12 days of Christmas cocktails and mocktails

‘tis the season for indulgence, and this year if you’re hosting your own festive celebration, we have 12 must-have cocktails and mocktails to ease everyone into the festive spirit.

Mulled wine martini

Starting with a modern take of a timeless classic, the mulled wine martini is sure to warm the cockles. With an extra kick to keep you up and dancing to Wham! Long after the kids go to bed.

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Orange wedges
  • 150ml vanilla vodka
  • Large pieces of orange rind
  • 500ml (2 cups) pinot noir
  • 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3 dried cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip orange rind (about 3 x 10cm)

For the mulled wine, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Strain into a jug and set aside to cool to room temperature (see note).

Combine the sugar and ginger on a plate. Run the orange wedges around the rim of 4 martini glasses, then press into the sugar mixture to coat the rim.

Divide the mulled wine among glasses. Stir in the vodka. Serve with a star cut out from orange rind.

Candy cane mocktail martini

But if you prefer something cool and creamy, a candy cane mocktail martini is a great option.

  • Half and half
  • Cream soda
  • Simple Syrup
  • Peppermint oil
  • Candy Canes

To prepare the martini glass rims, lightly coat the rim of your martini cup in simple syrup on a plate

On another plate, place the crushed candy canes then rim the glasses by dipping the glasses that have been coated in simple syrup into the candy canes

To make the drink, simply stir together 1 C half and half, 12 oz. cream soda, 4 tsp. simple syrup and 2-4 drops of peppermint oil in a small pitcher

Pour mixed drink into the candy can rimmed martini glasses

Gingerbread martini

Two festive favourites come together in this fun cocktail. A combination of Baileys and gingerbread are exactly what the adults ordered.

  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 tbsp Baileys Irish cream liqueur
  • Whipped cream, to serve
  • Extra caramel sauce, to serve
  • Small gingerbread men, whole and crushed, to serve

Combine caramel sauce, mixed spice and ginger in a small jug.

Place ice cubes, cream, caramel mixture, vodka and Baileys in a cocktail shaker. Secure lid. Shake

Learn how to make popular cocktails at home, including how to crush ice, make sugar syrup, muddle ingredients, garnish, rim a…

Pour into chilled serving glasses. Dollop with whipped cream. Drizzle with extra caramel sauce. Decorate with whole and crushed gingerbread men. Serve.

Orange and Rosemary fizz mocktail

If you prefer something fragrant, fresh and fizzy. The Orange Rosemary Fizz mocktail is the perfect choice for you. Served over ice it’s a great morning treat, and for those who enjoy a morning mimosa, add a little prosecco for a little something different.

  • oranges 2 large wedges
  • rosemary a sprig
  • soda water
  • pomegranate 1 tsp seeds
  • cinnamon 1 stick, to serve

Put the orange and half the rosemary into a highball glass. Muddle well, then fill with ice. Top with soda water, stir to mix and garnish with pomegranate and cinnamon and the remaining rosemary.

White Christmas

If you’re used to spending Christmas in the Caribbean and this year you’re spending it back at home, this one is made for you. With deliciously sweet coconut and white rum, the White Christmas cocktail looks as good as it tastes.

  • 4 white marshmallows
  • 4 maraschino cherries
  • 4 pink marshmallows
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup quartered red glacé cherries
  • 3/4 cup Malibu Caribbean rum with coconut flavour
  • 1/4 cup coconut syrup
  • Chilled soda water, to serve

Thread 1 white marshmallow, 1 maraschino cherry and 1 pink marshmallow onto a short skewer. Repeat to make 4 skewers.

Place coconut on a plate. Rub the lime wedge around the rim of 4 martini glasses. Dip in coconut to coat the rim.

Place quartered cherries in the base of prepared glasses.

Combine Malibu rum and coconut syrup in a jug. Divide evenly among glasses. Top up with soda water. Garnish with skewers. Serve immediately.

Spiced apple cooler

Cloves and cinnamon make this cocktail a true Christmas staple. As you warm the apple juice, not only will your home begin to fill with the spiced scents of Christmas, but the flavours are reminiscent of the most delicious festive apple strudel.

  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1-litre clear apple juice
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups vodka, chilled
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 small pink lady apple, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 small granny smith apple, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 125g raspberries, torn
  • 1/3 cup small fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups ice cubes, to serve

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Place half the apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add vanilla bean, seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Cook for 2 minutes or until just simmering. Remove from heat. Stand for 30 minutes to cool. Pour into a large jug or bowl. Stir in remaining apple juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

Remove and discard the vanilla bean, cinnamon and cloves.

Place apple juice mixture, vodka, lemon juice, apple slices, raspberries, mint and ice cubes in a large serving jug. Gently stir to combine. Divide among glasses. Serve.

Baileys Coffee Martini

If you’re been spoilt with a brand new coffee machine this year, put it to good use by making baileys coffee martinis for the family.

  • 50ml Baileys chocolat luxe
  • 25ml Smirnoff Red Vodka
  • 25ml espresso
  • Ice cubes

Pop all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake it up until everything is perfectly blended and the liquid is silky smooth.

Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a sprinkle of finely grated dark chocolate.

Blackberry and vanilla cocktail

Leftover blackberries from making that glorious mixed berry pavlova or crumble? Or perhaps you went blackberry picking with the kids over the weekend. No problem… the Blackberry vanilla cocktail is a festive favourite, with sweet vanilla vodka and sharp blackberries to create a perfectly balanced and refreshing drink.

  • 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) frozen blackberries
  • 1.25L (5 cups) berry-flavoured sparkling mineral water, chilled
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) vanilla vodka, chilled
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes, to serve
  • Fresh blackberries, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve

Place the sugar and 125ml (1/2 cup) water in a small saucepan. Stir to combine then place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Learn how to make caster sugar from scratch at home using white sugar and how to store it correctly.

Place the frozen blackberries in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the berries. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to gently muddle blackberries until they break down (there will still be some berry pieces). Pour the mixture into a large jug.

Stir through the mineral water, vanilla vodka and lime juice. Serve the cocktail over ice, topped with fresh blackberries and mint.


Most of us will find that over the Christmas period we have an excess of Prosecco and Gin. Gifts from visitors or safe favourites that are guaranteed to please all, don’t let them go to waste, combine them into one delicious Ginsecco cocktail.

  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) cloudy apple juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) elderflower cordial
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) prosecco
  • Thinly sliced green apple rounds, to decorate

Place two 185ml (3/4 cup) cocktail glasses in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill.

Place the ice, apple juice, elderflower cordial, gin and cinnamon stick in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake for 1 minute.

Strain mixture into chilled glasses. Top with prosecco. Decorate glasses with apple slices.

Pear & Orange Champagne Punch

If you want a cocktail that looks elegant on the dinner table and a delicious accompaniment to your Christmas turkey, the pear and orange champagne punch ticks all the boxes. A sparkling fizz and warming gold shade will attract all to take a sip, and a great option to fill punch bowls or crystal jugs for guests to help themselves.

  • 1 (750-ml.) bottle chilled champagne
  • 3 c. chilled pear nectar
  • 2 tbsp. orange bitters
  • Ice ring (optional)
  • Strips of orange zest, for serving

Combine sparkling wine, pear nectar, and orange bitters in a punch bowl. Top with an ice ring (optional). Serve with strips of orange zest.

Lemon Meringue Margarita

The perfect blend of sweet and bitter, the lemon meringue margarita after Christmas lunch will be a zingy, fresh hit amongst guests. A lighter alternative to mulled wine or baileys.

  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 8 mini meringues
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar syrup
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau
  • 1/3 cup Olmeca Altos Plata tequila
  • 2/3 cup crushed ice
  • Lemon twist, to serve

Place salt, lemon zest and half the meringues in a mortar and pestle. Pound until crushed. Transfer to a plate.

Rub the lemon wedge around the rim of 4 serving glasses. Dip into meringue mixture to coat the rim.

Making two cocktails at a time, place half the lemon juice, half the sugar syrup, half the Cointreau, half the Olmeca Altos Plata tequila and half the ice in a cocktail shaker. Secure lid. Shake to combine. Pour into two of the prepared glasses.

Repeat with remaining lemon juice, sugar syrup, Cointreau, tequila and ice. Top with remaining meringues. Garnish with lemon twists. Serve immediately.

Kombucha spritz mocktail

Finally, if you find yourself having indulged a little too much of the festive period, a Kombucha spritz is the only remedy. Full of beneficial probiotics and antioxidants, it will be the only drink you crave as we head into the new year.

  • alcohol-free aperitif 60ml
  • plain sparkling kombucha 90ml
  • soda water a splash
  • a red apple a wedge

Put some ice in a chilled large wine glass and pour over the alcohol-free aperitif followed by the plain sparkling kombucha and a splash of soda water. Stir briefly and garnish with a wedge of red apple.