Bars serve up cocktails with a Christmas twist

Winter Wonderland. Photo by Kevin Williams.

Bar Magazine’s round-up of some of the bars serving Christmas cocktails with a few festive recipes to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Everyone loves a festive cocktail and this year mixologists have been more creative than ever when it comes to creating cocktails with a Christmas twist. The Savoy’s Simpson’s-in-the-Strand has created a Charles Dickens-inspired winter cocktail menu for The Knight’s Bar. The Belle’s Burnt Butter Alexandra cocktail is made using Old Raj Gin, Burre Noisette washed geniver, white chocolate liquor, vanilla sugar, cream, nutmeg and sugar and spice.

Meanwhile, Pennethorne’s wine and cocktail bar in Somerset House has paired with Sipsmith to create the Sloe Ginger Mule, made with Simpsmith’s Sloe Gin, lime juice and ginger beer.

NY-LON, the business-class-lounge bar at The O2 has come up with a holiday cocktail called the Scarlet Sparkle. Made with Prosecco and Briotteet cranberry liqueur topped with fresh redcurrants, symbolic ingredient of the festive season, the cocktail is available until the end of the year. Quaglino’s Art Deco Bar will feature a limited edition Christmas cocktail, Odin, filled with Baron de Sigognac whiskey and Chandon champagne, alongside an exclusive festive food menu created by head chef James Hulme.

Bombay Sapphire is looking to satisfy the growing number of gin lovers with its winter campaign that includes a host of festive serves including Hot Gin Mocha, a blend of Bombay Sapphire, Crème de Cacao and three shots of strong espresso, and the Spiced Apple Warmer, with gin, hot apple juice and cinnamon.

Modern Manhattan restaurant Madison has come up with an Apple Pie Martini and a Spiced Chocolate Cocktail and New York Nordic restaurant, Aquavit is celebrating the festive season with a list of Nordic cocktails. From the menu, the Nordic Bramble incorporates gin with lemon, cloudberry liqueur and pomegranate syrup; the Laponia Old Fashioned sees pumpkin infused bourbon mixed with birch syrup and gingerbread; and the Bergen Bitter mixes orange and cinnamon aquavit with vermouth and chocolate bitters.

Exclusively for the holiday season, Savile Row’s Sartoria has partnered with Campari to create a winter terrace inspired by Italy’s premier ski resort, Cortina d’Ampezzo. Sartoria’s Libare bar has created a selection of seasonal cocktails including the Italian Affair which mixes Frangelico liqueur with Bacardi, coconut, lime and ginger; the Winter Daiquiri which is a quirky take on the classic, featuring Appleton Estate Rare Blend, cinnamon, apple, lime and vanilla syrup; and a selection of negronis, including the unusual Japanese Negroni which blends Campari with plum sake, lemon and sugar.

Lodge d’Argent returns to the rooftops of city restaurant Coq d’Argent providing a festive backdrop for guests to enjoy Angel De Sousa’s specially curated list of winter warmer cocktails in collaboration with Hennessy Cognac. From the menu, the Holly Winter incorporates Hennessey Cognac with sweet vermouth, ginger, spice syrup, cranberry juice and ginger ale; the Mitten sees Hennessey Cognac mixed with Mozart dark chocolate and gingerbread, and topped with hot chocolate; and the Fire Wood mixes Hennessey Cognac with Pedro Ximenez, Kahlua, orange bitters and walnuts bitters.

Orrery has teamed up with Hennessy to create a cosy Courchevel-inspired winter terrace, where guests can sample all-new hot cocktails, mince pies, and a specially created cognac cake dessert. Set against twinkling fairly lights, festive winter warmers include Hennessey Chocolate Delight (spiked hot chocolate) and Orrery XO (a concoction of Hennessy XO, angostura bitters, sugar cube, Moet Champagne and a lemon twist garnish).

Bankside’s gin and cocktail bar, The Distillery, will be offering guests a Winter Spritz cocktail this festive season. The cocktail has been designed by the bar’s mixologists, using their own homemade mulled wine – a concoction of red wine, pressed cloudy apple juice, freshly squeezed orange juice and seasonal spices topped up with prosecco for a sparkling twist.

In the heart of Borough Market, Arabica Bar & Kitchen is celebrating the holidays with an assortment of Levantine-inspired festive cocktails including the Beirut Port, which is a concoction of Ruby Port, Cynar, lemon, maple syrup and cardamon bitters.

As part of D&D London’s Fairytales in the City, guests at Butlers Wharf Chop House can enjoy Three Little Pigs, a selection of festive pigs in blankets, while sipping on The Big Bad Wolf – a concoction of Hennessy Fine, Chambord, Six Grapes Port, red wine and a dash of Angostura bitters. This Christmas, Theo Randall at the InterContinental will be serving up an assortment of Italian-inspired winter cocktails. For each special, Theo has worked closely with the bar team to create seasonal Italian mixers, such as home-made roasted chestnut infused gin used in the Novembre cocktail.

At the London Cocktail Club, Scrooged combines Quiquiriqui mescal with apple and lime and for gin lovers, the Boxer Gin Punch blends Calvados Apple Brandy with cinnamon for a fresh and fruity drink that can be shared or served individually. If you’re looking for a few low calorie cocktail recipes, Diageo GB has created a few options for customers to enjoy as part of a balanced lifestyle. These include the Ginger G&T at 126 calories and the Spiced Pina-Coco at 150 calories.

Grey Goose has developed five signature serves for the winter period including classics such as the Grey Goose martini cocktail; Grey Goose vodka and Noilly Prat dry vermouth in a 5:1 ratio, with a dash of orange bitters, and the Grey Goose Le Fizz; an elegant and refreshing combination of Grey Goose vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur and freshly squeezed lime, topped with chilled soda water.

New winter serves include Truffe D’Hiver, which is an unexpected combination of Grey Goose vodka, fino sherry, fresh lemon juice and truffle oil and Bois Vanille, a combination of Grey Goose vodka with Martini Rosso vermouth, crème de cassis and few drops of bitters and vanilla. Fireside, which takes inspiration from the classic Old Fashioned, combines sweet maple syrup with fresh grapefruit juice, a touch of salt and a sprig of fresh rosemary. These Grey Goose Christmas cocktails are available at the Grey Goose Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols. We have listed a few winter cocktail recipes below:

Ginger G&T (Approx. 126 calories)
• 50ml Gordon’s Gin (approx. 104 calories)
• 2 discs (£2 coin sized) fresh ginger, (approx. 19 calories (based on ¼ cup))
• 150ml Slimline tonic (approx. 3 calories)
• Slice of fresh ginger to garnish
Method: Muddle the ginger in the base of a mixing glass, add the gin, fill with ice and shake. Fine strain into a highball glass full with cubed ice, top with Slimline tonic, stir to mix, garnish and serve.

Spiced Pina-Coco (Approx. 150 calories)
• 25ml Captain Morgan Spiced (approx. 48 calories)
• 25ml Cîroc coconut (approx. 53 calories)
• 50ml Orange juice (approx. 24 calories)
• 50ml Pineapple juice (approx. 25 calories)
• Orange wheel garnish
Method: Shake all the ingredients with cubed ice, fine strain into a martini glass, garnish and serve.

Carol no.75
35ml Porter’s Gin
50ml Spiced pear puree
40ml Champagne
Method: Throw three times to chill and mix
Garnish: Red berries and icing sugar

Boxing Day Swizzle
35ml Pine infused Porter’s Gin
5ml Yellow Chartreause
10ml Riesling
15ml Lemon
10ml Cinnamon syrup
Method: Swizzle with crushed ice and add four grapes
Garnish: Pine sprig and grapes.

The Feeney Tini
50ml Double Cream
10ml Gingerbread Syrup
30ml Feeney’s Irish Cream
20ml Irish Whiskey (We recommend The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil)
ground nutmeg and ice
Method: Add ice to the cocktail shaker, pour in the double cream, gingerbread syrup, Feeney’s Irish Cream and whiskey. Shake and then strain into a glass, sprinkle with ground nutmeg. 

Winter Wonderland (served at the London Cocktail Club)
25ml Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka
25ml Tia Maria
50ml Almond half and half
20ml Vanilla syrup
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Rafaello praline on cherry pick
Method: Shake and strain.

French 75 (listed at Three Sheets)
35ml Star of Bombay
15ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup (2:1 ratio – sugar: hot water)
75ml Martini & Rossi Prosecco
Maraschino cherry
Method: Pour the lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and add the measure of the Star of Bombay. Fill with ice, close and shake well for 10 seconds before carefully straining into a chilled champagne flute. Top up the cocktail with the chilled Martini & Rossi Prosecco and gently stir to combine. Finally, drop a maraschino cherry in the glass.

Winter Pine Twist (listed at London Cocktail Club)
50ml Bombay Sapphire
125ml Premium Tonic Water
Pine sprig
Lime wheels
Method: Fill balloon or highball glass with ice. Add the measure of Bombay Sapphire followed by the premium tonic, stir gently and garnish with lime wheels. For the finishing touch add a single pine sprig and a scattering of cranberries.

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