Nothing says ‘time to party’ like a gorgeous, colourful cocktail (or three…). Being able to make your own cocktails at home is a fantastic way to impress your guests and give your Christmas or New Year’s Eve party that little something special! Put your mixologist apron on and get ready to DIY some sinfully good cocktails in the comfort of your own home this festive season.
1. The Cosmopolitan
The drink of choice for the fashion-savvy Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City, for the uninitiated), the Cosmo is a delightful mingling of sweet and sour flavours with a lovely, cheerful pink colour. It’s gluten free, and vegetarian and vegan-friendly too. Everybody’s happy, yay!
Ingredients (per cocktail)
- 10 ml lime juice
- 15 ml triple sec
- 45 ml lemon vodka
- 30 ml cranberry juice
- Orange zest OR lime wedge (to decorate glass)
- Combine the lime juice, triple sec, cranberry juice, and vodka together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is cold, and strain the drink into glasses.
- For the orange zest garnish, hold a piece of orange zest and carefully heat it over a small flame. The ‘outside’ of the zest should be facing the flame so that the flavours and oils are unlocked; drop the zest into the drink or perch it on the rim of the glass. Alternately, place a lime wedge on the rim of the glass.
2. The Reverse Espresso Martini
Perfect for the coffee fiends among us, this interesting take on the much-loved classic Martini cocktail isn’t just tasty, but promises to perk you and your guests right up. Keep the party going in the best way possible. Cheers to that, ladies and gentlemen.
Ingredients (per cocktail)
- 50 ml vodka
- 25 ml Baileys
- 30 ml freshly-brewed espresso
- Brew the espresso and freeze it in an ice cube tray.
- Mix the vodka and Baileys together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for approximately 1 minute, until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
- Place a few espresso ice cubes into each tumbler before straining in the cocktail.
3. The Wintery Whisky Sour
The sophisticated whisky sour is a hugely popular bourbon classic and perfect in its tried-and-tested typical form, but for that Christmas twist add a little orange juice for an extra dash of festive zing. Oh, and it’s gluten free!
Ingredients (for 2 x cocktails)
- 50 ml bourbon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- ice (crushed)
- 1/2 tbsp sugar syrup
- Edible gold glitter
- Use your finger to spread some honey along the rim of two medium-sized tumblers; dip the rim into a plate containing a layer of edible glitter to prepare the glasses.
- Fill the glasses with crushed ice and pour bourbon into your cocktail shaker along with the juices and sugar syrup.
- Shake it like there’s no tomorrow and strain the cocktail into the glasses.
- (Optional) Serve with an orange slice in the glass itself, and a short straw.
4. The Crimbo Cranberry Margarita
This (gluten free) christmassy cocktail isn’t just a pleasure to look at – it’s sweet and lip-smackingly delicious to boot. The contrasting colours and intense flavours are sure to get your guests in the spirit of the season!
Ingredients (for 4 x cocktails)
- Zest and juice from 1 large orange
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp honey
- 200 ml tequila
- 50 ml triple sec
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 lime
- 200 ml cranberry juice
- Mix together the sugar, salt, and orange zest and lay it out on a saucer.
- Get a light layer of honey onto the rim of your Margarita (or Martini) glasses, and dip the rims into the orange zest mixture before letting them chill in the fridge.
- Use your cocktail shaker to mix together the lime and orange juice, cranberry juice, tequila, triple sec, and ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is cold.
- Strain the cocktail directly into the glasses and voila, you’re done!
5. The Frosty Amaretto Fizz
Quick and easy to make, this cocktail is perfect if you find yourself in a bit of a pinch. What better way to kick things off than with something fizzy to welcome your guests with at the door?
Ingredients (for 10 x cocktails)
- 150 cl sparkling wine
- Orange zest (in strips)
- 600 ml orange juice
- 400 ml Disaronno
- In a large jug, combine the orange juice, sparkling wine, and Disaronno and mix well before pouring into glasses.
- Add a strip of orange zest to the glass for extra aesthetic appeal.
What your favourite cocktail? Tell us in a comment!