Getting into the Christmas spirit? Us too! So, we’ve put together a fab list of festive fusions and gorgeous non-alcoholic mocktail treats for you to try. These holly jolly Christmas cocktails will help you host the perfect Christmas gathering and are sure to pair perfectly with whatever you have planned over your well-earnt break.
A good drink doesn’t need to cost the earth. But from elaborate packaging to a vast amount of energy, heat and water used in brewing and distillation processes, the drinks industry is responsible for a huge amount of waste. Luckily, drinks makers across the world now making efforts to offset their impact on the environment, making it easier for us consumers to be responsible drinkers. Here are a few things to look out for to enjoy a Christmas tipple while minimising our impact on the planet:
Keep your eyes peeled for organic spirits, beers and wines. Not only are you doing the environment a solid by drinking alcohol with ingredients grown without pesticides and herbicides, but the brewing process for these spirits doesn’t also contain certain chemicals, which means you might have a lighter hangover the next day.
The shorter the distance the drink is shipped, the lower the carbon footprint! There are plenty of UK based drinks makers including Yorkshire’s Cooper King Distillery and Harrogate Tipple, or London’s Freya Spirit. British wines are becoming more popular in recent years too, you can find some of the more popular grape varieties like Madeline or Bacchus or Nyetimber’s English sparkling on plenty of larger supermarket shelves.
Look out for companies who use initiatives like converting waste to energy, using all-electric forklifts, and switching to non-toxic cleaning products in its beer garden.
Consider the container
Glass and aluminium tinnies are both easily recyclable, but bottle caps are not. Glass is also heavier to ship and doesn’t pack as efficiently as aluminium. Try to dodge plastic, and the mixed-material containers when buying alcohol, like those Tetra Pak-like containers for single-serving wines, or boxed wine, which comes in a plastic bag inside the box.
Boozy Christmas Drinks
Mulled wine (Vegan)
A festive favourite guaranteed to warm anyone up on a chilly winter evening. Grab a bottle of inexpensive dry red and let’s go mulling!
- Bottle of dry red
- Fresh oranges, peeled
- Cinnamon sticks
- Mulling spices – whole cloves, star anise and cardamom pods are our favourites
- Maple syrup
- Brandy, whisky, cognac or triple sec to spike
- Combine all the ingredients, stir and simmer over medium heat - don’t let it bubble, you don’t want to boil off the booze! Reduce heat to low and let the wine simmer for anywhere between 15 minutes to 3 hours.
- Using a sieve or scrap piece or dye-free fabric, strain out all the ‘lumps’. Give the mulled wine a taste and stir in maple syrup if you'd like it sweeter.
- Serve warm in heatproof mugs.
Winter Pimms Punch (Vegan)
Don't just save Pimm's for summer, add some brandy for a delicious and fabulously British winter treat
- 500ml Pimm's
- 500ml brandy
- 1½ L apple juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Apple, sliced
- Orange, sliced
- Combine the Pimm’s and brandy with the apple juice in a jug filled with ice, cinnamon sticks and a sliced apple and orange.
Packed with creamy advocaat, sweet lemonade and plenty of ice, this is a retro party classic. Garnished with a kitsch maraschino cherry, it’s super-rich and boozy – just how we like our Christmas drinks!
- 10-15ml of lime juice
- 20ml Advocaat
- 50ml sparkling lemonade
- Fill a glass with ice and if using, add up to 15ml of lime juice or lime cordial (or to your taste). Pour the Advocaat and lemonade over the ice and stir gently until the outside of the glass feels cold.
Non-Alcoholic Christmas Drinks
Nothing says the holidays more than a cup of classic eggnog. Creamy, thick and smooth, who wouldn't want some nog?!
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
- 4 egg yolks
- 100ml sugar syrup
- 100ml double cream
- 500ml whole milk
- Put the vanilla seeds in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and sugar syrup, and beat with an electric whisk until pale, about 2-3 mins. Add the cream and milk and beat again until just combined.
- Fill a large jug with ice, then strain in the eggnog mixture. Stir gently until the outside of the jug feels cold, then pour the eggnog into tumblers to serve.
Nutmeg & Orange Coffee (Vegan)
Need an after-dinner coffee to match the festive mood? Try this blend with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and orange zest. Perfect, too, for Christmas morning.
- 4 tbsp ground coffee
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 pitted dates
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 cloves
- Strip of orange zest
- Put the ground coffee, cinnamon stick and dates in a large cafetiere. Add the ground nutmeg, cloves and orange zest, then pour over 400ml freshly boiled water.
- Stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine, then leave to steep for 4 mins. Slowly push down the plunger and serve in espresso cups.
Clementine ‘No-jitio’ (Vegan)
With clementine, orange blossom water and sparkling water, this Christmas non-alcoholic cocktail is fabulously refreshing.
- 1 clementine
- ½ tsp demerara sugar
- 1 lemon wedge, chopped
- A small handful of mint, stalks removed
- A few drops of orange blossom water
- Sparkling water, to top up
- Juice half the clementine and chop the other half into small pieces. Pour the juice into a glass and stir in the sugar. Tip in the chopped clementine and lemon, then crush using a muddler.
- Add a handful of ice, the mint and orange blossom. Top up slowly with sparkling water.
** Please drink responsibly. When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise.**
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adults do not regularly drink more than 14 units per week.