Christmas party drinks to suit everyone’s tastes

Christmas party drinks to suit everyone’s tastes

Updated on 20 December 2018 • Written By Chris Losh

Christmas party drinks to suit everyone’s tastes
From health-conscious twentysomethings to old-school booze hounds, the Christmas-party drinks list can be a minefield. Here’s how to navigate it

Cool reception

If you want one show-off fizz to get the evening going, try English sparkling wine, which is bang on trend. It’s lighter and fresher than champagne, usually better-priced and proudly local – a factor that should particularly appeal to millennials. 
Prosecco is, of course, the more obvious sparkler of choice. Cheap, fruity and frothy, it’s the drink that launched a thousand book clubs, and is especially popular with women – though blokes are increasingly happy to drink it. If you’re looking for a similarly priced alternative, cava is a decent bet and generally better-made than it used to be. 

On the grapevine

Things get trickier when it comes to choosing still wines that will keep everyone happy. There’s not, after all, a lot of common ground between old-school burgundy lovers and the rosé-leaning crowd. But don’t worry: it can be done. 
Christmas party drinks to suit everyone's tastes SquareMeal photo by alasdair elmes on unsplash grapevine wine
Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash
With whites, steer away from anything too oaky (anathema to rosé lovers) or too light-bodied (which won’t please traditionalists). Southern Italian whites are a good option. They have enough body and fruit to work with the food (and make old-school winos happy) but they’re usually unoaked, so won’t alienate those wanting a fresher style. Grillo, from Sicily, would be my first pick. 
Your classic Christmas red is either bordeaux (erratic in quality) or burgundy (soaring in price) – impractical for an office do. Fortunately, though, there’s a third ‘b’ – beaujolais – that ticks all the boxes. It’s recognisable, attractively priced, is a great match with the food and, when done well, is one of the most likeable of wine styles. If you fancy an alternative, pinot noir is a good bet. It’s grown everywhere, but my suggested supplier country would be Romania, which represents amazing value. Both beaujolais and pinot noir are on the light-bodied side, which chimes with current tastes in wine style.
Talking of fashion, so-called ‘natural wines’ (made with minimum intervention in the winery) are super trendy but a little too ‘Marmite’ for the Christmas party. Don’t be tempted.

Merry makers

The idea of having beer at the office do may strike some as being a bit, well, downmarket. Happily, there is a simple and voguish solution for this. Craft beer and cider are huge and you really should have a few decent bottles available. The cognoscenti will tell you that it’s all about sours, but in truth these are real ‘love ’em or hate ’em’ brews. New England IPAs are a fun, fruity, interesting style that’s going bonkers at the moment.
Christmas party drinks to suit everyone's tastes SquareMeal photo by josh duncan on unsplash craft beer
Photo by Josh Duncan on Unsplash
As for cocktails, no venue is going to be rustling up 50 old fashioneds for a big party, and mojitos are, frankly, a bit passé. The good news is, with gin still in fashion, you can get away with a pimped-up G&T offering – a range of gins, a range of tonics, big glasses and plenty of ice will keep 99% of your guests happy. 
Christmas party drinks to suit everyone’s tastes SquareMeal low and no alcohol drinks cocktails
Fancy something really outside the box? Smith & Sinclair’s inhalable cocktails should do the trick 
Lead photo by Tom Medwell