From drinks in actual snowglobes to a boozy Grinch-inspired martini, here are the concoctions you need to keep an eye out for over the festive period
Bōkan – London
With its 37th-floor location, Bokan is a beacon for beautiful views of London, but that’s not the only reason to pay it a visit this month. To celebrate the jolliest time of the year, the bar team have magicked up a toasty drinks list. Simple, but to the point, the Hot Gin & Gingerbread is stirred with Sipsmith London dry gin, gingerbread syrup and hot water, and it comes garnished with a gingerbread man.
Dirty Martini – Cardiff
You might not find a gift-wrapped present under the tree from Dirty Martini, but what it does have in store for you is something a lot more special. This stylish chain is shaking and mixing three festive cocktails for the month of December, and each one is just as moreish as the last. Pick from the Grinch’s Espresso Martini, the Bellringer or Santa’s Punch – a cool marriage of Ketel One Oranje Vodka, Bold liqueur, Pimento Dram, homemade Christmas syrup, fresh pomegranate juice, lime juice and orange bitters.
Quaglino’s – London
Founded in 1929, Quaglino’s remains one of London’s most glamorous restaurants and in the present day, it’s extremely passionate about its mixology. Adding a Christmas cocktail to its Science of Sustainability menu – that highlights sea pollution, hunger and climate change – you can now enjoy Hot Bodies for the month of December. Teaming up with Hunger Project UK for the festive sip, it’s a thought-provoking mix of Oxley Gin, Martini Rubino, Kalamamsi, pomegranate and beetroot cordial, grapefruit bitters and soft tofu foam (a smart alternative to using egg white).
Bloomsbury Club and Bar – London
From elegantly decorated Christmas trees to festive menu additions, Bloomsbury Club Bar is always on top form come December. Reaching out to Dingle Original Gin and Malt Whiskey, the team have come up with three cracking creations for the holidays. If you’re partial to an Irish coffee, make sure you try All I Want For Christmas. It’s a heady drink containing coffee and Dingle whiskey, finished with a light dusting of nutmeg, but there’s always Baby It’s Cold Outside or The Dingle Jingle if you want to dodge that caffeine hit.
Level 8 Sky Bar – Bournemouth
Know what the highest bar in southwest England is? That’s Level 8 Sky Bar, where you can breath in views of Bournemouth, and this Christmas it has a drinks menu packed with yuletide joy. Wrap up warm and travel towards the skies for Tea’s The Season, or if you want something with a little more punch, try Pudding by the Fire. A firm favourite among the masses, it’s a vigorous sip merging cognac, rye whiskey, amaretto, Grand Marnier, pedro ximenez sherry, Angostura bitters and orange bitters.
Heads + Tails – London
Opening in October of this year, Heads + Tails is the newest addition to the Hampstead bar scene, and as it’s the brainchild of industry pros Will Partridge and Chris Dennis, things have gotten off to a flying start. The team are spreading joy with their limited edition cocktail, Mistletoe and Pine, and you won’t regret locking lips with this comforting creation that’s made with cranberry-infused Fords Gin, homemade smoked pine liquor (that’s made with pine leaves foraged from Finsbury Park) and clarified cereal milk.
Aqua Shard – London
Aqua Shard joined forces with Bompas and Parr last month to bring London’s largest interactive snowglobe to its rooftop restaurant. Decorated with snow-covered foliage, you can win its Christmas cocktail, the Snowscape, at certain times of the day if you catch a golden ticket, but you can always head to the bar for the Instagram-worthy drink if you’re unlucky. Swirled together with Plantation 3 Stars rum, homemade coconut cordial and Becherovka liqueur, this magical mix comes served in an actual snowglobe.
The Ivy Victoria Quarter – Leeds
Fizz the season to be jolly. The Ivy Victoria Quarter is adding some sparkle to its December celebrations with a handful of special sips. Its mulled wine is spiked with just the right amount of spices, but it’s The Ginger Gin Fizz that will keep your spirits high when combating the bitter cold on your journey home. A loud mix of Plymouth gin with ginger and lemongrass cordial is topped, in a tall flute, with Ivy Champagne.
Duck and Waffle – London
Richard Woods, who’s also known as The Cocktail Guy, is the brains behind Duck and Waffle’s cocktail menu, and for this month you can drink from his very special 12 Days of Christmas selection. Featuring – you guessed it, 12 different cocktails, there’s something to please every palate. From Mulled Negronis to Festive Fizz and Three Wise Men to a Pine Needle Lemonade that’s served in a flavour painted glass, you won’t want to leave this sky-high pad without sleighing as many cocktails as you can.
Donovan Bar – London
A drink worthy of Santa Claus himself? Donovan Bar, inside Brown’s Hotel, has really done its research this year, dreaming up a concoction that’s 100 times better than the milk and cookies you leave out on Christmas Eve. The St Nicholas’ Tipple is as gluttonous as it is creamy, made with Hennessy that’s been infused with raisins, Kahlua, almond milk, and tonka bean syrup.
214 Bermondsey – London
This secret speakeasy beside London Bridge has an incredible gin selection. There are over 100 to marvel at, so it might be hard to tear yourself away from the botanical booze, but the Ruby Minced Pie is here for a short and sweet stay, making it a must-order. Made with mincemeat-infused cognac, ruby port and apple juice, it’s a perfectly balanced combination of sweet and savoury.
The New York Bar – London
When it comes to ringing off classic Christmas cocktails, eggnog is always one that springs to mind. New York Bar is nestled in The Rubens at The Palace and it has perfected its recipe with an indulgent (and surprising) twist. Combining Maker’s Mark bourbon, vanilla pods, cloves, fresh milk, cream, nutmeg, orange bitters, Galvin Peak pinot noir and cinnamon shards, it’s almost too pretty to drink.
For more information on Christmas cocktails in London, visit DesignMyNight and follow it on Facebook and Instagram; @DesignMyNight