Christmas and New Year is a time for looking back, unwinding, unwrapping and making resolutions – and what better way to indulge all of these than with a festive cocktail or sipping fine wine in front of the fire? We’ve asked the experts for their favourite tipples and star concoctions this season.
Illustrations: Justine Wong
Drinks recipes : Charlotte O’Connell
Wine recommendations: Kathleen Burk
40ml white port • 25ml gin • 10ml fresh lime juice • Good quality tonic water, to top
Method: Combine the port, gin and lime juice in a highball glass filled with ice cubes and stir until chilled. Top with tonic water and garnish.
Garnish: Fresh bay leaf
Glass: Highball, Toyo Sasaki's casts a sleek silhouette
40ml rhubarb gin • 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice • 12.5ml sugar syrup • Chilled sparkling rosé, to top
Method: Combine everything but the sparkling rosé in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well mixed. Strain into a champagne flute and top with chilled sparkling rosé to taste. Garnish.
Garnish: Rhubarb ribbons or lemon peel
Glass: Champagne flute, Riedel’s is a tender-stemmed delight
25ml Campari • 12.5ml Martini Rosso • 10ml Antica Formula, or any sweet red vermouth • 25ml chilled lambrusco, or any Italian sparkling wine, such as prosecco, to top
Method: Fill a mixing glass with ice and add the Campari, Martini Rosso and Antica Formula. Stir and strain into a tumbler; top with lambrusco. Twist orange peel over the glass to release aromatic oils.
Garnish: Orange twist
Glass: Tumbler, ours is from Shotoku Usuhari
40ml bourbon • 25ml Campari • 25ml sweet red vermouth or, for a fruity twist, cherry liqueur
Method: Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and the strain into a chilled glass. Garnish.
Garnish: Orange slice, lemon twist or cocktail cherry
Glass: Tumbler by J Hill’s Standard
Use one large ice cube: smaller cubes melt quicker and add more water to the drink
Notes: Fresh, light, aromatic, delicious; South Africa at its understated best.
Cost: About €10
Notes: Dry, fruity, round: this is the grape that those in the know are supping.
Cost: About €25
Notes: One of the great white Burgundies by one of Burgundy’s best.
Cost: About €65
Notes: Just like Christmas itself: big, fruity and deeply satisfying.
Cost: About €15
Notes: A storied rioja-producer with a wine that’s more elegant than assertive.
Cost: About €35
Notes: Deep, dark, smoky and a star of the southern Rhône.
Cost: About €80
Notes: Dry, crisp, long-lasting (thank the small bubbles) and a favourite of Winston Churchill.
Cost: About €60
Notes: The rosé for those who think the pink stuff is beneath them.
Cost: About €30