Christmas party season is upon us. We needed some fresh inspiration for the cocktail trolley, so we asked some of our friends what they’ll be serving this year. The result is a pretty spectacular cocktail list from violet gin martinis to sake sidecars. Saluti!
Laura von Behr's Sake Sidecar
This is a sake sidecar, a recipe from Elsa @thegoodhostlondon who has made many a good cocktail! I love it as you can make it ahead and have a jugful ready as the guests to arrive.
120 ml apricot brandy liqueur
60ml fresh lemon juice
Add all of the ingredients to a jug, stir to mix. Pour into a glass with ice. Else recommends a stout little glass with one ice cube. Garnish with lemon peel.
Samyukta Nair’s Smoked Banana Old Fashioned
This is my favourite of all the cocktails at my restaurants! We serve it at MiMi Mei Fair, but here’s how to make it at home.
1 dash Chocolate bitters
1 dash orange bitters
10 ml Banana Syrup
40 ml Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
Garnish: Dehydrated banana chip & one large ice cube
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker or jug. Add the ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over ice (preferably a large cube) and garnish with a banana chip.
Ravinder Bhogal's Pomegranate and Fig Leaf Negroni
Our Jikoni festive cocktail is well worth the effort, and can be made ahead for parties.
Makes approximately 10 drinks
Start by gently washing two medium sized fig leaves. Fig trees are very common in London and their leaves should be easy enough to get hold of. We source our leaves from Waltham Place farm. Be careful not to be too rough with the leaves as you will lose some of that delicate coconut flavour.
The leaves can then be submerged in a bottle of well-balanced gin – we like Sapling climate positive gin but any classic London Dry will do. Make sure that the whole leaf is submerged, using some weights in a glass jar if necessary. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature, out of the sunlight.
Once the fig leaves are removed from the gin, cut into small strips or circles to use as a garnish later and store in the fridge.
To make the cocktail premix, combine 200ml each of the fig leaf gin, rose vermouth and Italian bitters in a jug, then add 25 millilitres of pomegranate molasses and stir thoroughly. The mixture can be bottled and stored for up to three days in the fridge.
We recommend letting the premix infuse for an hour at least before serving on ice with an orange peel and one of the strips of fig leaf.
This drink is sure to strongly divide opinions. I bought a bottle of Parma Violet with the aim of making Voilet gin martinis, but I didn’t get that far because I started enjoying it with soda water and a splash of orange blossom water. It tastes exactly like the parma violet sweets but fresher and boozy! I thought it was the prettiest colour but Ben Pentreath, my only guest to be offered it thought it looked like poison and that I was mad.
Parma Violet Gin
Orange Blossom Water
Pour a measure of gin into a glass over a large ice cube. Add a splash of orange blossom water and top up with soda water.
A Little Bird's Spiced 75
We love French 75’s – the classic cocktail made with gin, champagne and lemon juice. This is a spiced Christmas version made with rum and orange peel.
60g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp allspice
90ml lime juice
Makes 6 flutes
Warm the sugar in a pan with 30ml water and the allspice. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to cool. Strain through sieve.
Pour the sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with 200ml rum and 90ml lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into flute glasses. Top up with champagne and add an orange twist.
Edward Bulmer's Mason Pink Cocktail
We dreamed up this colourful cocktail earlier this year with the help of The Newt’s Head Bartender and Mixologist, Theo Maxfield. It had to be the perfect pink colour for the launch of our Mason Pink paint, created especially for Anna Mason’s Belgravia atelier that opened in March.
25ml London Dry Gin
25ml Blanco Tequila
30ml Milk Clarified Rhubarb Cordial* and White Heron British Cassis
15ml Maraschino & Cointreau blend
3 dashes of Peychauds Bitters
2 dashes Saline
Add all the ingredients apart from the champagne into a mixing glass with ice, stir until chilled. Strain into a frozen coupe, that has been garnished with a brush of white chocolate and hibiscus ‘paint’ and top with the champagne.
*To make, blend together 300ml fresh rhubarb juice, the juice of one lime and one lemon with 125ml caster sugar, until dissolved. Add 100ml of White Heron British Cassis. Pour in 100ml whole milk and let sit for 2-3 hours. Strain through a coffee filter to clarify.