A guide to the best festive drinks to enjoy in the lead up to Christmas

Have you been relegated to the task of buying drinks for your friendship group’s roast dinner? Are you looking for a festive drink to make an event more fun? Look no further. This guide to Christmas drinks has every occasion covered and many of the alcoholic drinks can be easily adapted to be made non-alcoholic so that everyone can enjoy them.

Perfect for a party:


A poinsettia is a fruity cocktail named after the flower which shares the same beautiful red colour. The drink is classy and only contains three ingredients so is easy to make and would brighten up a dinner party. It is also easy to make a non-alcoholic version by replacing the champagne with a non-alcoholic sparkling wine and by replacing the orange liqueur with a splash of orange juice. I took my recipe from  The Cocktail Society.


  • 75ml champagne
  • 25ml Cointreau ( or another orange liqueur or juice)
  • 75ml cranberry juice


  • Add Cointreau to a chilled glass
  • Pour the champagne on top
  • Slowly pour the cranberry juice letting it bleed through the drink

Winter Pimm’s punch

Pimm’s is one of the nation’s favourite summer drinks, but the drink has been overlooked for the other seasons of the year. This recipe by  BBC Good Food would make for an excellent addition to a Christmas party as the summery flavours have been adapted to be more reminiscent of the winter mood.

Ingredients :

  • 500 ml Pimm’s
  • 500ml brandy
  • 5 l apple juice
  • Ice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Apple, sliced
  • Orange sliced


  • Combine ingredients together into a large jug


A snowball is another classic cocktail recipe that could be adapted and made into a large portion and served at a dinner or a party. The cocktail was created in the 1940s but became popular in the 1970s as it was a cheap and sweet cocktail and it is delicious. It is also easy to make non-alcoholic by excluding the advocaat. I took my recipe from BBC Good Food.


  • 10-15ml lime juice or cordial
  • 50ml advocaat
  • 50ml sparkling lemonade
  • Ice
  • Maraschino cherry to serve


  • Fill a glass with ice and add the lime juice
  • Pour the advocaat and lemonade over ice and stir until the glass feels cold
  • Garnish with the cherry

Candy cane flavoured VK / glitter berry j20

If you are running out of time to prepare drinks for a party, storebought Christmas themed drinks are also an exciting way to spice up the food and drink. Two drinks caught my eye this year. VK are selling a candy cane flavoured drink to celebrate Christmas which does sound like a novelty but I think it would make the drinks table pop with its bright red colour. If you are looking to serve something non-alcoholic J20 are also doing a Christmas themed drink called ‘glitter berry’ which is grape, cherry and spice flavoured.

Quiet evening in:

Mulled wine

Mulled wine is a winter classic and it is so warming. It goes perfectly with a night in and watching a film or having a quiet dinner with friends and can be made non-alcoholic by buying a non-alcoholic wine and excluding the brandy. I took my recipe from BBC Good Food.


  • 750ml bottle of red wine
  • 1 sliced clementine
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 dried figs
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 50 ml brandy


  • Pour the red wine into a large saucepan. Add the clementine, cinnamon stick, star anise, dried figs, cloves and black peppercorns. Heat very gently until simmering, then turn off the heat
  • Fish out the whole spices and peppercorns with a spoon, then stir in the brandy. Ladle into mugs.

Easy eggnog

I have never tried eggnog before but it feels like something everyone should try at least once in their lives. I remember when I was younger watching television and thinking that it was such a weird thing to have egg as part of a drink and I will admit the idea of it still intrigues me. I have added an easy recipe I found on BBC Good Food. To make this without alcohol, remove the brandy.

Ingredients :

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 397g can of condensed milk
  • 100ml brandy

Method :

  • 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, brandy and cooled sugar syrup mixing well
  • Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve over ice

Homemade Irish cream

Baileys is a classic Christmas drink that is often served as part of dessert. However, if you are feeling adventurous, a fun activity could be to make your own Irish cream using this recipe I found from  BBC Good Food and this can be used in other dessert recipes such as trifles or cheesecakes to add an alcoholic twist.


  • 300g dulce de leche (can use 1 can of condensed milk if unable to find dulce de leche)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml irish whiskey
  • 284ml and 142ml pot single cream

Method :

  • Spoon the dulce de leche into a bowl, then beat in the coffee, vanilla and whiskey until smooth.
  • Stir in both pots of cream until well mixed

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is an ideal drink for feeling cosy in winter and adding alcohol can add  extra warmth on a night in. This recipe from BBC Good Food has also got peppermint extract added which makes it feel more wintery but this and the alcohol can be removed based on preference. This recipe can be adapted using different types of liquor to create different flavour combinations. Alternative ideas could be using an orange liquor to create an orange chocolate flavour or a chilli vodka to create a chilli chocolate drink.


  • 50 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • A few drops of peppermint extract
  • 150ml whole milik
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 25ml crème de menthe


  • Whip the cream in a small bowl then stir in the icing sugar and a few drops of peppermint extract. Place in the fridge
  • Pour milk into a saucepan and heat gently until simmering, stirring frequently. Take off the heat then add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Return to heat until warm then add the crème de menthe and pour into a mug
  • Top with the whipped mint cream


Image credit: Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

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