In the spirit of the season


Photograph: Piers Cunliffe

As the first doors on advent calendars are opened, it’s time to start planning properly for the season. Here, we turn our thoughts to the Christmas cocktail hour – with three recipes to ensure you celebrate in style

With December’s jam-packed diaries, it’s all too easy for one drinks party to merge with the next. We asked our spirits team to create three essential festive serves that will make your party stand out from the rest. Whether entertaining a crowd, or hosting one essential other: these cocktails are guaranteed to impress, no matter your skills behind the bar.

For the budding bartender: The King’s Festive Sour

  • 50ml The King’s Ginger
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 15ml cranberry juice
  • 15ml egg white
  • Angostura bitters

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over cubed ice into a tumbler. Serve with a mince pie on the side for a fully festive affair.

For the cocktail creative: Father Christmas Fizz

Add the rum, honey syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled flute or coupe. Top up with sparkling wine and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

For the master mixologist: Mulled Rum Sour

  • 50ml Penny Blue, VSOP, Rum
  • 25ml sugar syrup (3:2 mixture of sugar and hot water)
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml egg white
  • 25ml cold mulled wine
  • Star anise, to garnish

Add the rum, sugar syrup and lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice, strain into an empty half of another shaker (or some other receptacle). Discard the ice and shake again. Strain into a tumbler over ice. Once settled, add the mulled wine and garnish with star anise.

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