a cocktail surrounded by mini christmas trees

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Image Description: A cocktail surrounded by mini christmas trees

December is finally here and, with it, the excuse to drink copious amounts of mulled wine on a cold winter’s night. But what to do when you’ve polished off your fifth cup of the day and you think maybe, just maybe, it’s time to try something different? Fear not; here are four boozy and non-boozy alternatives to get you through a very merry (covid-filled) Christmas.


Eggnog Martini (Serves 1-2)

This twist on a Christmas classic is very creamy and rather heavy on the booze, so proceed with caution. You can buy pre-made eggnog or, even better, make your own! This recipe uses nutmeg for garnishing, but you can also use cocoa powder or add a stick of cinnamon. To make it extra decorative, try dipping the rim of the glass in some vodka and coat with crushed digestives or amoretti biscuits.

  • 50ml spiced rum or amaretto
  • 25ml vanilla vodka
  • 50ml dark rum
  • 100ml of eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg (to garnish)

Fill cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Add the spiced rum, dark rum or amaretto, vodka, and eggnog and shake well until mixed and chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with ground nutmeg.


Salted Caramel and Rum Hot Chocolate (Serves 1-2)

This one is warm, rich, and chocolatey (and, thankfully, very easy). Leave out the rum for a non-boozy treat. The whipped cream and toppings are optional, but highly recommended.

  • 50ml dark rum
  • 3 tsp dulce de leche or thick caramel
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 80g milk chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Marshmallows and chocolate flakes (optional)

Warm the milk in a saucepan on low heat until simmering. While the milk is heating, mix the rum and dulce de leche or caramel in a bowl and set aside. Once the milk begins to simmer, remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Put back on the heat until warm and add the rum and caramel mixture, along with a pinch of sea salt. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate flakes.


Christmas Punch (Serves 3-4)

After testing a few different punch recipes, this cranberry-packed version was a clear winner. If you want to tone down the alcohol content, replace some or all of the prosecco with soda water or lemonade. This recipe serves 3-4 as it’s perfect for sharing with friends (in your household, of course), but feel free to adjust the amounts if you’re in a larger group or indeed if you want a glass to yourself.

  • 75ml vodka
  • 200ml cranberry juice
  • 200ml orange juice
  • 250ml prosecco
  • 75g fresh cranberries
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves

Fill a jug halfway with ice. Pour in the vodka, cranberry juice and clementine juice, and stir gently. Top up with prosecco and garnish with the cranberries and mint leaves.


Festive Mojito Mocktail (Serves 1-2)

Seasonal yet refreshing, this mocktail is a great alternative to the usual hot chocolate and eggnog recipes often in the non-alcoholic section. You can also use cranberries or blueberries as a garnish and add a drop of orange blossom water if you can find it.

  • 1 clementine
  • 1 tsp brown or demerara sugar
  • 1 lime wedge chopped
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Soda water, to top up

Juice the clementine and pour into a glass. Stir in the sugar and add the lime pieces, then crush using a muddler or a spoon. Add ice and mint and top up with soda.

Image credit: Dio Septian on Unsplash