We’ve never needed Christmas more in our lives at the end of what’s been a tumultuous year!
Staying at home often isn’t much fun but being at home at Christmas can be amazing! All the fun of snuggling up with your favourite Christmas films in front of the fireplace, making your house look like a mini winter wonderland and treating yourself and your loved ones to some epic gifts.
But to make this Christmas even better, why not expand your cocktail horizons beyond the bucks fizz and sherry? The festive season is the perfect time to flex your creative muscles, refresh your mixing skills and experiment with some brand new Christmas Day cocktail recipes. We’ve collected some of the very best, right here. So fire up your tumblers and make sure there’s plenty of ice in the freezer because things are about to get festive!
1. Apple Rum Punch
Let’s kick things off with a classic. The Apple Rum Punch, as the name suggests, is a fruity and bold winter warmer with an exotic history. Few fruits say “Christmas” quite like the apple and when it’s combined with a subtly spiced rum, vermouth, Calvados and (if you’re being cheeky) a dash of Absinthe, the results are festively fragrant and very drinkable.
2. Poinsettia Champagne
There are dozens of popular Christmas champagne cocktail recipes that are pretty much exclusively based on the old bucks fizz. This dazzling little number, however, mixes things up liberally with orange liqueur, cranberry juice and a garnish of fragrant rosemary.
3. Christmas Margarita
When it comes to the most popular Christmas cocktail recipes, your mind probably goes to creamy, Bailey’s-infused creations and fizzy sweetness. But the humble Margarita can be pretty festive if you’re willing to take a few liberties with it. A Christmas Margarita uses tequila as a base before adding plentiful splashes of apple and ginger liqueur with a hint of agave syrup. It’s a distinctly Mexican spin on a classic with a toasty backend and the ginger and apples bringing the festive flavours to the fore.
4. Clementine Prosecco
Dreamt up by the fine folks at Tesco, no less, this is one of many Christmas Prosecco cocktail recipes that have sprung up in recent years due to the resurgence in popularity of the Italian fizz. Perfect for Christmas Day morning, this fancy bucks fizz mixes orange liqueurs and clementine juice with a bottle of chilled Prosecco and a garnish of fresh clementine to set off your cocktail glass.
5. Spiced Negroni
Not everything in life has to be sweet and for those of us who appreciate a little bitterness (in their cocktails), the Negroni is the perfect choice. A Spiced Negroni uses the same basic template of the classic Italian cocktail but adds some fragrant festive spices to the mix. You’d never mess with the holy trinity of gin, vermouth and Campari, of course, but it’s what you add on top here that cements the flavour - cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. It doesn’t get more Christmassy than that, right?
6. Mistletoe Martini
There are hundreds of Christmas Day cocktails with cranberry juice as a base. It’s the flavour that feels just as Christmassy as cinnamon and turkey. This refreshing take on the Martini uses a light elderflower liqueur, blended with vodka, cranberry juice and a dash of lemon to create something truly special.
7. Winter Sidecar
A cocktail created in Paris but popularised in London, the Sidecar is the archetypal cognac cocktail. When you add a few festive spices to the mix, however, it takes on a whole new life. Even without the bold notes of cinnamon and mandarin, the Sidecar was always a cocktail that warmed your belly. With the Winter Sidecar, however, your belly will be warmer than Saint Nick’s on Christmas Eve!
8. Christmas Alexander
Would it really be Christmas without a bottle of Baileys? Indeed, when it comes to Christmas cocktail recipes, Baileys is often the first ingredient we reach for and it’ll make any cocktail taste like a dessert. The original Alexander is a classic dessert cocktail with a decidedly misty heritage. Originally made to celebrate the fictional character, Phoebe Snow, the drink of creme de cacao, gin and cream was designed to be something rich and decadent. So why not add a splash of Bailey’s into the mix and raise it up another notch? Add a drop of vanilla extract and a garnish with some grated nutmeg to set this one off!
9. Christmas in Manhattan
Start spreading the news! Few places shout “Christmas” like New York City, so why not celebrate the Big Apple with a big dose of… chocolate? The Christmas Manhattan is a decadent mix of bourbon and sweet vermouth, with soft chocolate and mandarin notes that make it feel almost like a boozy Chocolate Orange. Just one sip and you’ll be transported to the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Centre. For best results, drink while watching Home Alone 2!
No, this isn’t a joke. There’s a reason why Eggnog remains a classic and whilst it’s a bit of a task to whip up, you’ll soon notice it disappearing if you leave it in the fridge overnight. Egg yolks, sherry, rum, nutmeg and plenty of sugar and cream make this one the heaviest of all Christmas cocktails. The real shocker is that you can barely taste the spirit, so go easy!
What could be more 2020 than letterbox cocktails delivered through your door?
Of course, the only drawback of mixing cocktails is that it requires you to have a stocked liquor cabinet and many fresh ingredients at all times. To say this can get pretty expensive and potentially wasteful is something of an understatement. That’s why the Festive Christmas Cocktail Box from NIO is such a perfect fit for those that want to experiment without breaking the bank. This gorgeous package contains many of the cocktails featured above, but that are ready to simply be shaken and poured over ice.
If the festive box doesn’t float your boat, meanwhile, you can always build a box of ready to drink cocktails yourself from dozens of expertly crafted drinks. Or better yet, why not give the gift of instant festive cocktails to your nearest and dearest? We honestly can’t think of a better Christmas gift idea. Whatever you choose, however, these cocktails are bound to make Christmas Day 2020 one for the ages. Whether we’re celebrating it together or on Zoom!