Sugar cube
Soak the sugar cube with Angostura and drop it into a champagne flute. Pour over Prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.
Upgrade your usual martini this winter. Martinez is made for winter nights with the subtle flavours of bitter orange and maraschino. All you need is a fireplace to create the perfect ambiance!
20ml Sweet Vermouth
A bar spoon of Maraschino
Dash of Orange bitters
Stir in a glass with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist or a cherry.
Do you make cocktails at home? What is your ultimate winter serve?