The best cocktails and drinks to have at home this Christmas

The best cocktails and drinks to have at home this Christmas

Updated on 18 December 2018 • Written By SquareMeal

The best cocktails and drinks to have at home this Christmas

As this seasons festivities draw ever closer, so does the chance that you may be hosting guests at home. Trying to impress visitors can be hard, but don’t worry we can help when it comes to choosing which drinks to serve. From mixers, boozy hot chocolates, Champagnes and cocktails, this drinks list is guaranteed to add sophistication to any soirée.

Lots of cocktails

In order from left to right

Sapporo Premium Beer

A perfectly balanced Japanese golden lager that overlays maltiness and some nice bitter notes with a refreshing, crisp and clean finish.

Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut   

Fresh, well-balanced Champagne with classic structure, delicate bubbles and a roundness amplified by extensive use of reserve wines.

The English Negroni

Glass: Tumbler

Method: Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with lots of ice, and stir for 30 seconds. Double strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Twist a slice of red grapefruit peel over the glass, then rub it over the rim.

25ml Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’  |  25ml Bramley & Gage Sweet Vermouth  | 25ml Sacred Rosehip Cup Liqueur  | 10ml red grapefruit juice 

Grand 75

Glass: Coupette 

Method: Shake the Grand Marnier and fresh lemon juice together over ice. Strain into a coupette glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with an orange spiral.

30ml Grand Marnier  |  15ml fresh lemon juice  |  Champagne to top

Schweppes 1783 Muscovado Choc and Rye

Glass: Rocks 

Method: Stir all ingredients except Schweppes 1783 Muscovado together in a mixing glass. Strain into a rocks glass over cubed ice. Top with Schweppes 1783 Muscovado and garnish with juniper berries.

25ml Rye Whiskey  |  2 dashes walnut bitters  |  25ml sweet vermouth  |  10ml lemon juice  |  Schweppes 1783 Muscovado to top  

Accessories (left to right)

Amadora set of nested tables in Verde marble with lacquered steel legs, £600, Ligne Roset. 

Mallard bottle opener in bronze, £156, OKA.

Corinne champagne glass, as before, William & Son. Martelé (acute accent) 150 silver-plated cocktail strainer, part of a cocktail set, £855, by Robbe & Berking.

Anna New York silver ice tongs, £563, both from William & Son. 

Charles IV curved bottom DOF tumbler in 24% lead crystal £40, by Rückl at William & Son.

Lots of cocktails

In order from left to right

Nicolas Feuillatte 2008 Champagne

Aromas of ripe fruit and honey, with a gentle yeastiness on the palate from extended lees ageing, set against the bright acidity of this top vintage.

Queen’s Park Swizzle

Glass: Highball

Method: Build in a highball glass; muddle mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup then fill glass with crushed ice. Pour rum over ice and swizzle well until glass is ice-cold and frosted. Pack glass with more crushed ice and top with Angostura Aromatic Bitters. Garnish with a mint sprig.

50ml Angostura 7 Year Old Dark Rum  |  25ml Demerara simple syrup  |  25ml fresh lime juice  |  12-14 mint leaves  |  6-8 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters  

Pinkster Gin and Tonic

Glass: Highball 

Method: Mix ingredients together in a glass filled with plenty of ice. Garnish with a raspberry and a sprig of fresh, spanked mint.

50ml Pinkster Gin  |  premium tonic water to top  

Akashi-Tai Junmai Daiginjo Genshu

Distinguished dry saké with expressive aromatics of lily, honey and pear, a medium bodied palate showing hints of white flowers and anise, and a delightful lemony dry finish

Accessories (left to right)

Lenox drinks trolley in acrylic and glass with stainless steel frame, £985, OKA. 

Charles IV snack bowl and NasonMoretti champagne flute, both as before.

 William & Son Mother of pearl caviar spoon and spreader, both with sterling silver handles, £130 each.

Charles IV curved bottom high ball in 24% lead crystal, £46, by Rückl, both at William & Son. 

Faux shagreen placemats (set of four), £168, OKA. 

Ocean ice-bucket in golf-printed calfskin, £270, by GioBagnara.

Geneviere Magnum Decanter in handmade crystal, £295, by William Yeoward, both for William & Son. 

Anna New York ‘Pedra’ agate coasters (set of four), £88, by Rablabs for William & Son.

Lots of cocktails

In order from left to right

Glengoyne Whisky Sour Twist 

Glass: Rocks 

Method: Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of apple. 

50ml Glengoyne 12 Year Old  |  25ml lemon juice  |  2 tbsp honey  |  2 dashes lemon bitters

Triple Orange Gin & Tonic

Glass: Copa

Method: Stir the gin, orange marmalade and bitters together with a barspoon. Add ice and top with tonic water. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

50 ml Gin Mare |  1 barspoon orange marmalade  |  2 dashes orange bitters  |  tonic water to top 

Salcombe Gold

A light gold ale, using Citra, Amarillo and Chinook hops from the USA, creating a citrus aroma with hints of melon, apricot and peach, and a long, hoppy finish.

Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs 2006 

A classy Champagne with grapefruit-like acidity giving a sherbet lift, mid palate concentration and a long, complex finish.

Accessories (left to right)

Pulcinella glass shot glass, part of a set of four, £34, OKA.

Cocktail shaker, stylist’s own.

Saddle Leather Mini Bar (contains bottle opener, corkscrew, stirrer, jigger spirit measure, stainless steel ice bucket with two bottle compartments, and drawer with six stainless steel tumblers), £658, OKA.

Trumpet spoon in brass with verdigris finish, £24, OKA.

Lots of cocktails

In order from left to right


Glass: Rocks 

Method: Pour ingredients into an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir and garnish with orange peel.

25ml Campari  |  25ml London dry gin  |  25ml Cinzano 1757 Rosso Vermouth

Franklin & Sons Pink Grapefruit with Bergamot Gin and Tonic

Glass: Copa 

Method: Build in a copa glass over ice. Garnish with a pink grapefruit wedge.

50ml premium|gin 200ml Franklin & Sons Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water with Bergamot

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvée Rosé

Elegant, vivacious, iconic and full of charm, a stylish rosé with trademark subtle red berry aromas.

Kingsdown English Country Garden

Glass: Highball 

Method: Pour the cloudy apple juice over ice in a tall glass. Add Kingsdown Elderflower Sparkle and roughly chopped mint leaves. Stir for 30 seconds.

175ml Kingsdown Elderflower Sparkle |  50ml cloudy apple juice  |  few sprigs fresh mint

Accessories (left to right)

Amadora set of nested tables in Verde marble with lacquered steel legs, £600, Ligne Roset. 

Martele silver-plated jigger, part of a cocktail set, William & Son.

Grouse Swizzle Stick in sterling silver, £220, by Patrick Mavros at William & Son.

Etch tea light holder in steel, £40, Tom Dixon. 

Lots of cocktails

In order from left to right

Orin Swift Abstract 2016

A red Rhône blend of mainly Grenache and Syrah grapes sourced from a collection of vineyards. Juicy but with the benefit of good structure. Serious but fun.

Milano Torino Spritz

Glass: Highball 

Method: Build over ice and garnish with an orange wedge.

15ml Campari  |  5ml Mancino Rosso  |  125ml chilled London Essence Classic London Tonic

Soleo Sling

Glass: Highball 

Method: Shake the whisky, lemon juice, bitters and sugar syrup together with ice.  Strain into a highball glass filled with cubed ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon peel.

50ml The Glenrothes 12 Year Old Single Malt  |  15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice  |  2 dashes bitters  |  15ml simple sugar syrup  |  soda water to top

Taylor’s LBV 2013

Vintage-style port with opulent, concentrated red and black fruit, well integrated tannins and a velvety mouthfeel.

Accessories (left to right)

Charles IV snack bowl in 24% lead crystal, £35, by Rückl at William & Son.

Martele silver-plated bar spoon and jigger, part of a cocktail set, £855, by Robbe & Berking at William & Son.

selection of cocktails

In order from left to right

Impérial Sunset

Glass: Large wine glass 

Method: Add cut berries to the glass and gently press with the back of a spoon. Add the liqueurs and top with Champagne, then stir. Fill the glass with cubed ice. Garnish with two mint sprigs and a few berries.

75ml Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial Champagne  |  10ml crème de pêche liqueur  |  5ml Maraschino liqueur  |  1 strawberry (cut into quarters)  |  2 raspberries (cut into halves)  |  3 blueberries (cut into halves)

The Martinez

Glass: Nick & Nora 

Method: Stir all ingredients together with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a large grapefruit twist.

40ml No.3 London Dry Gin  |  20ml sweet vermouth  |  5ml Maraschino liqueur  |  dash orange bitters

Luscombe Lime Crush

Glass: Highball 

Method: Fill the glass with ice and add a  bottle of Luscombe Lime Crush. Garnish  with a wedge of lime.

200ml Luscombe Lime Crush 

Alhambra Reserva 1925

A Spanish golden amber lager that balances a full-bodied, extra smooth bitter taste with hints of caramel and grainy cereals, and an intense floral aroma.

Accessories (left to right)

Champagne flute in glass, £60, by NasonMoretti at William & Son. 

Corinne glass champagne coupe, £31, by William Yeoward at William & Son. 

Martele 90 silver-plated cocktail shaker, bar spoon, and jigger, part of a cocktail set, £855, William & Son.

Cocktail selection

In order from left to right

Champagne Henriot Brut Millésimé 2008

A delicious balance of mouth-watering fresh fruit and toastiness and generosity. A wine of great elegance and character.

Asahi Super Dry

A Japanese lager known for a distinctive karakuchi (super dry) taste, with a refreshingly crisp, clear taste, and a long, clean finish.

Candied Bramble

Glass: Rocks 

Method: Add the gin, liqueur and lemon juice to a shaker with ice. Shake until ice cold. Strain into a rock glass filled with crushed ice. Drizzle blackberry liqueur over the top and garnish with a blackberry and a curl of fresh ginger.

25ml Edinburgh Gin  |  20ml Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur  |  25ml lemon juice  |  15ml blackberry liqueur 

Tamdhu Manhattan

Glass: Coupe

Method: Stir the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of pared lemon and a Maraschino cherry.

50ml Tamdhu 10 Year Old  |  25ml sweet vermouth  |  2 dashes Angostura Bitters 

Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale & Copper Dog Whisky

Glass: Highball 

Method: Fill a highball glass full of ice. Add the whisky and top up with a bottle of Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. Garnish with an orange twist.

50ml Copper Dog Whisky  |  200ml Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale 

Accessories (left to right)

Champagne flute in glass, £60, by NasonMoretti at William & Son. 

Corinne glass champagne coupe, £31, by William Yeoward at William & Son.

Martele 90 silver-plated cocktail shaker, bar spoon, and jigger, part of a cocktail set, £855, William & Son.

selection of cocktails

In order from left to right

Summer Serve Copa

Glass:  Large wine glass 

Method: Fill the glass with ice. Add a double measure of Portobello Road Gin and slowly top with tonic water to maintain effervescence. Slice off a thick peel of pink grapefruit and twist over the glass. Sprinkle juniper berries on top.

50ml Portobello Road Gin  |  200ml tonic water  

Marqués de Cáceres Excellens Rioja 2014

Classic Tempranillo flavours of wild strawberry and blackberry, coupled  with an exotic layer  of spiciness. Perfect  with lamb.

King’s Ginger Hot Chocolate

Glass: Mug 

Method: Fill a mug with hot chocolate. Add The King’s Ginger and stir. Top with cream and marshmallows.

200ml hot chocolate  |  35ml The King’s Ginger 

Ayala Le Blanc de Blancs 2012 

Delicate, fresh notes of citrus and yellow fruits, with a vibrant but voluptuous palate and  the lovely balance of a great vintage.

Accessories (left to right)

Union Jack Matchbox Sleeve in walnut with marquetry design in burr walnut, burr oak and sycamore (comes with matches), £195, Linley

Fancy going out for drinks? Why not check out our list of London's best new bars.