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by Peter Barradine December 15, 2020 3 min read

Festive Cocktails

Last week we explored the tipples you could enjoy on Christmas day, and here’s hoping that when you open all your glorious gifts you will have received a full bar's worth of spirits, wine and various other drinks perfect to get you through those ‘limbo’ days between Christmas and New Year.

Pre Oliver Cromwell Christmas was a 12 day affair and as described by Phillip Stubbs in his bookThe Anatomie of Abusesthere was:

'More mischief is that time committed than in all the year besides ... What dicing and carding, what eating and drinking, what banqueting and feasting is then used …’

So with this now being reduced to only five days due to the original Scrooge (Oliver Cromwell) it is the perfect time to crack open any gifts or continue to sip on your Christmas stash (if you have any left over). Immerse yourself in the modern day orgie of Netflix and board games with your bubble while creating some cocktails that’ll be sure to impress...

Smoking Bishop 

This cocktail, better known as mulled wine was made famous by a true leader of Christmas and keen imbiber, Charles Dickens. The original recipe calls for the traditional wine and port but I have added a twist (not Oliver, although you shall be asking for more!) with cider and damson gin.


Heat all of the ingredients in a pan over a low heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve in a mug of your choice.


The history of the drink is as clear as the drink itself. In Britain it was seen as the drink of the aristocracy as dairy products at the time were very expensive. The drink saw its true rise in popularity when it moved to the otherside of the Atlantic where eggs and cream were plentiful and often combined with rum.


Put the sugar in a saucepan with 75ml water. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved, then cool and chill. Beat the yolks with the vanilla until smooth. Add the condensed milk, rum and cooled sugar syrup, mixing well. Pour into a jug and chill for at least 2 hrs. Serve within 24 hrs, over ice.

Mince Pie Martini

Fear not as this doesn’t use the original savory recipe of ground beef, but sticks to the sweet version, it is a great way to use up any leftovers you may have in the jar.

For the mincemeat syrup
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g mincemeat
  • 100ml water

The Cocktail

  • 1 tsp mincemeat
  • 25ml Jaffa Cake Gin
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • 12.5ml lemon juice
  • 12.5ml mincemeat syrup


To make a mincemeat syrup, put 100ml water, the golden caster sugar and mincemeat in a pan and bring to the boil. Cool and strain through muslin into a sieve.

Muddle the mincemeat in a cocktail shaker, then add the gin, sweet red vermouth, lemon juice, mincemeat syrup and ice. Shake well and strain into your prepared glass.

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