Your Festive Cocktails Guide

Your Festive Cocktails Guide – It’s that time of the year again when we all want to get inside by a fire and huddle over a nice warming cocktail.  We feature a couple of out and out classics that will bring some cheer to a dreary day.

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Espresso Martini

Ingredients for the sugar syrup

100g golden caster sugar

For the cocktail


100ml vodka

50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee

50ml coffee liqueur (like Kahlua)

4 coffee beans (optional)


To make the sugar syrup put caster sugar in a pan over a medium heat and pour in 50ml water.  Stir, and bring to the boil.  Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.  Put 2 martini glasses in the fridge to chill.  Once the sugar syrup is cold, pour 1 tbsp into a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur. Shake until the cocktail shaker feels icy cold.  Strain into the chilled glasses. Garnish with coffee beans.


Traditional Mulled Wine

A classic but nothing feels more like Chirstmas.


750ml bottle red  wine

1 large cinnamon stick

2 star anise

4 cloves

1 sliced Orange

4 tbsp caster sugar

100ml sloe gin (optional but amazing)


Put the red wine, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, orange and sugar in a large pan. Cook on a low heat for 10 mins. Remove from the heat and cool, leaving to infuse for about 30 mins. To serve, heat without boiling, stir in the sloe gin (if using) and pour into mugs or heatproof glasses.

Brandy Alexander

Sprinkle spiced sugar on this creamy cocktail for a Christmassy after-dinner treat.


80ml brandy

50ml crème de cacao

50ml double cream


To garnish

 1 tsp golden caster sugar

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon


Make the garnish by mixing sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon together and set aside.  Pour the brandy, crème de cacao and double cream into a cocktail shaker, then add a generous handful of ice.  Shake until the shaker is very cold, then strain into two cocktail glasses.  Garnish with the spiced sugar.

Classic Champagne Cocktail


1 white sugar cube

2 dashes bitters

20ml of Cognac

Enough champagne (or your favourite Sparkling Wine or Prosecco) to fill the glass


Place the sugar cube onto a spoon and add the bitters.  Drop the soaked sugar cube into a champagne flute and add the cognac. Give a stir until the sugar is dissolved. Top up the glass with champagne and enjoy.

Do you want to bring your cocktails to another level?  Try these ones from Cameron Ellis who runs Yellowjacket in Carlisle. 

The Best Cocktails from Yellowjacket

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