To warm our hearts and get in the festive spirit, sometimes a cup of dodgy air-freshener-esque mulled wine just won’t cut it. Here’s a collection of the classiest festive cocktails in London to get you merry in time for Christmas.
Paper Dress Vintage: Honey Mulled Mead
Celebrate Hackney’s brewing heritage with a glass of Gosnell’s Honey Mead, infused with winter spices, white oak, Sichuan pepper and a generous splash of rum. Head down tonight to try it at one of the shop’s late-night shopping events.
Salvatore’s Bar: Christmas with Sal
Cocktail legend Salvatore Calabrese thinks that this is what Christmas in Barbados might taste like. Served in a silver mug, it contains cognac, pineapple juice, slices of orange and lemon infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. The drink might persuade you that life’s worth living even if you’re not lying on a beach in Barbados.
Drink Shop & Do: Gold Bellini
Chambord liqueur, prosecco and edible gold glitter all go into this festive little number. Sip it at one of the festive events coming up at the café/craft/party space that is Drink Shop & Do. We can’t imagine what drinking glitter will taste like, but we do know you’ll look damn classy doing it!
Ma Petite Jamaica: Christmas with a Jamaican twist
Even though the accent is Jamaican and the alcohol content here is reassuringly higher, this one still reminds us of Baileys. Say hello to a twosome of spiced rum and Wray and Nephew rum, poured over crushed ice with double cream and spices. Quick, tell Aunty!
Keystone Crescent: Mulled Wine Cocktail
Okay, so we said this was a mull-free zone – but this cocktail is a good excuse to give it a go. Mixing red wine, rum, Pedro Ximénez sherry, date grenadine, orange and allspice berries, this boozy concoction might even help us forget the £35 membership fee you have to pay in order to gain access to the bar. Then again, it might not.
Rocket City: Tinsel Tots
Reminiscent of the compulsory Christmas liqueur chocolates, these OTT sweeties comprise one shot of maraschino cherry liqueur and another of black chocolate liqueur, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Goodbye, winter chills. Hello, worst hangover of your life.
Little Feast: Winter warmer
A sliver of Scandinavia in Shepherd's Bush. Register your attendance online to get a free ‘winter warmer’: spiced rum, apple juice, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom. It’s heated to precisely 80C, which we can only assume is the perfect temperature for generating the Christmas spirit. Thermometers at the ready!
Murakami: Wake me up before you Tok-y-o
Does Christmas shopping or the seemingly endless family get-togethers get you tired and down over the festive period? This Xmas twist on the classic espresso martini might re-float your boat: scotch, Kahlúa, espresso and the bar's house spice syrup. Wham! You’ll be ready for Oxford Street in no time.
The Treehouse @ Skylounge: Winter Sloe
A festive shake-up of their signature summer cocktail, this drink is equal measures refreshing and Christmassy – although we’re not sure how refreshing we need a drink to be if we’re drinking it outside. In winter. Pear vodka, sloe gin, lime and cinnamon. Toasty.
The Ivy: Christmas Carol Cocktail
Taking inspiration from the Dickens classic, this old fashioned combines whiskey past (vintage 1970s Chivas Regal), present (Chivas Regal 12 year-old) and future (Strathisla single malt, the base of a future Chivas Regal). All combined with Scottish heather honey and bitters, and priced at a Scrooge-irking £15.
Want something to soak up the booze? Chow down on the best Christmas burgers in London.