No Christmas dinner is complete without an appropriately seasonal tipple and while prosecco and its expensive alternatives are all well and good, isn't it time you tried something a little different? With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with DesignMyNight to bring you the best, booziest and most fabulously festive cocktail recipes London has to offer this merry season.
If you find yourself amidst the general chaos that is central London at this time of year, take solace in the fact you’re never too far from one of Dirty Martini impossibly tasty concoctions. But for the sensible lot among you who choose to do your shopping locally rather than battle through bargain hunters on Oxford Street, here’s how to make one of their classiest cocktails in the comfort and warmth of your own home.
Throw a shot of Martell VS cognac, an equal measure of Mozart’s White Chocolate Liqueur, 15ml of Licor 43, and 10ml of Yellow Chartreuse and Butterscotch Schnapps into a Boston shaker. Just add cubed ice, shake, then strain into a pre-chilled martini glass and hey presto - you’ve got yourself an Ambrosia Martini. Head to any one of Dirty Martini’s centrally-located outposts to enjoy this drink with a sesame-seed-rim finish (or just add those yourself).
Preparation is key when it comes to Christmas and this Panettone Flip by Duck and Waffle is no different. Firstly, you’ll need to make the spiced sugar. Place half a stick of cinnamon and three Tonka beans into 250ml of sugar syrup (that’s a ratio of 2:1 sugar to cooled water) in an air-tight container and let it rest for 12 hours. When time is up, filter out the spices and reserve the infused sugar. For the panettone puree you will need to dry blend 250g of bread into crumbs, add 350ml of cognac, mix everything back together, pass the contents through a sieve and refrigerate until cold. Once the puree is chilled, pour out 35ml, add the same amount of cognac (yes, more cognac) to 15ml of the spiced sugar and throw all into a shaker. The final step is to crack a whole egg into the tin and shake well with cubed ice before double straining your blend into a tasting glass.
Nab a ticket for their New Year’s Eve party and you’ll be able to sip on this stylish tipple while1920’s live jazz and modern DJs provide the soundtrack at a spot boasting panoramic views of the city.
The Irish Coffee Martini from Dalloway Terrace is the only way to beat the late afternoon slump on Christmas day. To make it, fill a coupe glass with ice and shake a double shot of espresso, 35ml of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, 15ml of Baileys and 10ml of sweet sugar syrup (we recommend using brown sugar) together. Throw ice into your cocktail shaker, shake hard for 20 seconds and strain the mixture into your chilled glass. For best results, garnish with a shaving of luxury chocolate, consume immediately and repeat within 30 minutes.
Head down to Venn Street Records this December to introduce your tastebuds to the best tasting cocktails in town and to treat your ears to an eclectic mix of live music. Their Winter Negroni is by far the most popular drink on the menu thanks to its seasonal twist. To replicate this crowd pleaser at home throw two or three cubes of ice into a short glass, add a 25ml shot of dry gin (Venn Street Records recommends Star of Bombay), Campari, King’s Ginger Liqueur and spiced vermouth. Give the drink a quick stir and finish with an orange peel twist for a zesty kick. If you’re brave enough, play around with the ingredients and measurements until you find your perfect poison.
While sprouts have a history of dividing nations, this Sprouting Gin Fizz cocktail is guaranteed to make you fall in love with Christmas’ most-hated vegetable, one sip at a time. Firstly, you’ll need to caramelise your sprouts by part-boiling them and then frying them with a drizzle of honey. Once they’re done, throw them to one side and in the same pan, pour 200ml of cranberry juice and 100ml of honey. Bring this to the boil and let cool. Next, fill a tall glass with ice, a double shot of Gordon’s Gin, a tablespoon of lime juice, twice as much lemon juice and your cranberry syrup. Spike your caramelised sprouts with a long cocktail stick for a garnish, then top the tipple with Prosecco because no Christmas cocktail is complete without bubbles.
The mixologists at London Cocktail Club are on hand to inject a little magic into your life this Christmas with their wintery Wisdom. You’ll need 25ml of lemony Pococello, VSOP Chauffe Coeur, the same measure of fresh lemon juice as well as 15ml sugar syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters. Throw all ingredients into a shaker and give it a vigorous shaking. Strain the liquid into a baby coupe glass but not before rimming the glass it with cinnamon sugar for a festive finish.
You’ll find views to die for atop Bird of Smithfield in Farringdon but their Unmasked cocktail will demand your attention first. For an authentic taste, you will need to infuse Whiskey Thief with a cinnamon stick, but be warned, this isn’t for the patient type. If, however, you CBA ‘cos Christmas, there’s all the cinnamon whiskey varieties anyone could ever wish for available to buy from all good off licenses. Throw 60ml of the strong stuff into a shaker alongside 10ml of lemon and apricot brandy, a double measurement of orange bitters, 5ml of sugar syrup and approximately ¼ of the white of one egg. Add ice, thyme and a bay leaf, shake vigorously for 6-8 seconds, pour into a coupe glass and garnish with a juicy cherry.
The Feeny Tini combines rich Feeney’s Irish cream with sweet gingerbread syrup and Irish whiskey, resulting in a firm festive favourite with a punchy kick. It’s also a great dessert alternative if you’re feeling stuffed come the third course. To make this merry mix you’ll need to add ice to your shaker and pour in all of your ingredients; 50ml of double cream, 10ml of gingerbread syrup, 30ml of Feeney’s finest and a little less Irish whiskey. Give it all a good shake and strain into a martini glass. For an irresistible nutty finish, ground some nutmeg and sprinkle over the top.
For more great bars serving festive cocktails and to find out what’s on in London this Christmas, head over to DesignMyNight and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @DesignMyNight
What's your favourite Christmas tipple? Let us know @soFeminineUK
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