9 Festive Cocktail Recipes From the World’s Best Bars

Outstanding bartenders share their favorite festive drinks.

Negroni Code

Connaught Bar, London

Photo: Connaught Bar

  • 0.75 oz. (20 ml) Connaught Bar Gin (or other gin)
  • 0.75 oz. (20 ml) bitters
  • 0.75 oz. (20 ml) sweet vermouth
  • 0.75 oz. (20 ml) aromatic water*
  • 1 drop balsamic vinegar
  • Orange peel for garnish

Stir all ingredients together with ice; pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube (preferred). Garnish with an orange peel.

Santa’s Rum Nog

Atlas Bar, Singapore

Photo: Benjamin Sim

  • 0.5 oz. (15 ml) Vedrenne Sirop d’Orgeat
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) cream
  • 0.5 oz. (10 ml) Pedro Ximénez sherry
  • 0.5 oz. (15 ml) Cointreau
  • 2 oz. (45 ml) Diplomático Reserva (or another dark rum)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Montenegro bitters
  • Egg white
  • Nutmeg

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube (preferred). Top with freshly grated nutmeg.

Cidre d’Orange

Little Red Door, Paris

Photo: Little Red Door

  • 25 oz. (750 ml) Pommeau de Normandie (30&40 Double Jus brand is recommended)
  • Peel and juice of four mandarins
  • 8.5 oz. (250 ml) nut milk (hazelnut preferred)
  • 8.5 oz. (250 ml) vodka

Peel mandarins and juice the flesh. Gently heat the nut milk. Add all ingredients, ensuring the milk is still hot, to a 2 liter container. Seal and leave in a cold place for 24-72 hours. Strain through a cheesecloth or coffee filter before serving. Note: Once bottled, the punch keeps for at least 1 month refrigerated.

Tiramisu Eggnog

Dante, New York City

Photo: Giada Paoloni

  • 3.5 oz. (100 ml) Seven Tails XO brandy
  • 0.75 oz. (25 ml) amaretto
  • 0.75 oz. (25 ml) vin santo
  • 2.5 oz. (75 ml) espresso
  • 3 oz. (90 ml) mascarpone
  • 3 oz. (100 ml) spice syrup
  • 1.5 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Valrhona chocolate for garnish
Add all ingredients to a tin and shake vigorously. Pour into a festive glass and garnish with freshly grated Valrhona chocolate.

All Spruced Up

Thunderbolt, Los Angeles

Photo: Thunderbolt

  • 2 oz. Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz. spruce tip syrup*
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 grapefruit peel

Add bourbon, syrup and bitters to a rocks glass. Gently add ice to the glass, filling to about 3/4 full. Stir the drink for about 15 seconds. Hold a large grapefruit peel over the drink, pith side up, and squeeze to express the oils over the drink. Discard the peel.


La Factoria, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: Don Q. Rum

  • 6 oz. Don Q Cristal
  • 4 oz. Don Q Reserva 7 Años
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 8.5 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients well (using a blender is suggested). Pour into an empty bottle and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Shake well and serve cold in a small glass. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Like Christmas

Trick Dog, San Francisco

Photo: Trick Dog

  • 1.5 oz. Maker’s Mark
  • 0.5 oz. Martini & Rossi Rubino Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz. Leopold Bros. Cranberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. Averna Amaro
  • 7 dashes Douglas Fir tincture

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Serve strained into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with cranberries.

XO-Mas Cheer

Scarfes Bar, London

Photo: Lateef Okunnu

Serves up to 4 people

  • 5 oz. (150 ml) Hennessy XO cognac
  • 1.33 oz. (40 ml) Aquavit
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) Palo Cortado sherry
  • 1.33 oz. (40 ml) Becherovka liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. (10 ml) Ratafia liqueur
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Small pinch Piment d’Espelette
  • 2 oz. (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 oz. (35 ml) orange juice
  • 0.75 oz. (25 ml) verjus
  • 2.25 oz. (70 ml) Esprit de Noël (holiday flavored) tea
  • 3.25 oz. (95 ml) poppy seed (or nut) milk
  • 3.33 oz. (100 ml) Coeur du Breuil Calvados liqueur
  • 1 baked apple*

Mix all ingredients together in a large container. Refrigerate overnight. Strain through a coffee filter and serve over ice.

Snoop Noggy Nog

Danico, Paris

Photo: Danico

  • 1 bottle brown butter cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840 brand recommended)*
  • 30 oz. (90 cl) Lustau Amontillado dry sherry
  • 2 l. almond milk
  • 1.5 l. cream
  • 2.5 c. (500 g) sugar
  • 24 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. (30 g) grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add nutmeg and sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Gradually add sherry, cognac, almond milk and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.

Sweet Christmas

Licorería Limantour

Photo: Licorería Limantour

  • 2 oz. (50 ml) red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon preferred)
  • 0.5 oz. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. (25 ml) Tio Pepe fino sherry
  • 1.33 oz. (40 ml) cider (not too dry)
  • Punch syrup*
  • Mint and grape for garnish

All all the ingredients (except the cider) to a shaker with ice and mix using the throwing technique (a method of pouring the cocktail from one shaker to another via a long pour) to oxygenate the mixture. Serve in a highball glass filled with ice cubes and top it off with the cider. Garnish with a mint sprig and a grape skewer.

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