ELL Guide to Christmas: Boozy beverages for Xmas

Winter Cocktails. Pic: Gabrile Amadeus

Winter Cocktails. Pic: Gabrile Amadeus

Who doesn’t love a cocktail and there’s no time better to get your fill than the most festive of holidays – Christmas. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite seasonal cocktails and local establishments to help get you through the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas.



The Kenton, Kenton Road

The Norwegian-run pub, The Kenton, voted by Time Out as the best pub in Homerton 2014, has a selection of festive cocktails including from the classics Margaritas and Caipirinha to their own concoctions of Viking Blood and The Dude. If you’re hardy enough, enjoy a warming drink outside in the beer garden snuggled up under cosy blankets, or head back inside for DJ nights at the weekends and film nights on Mondays.


Tower Hamlets

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Artillery Lane

For someone whose serious about their cocktails and a list longer than your arm, head to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. The menu offers 23 intricately created cocktails, including six specials. The Nice N Slow, a sweet and sour affair made up of sloe gin, apricot brandy, lemon juice and egg white topped with soda is sure to warm you up. No reservations are taken here, so be sure to get in early, or arrange to privately hire the venue.

Orange and Cranberry. Pic: Pic Basement

Orange and Cranberry. Pic: Pic Basement


BarTxt, South End

Another bar serious about stirring and mixing is the BARTXT. With six of its own exclusives, it boasts an impressive 62 cocktails. Choose from classics such as long island iced tea and cosmopolitans, or browse the whole section dedicated to martinis. The retro cocktails haven’t been forgotten here either, such as woo woos and blue lagoons. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the Tiramisu cocktails is the one for you, or try something from the bar’s own favourite section.



Little Nans Bar – New Cross

Temporarily housed at Birdie Num Nums on New Cross Road is the Little Nan’s Cocktail bar. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Little Nan’s comes out to play and has a wide menu of alcoholic beverages. Find your favourite cocktail on the list, which are organised by spirit so even after a few cocktails, you will still easily be able to find next choice. The bar can also be hired during the week, perfect for mid-week celebrations.


Christmas Cup. Pic: Edson Hong

Christmas Cup. Pic: Edson Hong


Christmas Cocktails you can make at home




Spiced Christmas cup – serves 8

A warming and festive little cup perfect for drivers or hangovers.

300g blueberries

9 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

2 tbsp caster sugar

8 x 200 ml bottle lemon tonic bitter lemon


Bring blueberries, sugar and cold water to the boil in a pan, reduce and cover to simmer for five minutes. Strain and serve over ice in a tumbler glasses with bitter lemon and a cinnamon stick.


Orange and Cranberry Fizz – serves 4

Kids can enjoy this fruity mix which is also a great accompaniment with brunch.

500 ml smooth orange juice

500 ml smooth cranberry juice

400 ml sparkling elderflower drink


Mix the orange and cranberry juice in a large jug. Slowly pour in the sparkling elderflower drink allowing it to fizz. Mix together and serve in tall glasses over ice.


Festive Punch. Pic: Edson Hong

Festive Punch. Pic: Edson Hong



Winter warmer punch cocktail – makes 8

Serve this up at drinks and nibbles parties for an easy and tasty cocktail.

280 ml gin

280 ml port

560 ml cider

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, strained

1 tbsp vanilla syrup

1 apple

handful of blueberries



Pour the gin, port, cider, lemon juice and vanilla syrup in a pitcher filled with ice. Allow to chill for three minutes. Add thin rounds of apple and blueberries.


Gingerbread Martini – for 1

The ultimate festive cocktail is surely the gingerbread martini, for those serious cocktail lovers.

30 ml vodka

30 ml Kahlúa

60 ml Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 cup crushed ice

cinnamon sticks for garnish



Garnish the glass with lemon juice on the rim and then soft brown sugar. Fill the glass with ice to chill. Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker bar the ice. Shake well and pour into chilled martini glasses.

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