5 Festive Cocktails To Make At Home This Year

5 Festive Cocktails To Make At Home This Year

Whether you’re entertaining the whole family or just yourself and the dog this Christmas, get festive with our favourite make-at-home Christmas cocktails provided by some of London’s best mixologists.

Wintergroni by Matt Ottley 

A seasonal twist on Italy’s iconic aperitif .


25ml Malfy Blood Orange Gin

25ml Amaro Montenegro

20ml Sweet Vermouth (we use Cocchi di Torino but any good sweet vermouth will do)

5ml Pino Mugo Liqueur (Italian pine liqueur, or a sprig of pine from your Christmas tree)


  • Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice and stir for 5 seconds or a little longer to dilute
  • Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of pine or rosemary for a little festive aroma


Café Irlandese by Matt Ottley 

Inspired by the winter warming classic the Irish Coffee.


30ml Vecchia Romagna (ideally Italian brandy but any brandy will do)

10ml Demerara Sugar Syrup

120ml Coffee

100ml Double Cream

10ml Branca Menta


  • Start by making your syrup. Add equal amounts of demerara sugar and water (100g each) to a saucepan on a very low heat. Stir until dissolved then allow to cool
  • Next, warm the glass with a little hot water and prepare the coffee (any coffee will do as long as it tastes nice) before combining with the syrup and brandy, giving it a quick stir. Add to your warmed glass
  • Finally, prepare the cream float. In a cocktail shaker (or a protein shaker if you don’t have a fully equipped bar at home) add the cream and Branca Menta. Give a quick dry shake (without ice) to combine the ingredients and aerate the cream
  • Using the back of a teaspoon positioned above the drink, slowly pour the cream over the back of the spoon, it should float perfectly on top of the coffee
  • Garnish with a mint leaf and enjoy

Grinch In The Cup:

A Christmas cocktail, comprising the flavours of mint, Bourbon and brown sugar, topped with a Bourbon-infused cherry from The Beaumont’s American-inspired bar, Le Magritte


  • 2 drops D.R. Harris bitters
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 15ml Pineau des Charentes
  • 60ml Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 10ml Fernet Branca Menta


  1. To a metal cup, add all the ingredients.
  2. Gently stir using a swizzle.
  3. Fill up the cup with crushed ice, creating a little mound that rises above the rim of the cup.
  4. Garnish with a few springs of mint, a cherry infused in bourbon and a dust of icing sugar over the top.

Chestnut Old Fashioned, Laura Christie, Oklava 


¼ ounce chestnut syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 orange peel
2 ounces rye whiskey

Chestnut syrup (makes 8 ounces of syrup)
1 cup cooked chestnuts
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 ounces bandy


In a mixing glass combine chestnut syrup, angostura bitters and the orange peel. Very gently muddle the orange peel into the syrup and bitters. Add the rye whiskey and a scoop of ice to the mixing glass, give it just a few stirs then strain the cocktail into the serving glass over one large ice cube. For a more diluted cocktail, stir the cocktail longer and more vigorously in the mixing glass before straining into the serving glass. Garnish with the orange peel and serve.

Chestnut Syrup Method

The syrup can be made with precooked canned or vacuum sealed chestnuts, but there’s nothing quite like perfuming your home with the smell of roasting chestnuts. If starting with uncooked chestnuts, the roasting process will cook the chestnuts through as well as make the outer shells easy to remove. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a sharp knife to slice the top of each chestnut shell, cutting just slightly into the flesh. Transfer the chestnuts to a baking sheet, cut side up, and roast for about 45 minutes, until the peels curl up. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and let them cool just slightly. Remove the shells and papery skin from the chestnuts while they are still hot. If the papery skin sticks to the chestnut flesh, roll it between your hands until they crack off, almost like winnowing off the husks from cocoa beans.

To make the chestnut syrup, combine 1 cup water, raw sugar, seeds from the vanilla bean and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook just until the sugar is dissolved then remove from heat and let cool completely and strain out the zest. Place 1 cup of roasted chestnuts in a clean sealable jar and pour the simple syrup over the chestnuts. Add the brandy and stir to

The Bitter Untwisted

Brighton’s favourite neighbourhood restaurant, Burnt Orange’s expertly-curated mix of Grand Marnier, Woodford Reserve, Sweet Vermouth and Amaro Averna is bound to warm guests this winter.

20ml – Grand Marnier
20ml – Woodford Reserve
20ml – Sweet Vermouth
5ml – Amaro Averna


The method for this cocktail is as simple as stirring over ice for dilution, pouring into a chilled glass and garnish with Luxardo Maraschino Cherries (or a cocktail cherry)


Got you in the Christmas mood? shop the Gift Gallery now.

Words by Thomas Sumner of The Essential Journal.

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