Five Drinks to Rustle Up at Home this Christmas

|||||||Young Cuban

The festive season is upon us and you won’t be able to go a minute at a party without someone offering you a mulled wine. Let’s be honest though, there are much nicer and much more exciting things to be drinking and it’s surprisingly easy to do. We’ve pulled together five modern-classic cocktails which you can easily put together in the comfort of your own kitchen. The good news is you’ll hardly need any specialist equipment to do it.

Equipment Needed

1 x Measure

1 x Something to Shake in (An empty jar, a Kilner jar or a small teapot work well)

1 x Something to Stir In (A cafetiere, a teapot or a big jar work well)

1 x Something to Stir with (A chopstick, a knife, or the handle of a wooden spoon all work)

1 x Strainer (The lid from your shaking vessel will usually do the job here)

1 x Tea Strainer

Things to Bare in Mind

- Always squeeze your juice fresh (you can do this with your hands if you want)

- Don’t go out and buy sugar syrup, you can make your own batch by mixing 500g of sugar with 500g of hot water and stirring until it dissolves. This will keep for about 1 week.

Young Cuban

This drink was created as a tribute to the bar community itself and the cocktail revolution which has emerged in the last 15 years. It takes its influence from one of the first classic drinks of the modern age and is a fresh and zingy little number.

Young Cuban

  • 50ml Bacardi Superior Rum
  • 20ml Lemon Juice
  • 15ml Orgeat (an almond syrup which you can pick up in most drinks shops)
  • 10ml Fino Sherry
  • 4 sprigs of dill

Pour all the ingredients into your shaker, add ice and shake thoroughly before straining into your a cocktail glass. You can even garnish it with a little sprig of dill if you’re feeling bold.

Gin Basil Smash

The drink was inspired by the whiskey smashers of yesteryear and was created by Joerg Meyer from Bar Le Lion and Boilerman Bar in Hamburg. It’s a really tasty drink, perfect for using up any leftover gin you have lying around the house or any leftover basil in the fridge.

Cocktail 2 Basil Smash

  • 50ml Gin
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 15ml Sugar Syrup
  • 8 torn Basil Leaves

Add all the ingredients to your shaker, shake hard and pour into a short, ice filled glass.

Speak Low

The drink pays tribute to prohibition era America and is named after a famous jazz song by Kurt Weil. It was created by Shingo Gokan back in 2012.


  • 40ml Bacardi 8
  • 10ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  • 1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder

Put the tsp of green tea in the bottom of a stirring vessel and then add the other liquids. You want to stir it until it all combines nicely. Then strain it into an ice filled cocktail glass using a tea strainer.

Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Created by a chap called Phil Ward in 2007, when he was working at a bar called Death and Co. in New York. This is a nice twist on the Old Fashioned and the tequila and mezcal bring an interesting and exciting flavour to the party.

Cocktail 4 Oaxca

  • 35ml Tequila
  • 15ml Mezcal
  • 10ml Agave Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Pour all ingredients into your stirring glass, add ice and stir 30 times. Strain into a short, ice filled glass.


This drink probably requires the most preparation and there are a couple of little bits you’ve got to make for it, but it is absolutely worth doing and is all the more impressive for your guests. This was concocted by a guy called Sam Ross back in 2005 in New York. It’s an excellent drink which will warm your cockles and show you just how versatile Scotch whisky can be.

Cocktail 5 Penicillin

  • 50ml Blended Scotch
  • 20ml Lemon Juice
  • 10ml Fresh Ginger Syrup*
  • 10ml Honey Syrup*
  • 5ml-10ml Islay Single Malt Whisky

Pour all ingredients, except the single malt; into a shaker, add ice and shake firmly. Strain into a short, ice filled glass. Garnish with a piece of ginger if you like.

* Fresh Ginger Syrup - Grate a whole piece of ginger into a bowl and add an equal amount of granulated sugar. Mix throughly and then add the same amount of hot water. Strain and leave to cool.

* Honey Syrup - Dilute Runny Honey with Hot water on a ratio of 3 parts honey to one part water. Leave to Cool.

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