Mulled wine with cinnamon sticks and cranberries

Cheers To Christmas

Celebrate Christmas with a winter warmer cocktail or a sober substitute

Feel the warmth of Christmas with a comforting mulled drink or indulgent hot chocolate, it doesn’t even need to be alcoholic. It really helps with the present wrapping or tree decorating! Get your party or Christmas day off to a swing with our cocktail recipes, they are so quick and easy you won’t need to miss any of the festivities, and for the drivers or non-drinkers there are some equally scrumptious non-alcoholic alternatives. Or you can just ignore the run-up to Christmas, curl up besides the fire with a good book and a nice warming toddy and wait for spring.

Hot winter warmers

Hot Toddy (courtesy of Jamie Oliver)
This one is purely medicinal of course! Ideal to ward off winter colds.

  • 1½ parts whiskey
  • 1/3 part honey, runny
  • 3 parts hot water
  • 3 dried cloves per glass
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • garnish: lemon slices and cinnamon stick
  1. Combine whiskey, honey, hot water and cloves in a heatproof glass, stir until combined.
  2. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
  3. Remove the cloves and decorate with the cinnamon stick and lemon slices.

Mulled Cider (courtesy of Jamie Oliver)

  • 2ltrs (3.5pts) cider
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 – 4 star anise
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • 1 orange, juice
  • 2 clementines, juice
  • 1 pomegranate, juice and seeds
  • 4 – 5tbsp caster sugar
  1. Place the cider in a pan and warm through on a low heat.
  2. Add all the spices and the juices and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes.
  3. Add sugar to taste.
  4. Serve hot.

Christmas Coffee Cocktail (courtesy of Angie McGowan)
This can also be served iced.

  • 115ml (4fl oz) strong, fresh ground coffee
  • 43ml (1½fl oz) Amaretto liqueur
  • 43ml (1½fl oz) coffee liqueur
  • 28ml (1fl oz) butterscotch schnapps
  • 28ml (1fl oz) crème de cacao
  • fresh whipped cream
  • garnish: grated chocolate
  1. Stir all the liquids together in a pan and heat gently until just below boiling point.
  2. Pour into heat-proof glasses.
  3. Top with whipped cream and garnish with grated chocolate.   

Indulgent Hot Chocolate

  • 50g (1.8oz) dark chocolate
  • 250ml (8.8fl oz) whole milk
  • Sugar to taste
  • dash of cognac, dark rum or Baileys (optional)
  • garnish: double cream, lightly whipped and mini marshmallows
  1. Place the milk in a heavy bottomed pan and heat, add the grated chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Heat through but don’t bring to the boil.
  2. Beat with a small whisk and add sugar to taste and alcohol if using.
  3. Garnish with lightly whipped cream and mini marshmallows.

Cup of hot chocolate with cakes

Chilly Christmas Cocktails

White Chocolate Cocktail (courtesy of Chelsie Collins)

  • 100ml (3.5fl oz) vanilla vodka
  • 160ml (5.6fl oz) coconut cream
  • 1tbsp crème de cacao
  • ½teasp grated nutmeg
  • chocolate wafer straws
  1. Place a few ice cubes plus all the ingredients, except the straws, into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain.
  3. Serve in 2 mini milk bottles and add the wafer straws.

Christmas Punch (courtesy of Charlie Clapp)

  • 75ml (2.6fl oz) clementine juice
  • 150ml (5.3fl oz) Benedictine liqueur
  • 225ml (8fl oz) whiskey or brandy
  • 300ml (10.5fl oz) cranberry juice
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds
  • 1 clementine, thinly sliced
  1. Mix all ingredients in a jug.
  2. Chill for 2 – 3 hours.
  3. Serve in a punch bowl or large jug half filled with ice.

Cranberry Margaritas (courtesy of Gimme Some Oven)

  • 1½ cups cranberry juice
  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¾ cup tequila
  • ½ cup orange liqueur
  • ice cubes
  • garnish: fresh cranberries and lime wedges
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Serve in salt rimmed glasses.
  3. Garnish with the fresh cranberries and lime wedges.

Mistle-Sloe Gin (courtesy of thebar. com)

  • 50ml (1.8fl oz) sloe gin
  • 115ml (4fl oz) Schweppes bitter lemon
  • 20ml (0.7fl oz) lemon juice
  • 15ml (0.5fl oz) grenadine
  • ice cubes
  • garnish: lemon wedges
  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, add the sloe gin, lemon juice, bitter lemon and grenadine.
  2. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Eggnog (courtesy of Martha Stewart)
This recipe contains raw egg so just be careful you don’t serve it to anyone who might be vulnerable, such as pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with health issues.

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups double cream
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Beat the egg yolks until thick and pale, slowly beat in the sugar.
  2. Whisk in the milk and 2 cups of the cream.
  3. Mix in the alcohol and chill for a day.
  4. Just before serving beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the eggnog.
  5. Whisk the remaining I cup of cream until stiff and fold into the eggnog.
  6. Garnish with the grated nutmeg.

Father and son sledging down a hill in the snow

Sober Substitutes

Orange and cranberry spritz (courtesy of James Martin)

  • 500ml (17.6fl oz) smooth orange juice
  • 500ml (17.6fl oz) smooth cranberry juice
  • 400ml (14fl oz) sparkling elderflower presse
  • garnish: orange peel and fresh cranberries
  1. Mix orange and cranberry juices in a large jug.
  2. Slowly pour in elderflower presse, it tends to fizz and come over the top!
  3. Mix together.
  4. Serve in tall glasses over ice.
  5. Garnish with orange peel and fresh cranberries.

Mulled Cranberry Cocktail (courtesy of Martha Stewart)

  • 1.1ltrs (2pts) cranberry juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼teasp ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp water
  1. In a large saucepan place the juice, cinnamon stick and cloves, bring slowly to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer.
  3. In a small saucepan over a low heat place the cranberries, sugar, ground cinnamon and water.
  4. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries pop.
  5. When cool enough to handle thread 4 cranberries onto a cocktail stick.
  6. Pour the mulled juice into heat-proof glasses and decorate with the cranberry swizzle stick.
  7. Any left over cranberries can be added to the mulled juice if desired. 

Frost Bite (courtesy of TheLittleKitchen)

  • 28ml (1fl oz) lime juice
  • 28ml (1fl oz) pineapple juice
  • 56ml (2fl oz) white grape juice
  • 85ml (3fl oz) lemonade
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh blueberries, lightly crushed
  • ice
  • garnish: fresh blueberries
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the lime and pineapple juice. Mix.
  2. Add the white grape juice, mint leaves and crushed blueberries.
  3. Shake well and strain into a large glass filled with ice.
  4. Top up with the lemonade and decorate with a few fresh blueberries.

Sparkling Spritzer (courtesy of delish. com)

  • ½ cup Pinot Noir non-alcoholic sparkling wine
  • ½ cup ginger ale
  • 1 splash fresh lime juice
  • garnish: candied ginger
  1. Combine all the ingredients and pour into a wine glass.
  2. Decorate the rim of the glass with a piece of candied ginger.

Just go to our youtube channel to watch our videos showing you how to make the most of your BBQ over the Christmas period.

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas