Where to get merry this Christmas: Guide to London’s festive cocktails
As we approach Christmas, our social lives are busier than ever as we meet up with friends, family and work colleagues to celebrate the end of another year. While mulled wine can easily be found in many pubs and bars, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. With some of the world’s best cocktail bars in the capital, it’s no wonder that London’s mixologists have created some special festive concoctions for the Christmas period.
Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the capital’s best festive cocktails this 2017 season.
South Bank bar and restaurant Skylon have looked to the night sky for inspiration with their festive cocktail menu. Each drink is based on the eight planets of the Solar System. Mars (Campari, Ciroc infused hibiscus, Martini Rosso), Jupiter (Tanqueray 10, Staibano creamy limoncello, mulled wine reduction), Mercury (Ciroc infused thyme, Masticha, Lemongrass, Sherbet Prosecco), Uranus (Ciroc, passion fruit and chilly syrup), Venus (Ciroc, truffle oil, cacao blanco, Prosecco), Saturn (Zacapa 23 infused caramel, Liquor 43, angostura bitter), Neptune (Ciroc, Blue Caracao infused pineapple, lemon grass sugar syrup) and Earth (J.W Blue label, Hennessey fine cognac, red and dry vermouth, angostura bitter). Drinks range from £12.50-£14.50. On sale until 31 January 2018.
Skylon, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo.
- The Lobby Bar @ One Aldwych
Enjoy a touch of luxury at the lavish Lobby Bar at the One Aldwych Hotel. They’ve teamed up with Perrier-Jouët Brut Champagne to create five limited-edition drinks. Christmas Club – inspired by Home Alone. (Home-made orange liqueur, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, topped up with Perrier-Jouët Brut), Golden Snitch – inspired by Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Havana 7 rum, Antica Formula, Lapponia blueberry liqueur, blueberry cheesecake flavour, sugar syrup, fresh lemon juice, topped up with Perrier-Jouët Brut), Carol Fizz – inspired by A Christmas Carol (Plymouth gin, rhubarb liqueur, framboise liqueur, elderflower cordial, fresh lemon juice, gold leaf, topped up with Perrier-Jouët Brut), Nutcracker (Beluga Russian vodka, fig liqueur, green apple purée, drops of cardamom bitters, topped up with Perrier-Jouët Brut) and Royal Santa – inspired by Miracle on 34th Street (Home-made hibiscus liqueur, fresh pomegranate juice, cinnamon foam, topped with Perrier-Jouët Brut).
One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, Covent Garden, WC2B 4BZ. Nearest stations: Covent Garden or Temple.
- Charlotte’s W5
Cosy up in Charlotte’s Winter Terrace from Sipsmith, featuring blankets, fairy lights, hot cocktails and roasted chestnuts. Winter Sloe Gin (Sipsmith Sloe Gin, cinnamon, star anise and apple), Winter Negroni Sipsmith (London Dry Gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and rooibos tea) and the Hot Espresso Martini (Sipsmith Sipping Vodka, Electric coffee and vanilla cream).
Charlotte’s W5, Longfield Avenue, Ealing, W5 2UQ. Nearest station: Ealing Broadway.
- Oslo Hackney
Nordic themed restaurant and bar in a redeveloped Victorian railway station. Their mixologists have created the Sloe Winter (Plymouth Sloe Gin, Winter Berries Syrup, Rosemary Stem, Orange Bitters and Prosecco) at £8.
Oslo, 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL. Nearest station: Hackney Central.
For a night out with a difference, head to Soho’s secret drinking den Cahoots, which recreates post-WWII London in a ‘tube station’. Their festive offering is Swinging On A Star (Campari Aperitif, Roots Masitha Liqueur, Freya Birch Spirit, Hibiscus, Rose Petal Cordial and Xmas Essence).
- Mac & Wild
Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild have created a festive tipple to complement their meaty menu. The Yuletide Cocktail (Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Pedro Ximenéz Sherry, Mince Pies and Honey).
Mac & Wild (two branches). At 65 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, W1W 7PS. Nearest station: Goodge Street or Oxford Circus. 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YN. Nearest station: Liverpool Street.
- Brick & Liquor
South London sister bars Brick & Liquor have created a festive cocktail for those with a sweet tooth. Marshmallow Martini (Absolut Vodka, Café Cartron, Vanilla Carton, milk and cream, finished with toasted s’mores and a melted hazelnut chocolate garnish).
Brick & Liquor. Clapham South branch at 47 Balham Hill, Clapham, SW12 9DR. Nearest station: Clapham South, or Tooting Broadway branch at 82 Mitcham Road, Tooting, SW17 9NG. Nearest station: Tooting Broadway. For Metro Girl’s review of Brick & Liquor, click here.
- Woody Bear
Festive rooftop pop-up featuring street food, winter warmer cocktails and private huts to cosy up in. Drinks menu includes DBL Dip Punch (Skyy vodka, Absinthe, Lime and Fresh Ginger); Flask of Egg Nog (Wild Turkey 81, Vanilla, Grand Marnier and Nutmeg); Salty Susan (Skyy vodka, rosemary, salted maple syrup, pink grapefruit juice); Lickety-Split (Aperol, Cynar, Appleton signature, tea and Lime); The Smokin’ Goat Fizz (Bulldog Gin, Mezcal, Lemon and Creme de Figue); I.T (Wild Turkey 81, maple syrup, ginger, bitters, lemon); and Junglebird (Appleton Signature, Campari, Lime and Pineapple).
Woody Bear, 535 Oxford Street, Mayfair, W1C 2QW. Nearest station: Marble Arch.
- Canova Hall and Martello Hall
Brixton bar, restaurant and hot desking space and its Hackney sister venue are offering a festive version of a Kir Royale at both establishments. The Sloe Royale (Sloe Gin, Chilled Frizzante and topped with sloe berries).
- Vintage London Winter Terrace @ The Churchill
The stunning Churchill Bar and Terrace’s seasonally themed Winter Terrace. Expect hot water bottles, bespoke Churchill blankets, classic London memorabilia and nine winter cocktails, inspired by Winston Churchill’s life and passions. The Winter menu features Charleston Punch (Pisco Punch with a Churchill twist); Darkest Hour (Johnnie Walker, Carpano Antica Formula, Old Engine Oil Porter Beer Syrup and bespoke Churchill War Room Bitters); Lord Admiral (Pusser’s Navy Rum, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, English honey and shaken with smoky Bowmore 12 yr Whisky); Colonel’s Encounter (Havana Selection de Maestro rum, fruit juice including Guava and Lime, banana and spiced chilli syrup, LBV port and Angostura bitters); Time Out (London N1 Moroccan Mint infused Gin, Italicus Rosolio, Luxardo Bianco, and homemade citrus cordial); Normandy Tipple (Boulard Calvados and Williams Pere liquor, the Benedictine, Chestnut Spread, Pear Puree and Chocolate Bitters, Normandy salt); Prohibition Prescription (Rebel Yell bourbon whiskey, Sovereign Gooseberry and Galliano liquor and tomato essence); The Journalist (Casamigos Tequila, Roots Mastiha Liquor, Lemon Juice, candyfloss garnish); and Victory (Hine Cigar Cognac, Rhubarb Amaro, Nyetember reduction infused with kaffir lime leaves, bespoke Churchill bitters and acid citric).
The Churchill Bar and Terrace, Hyatt Regency, 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 7BH. Nearest station: Marble Arch or Bond Street.
Rooftop bar, fondue and ice skating destination Skylight are offering a winter drinks menu. Drinks include Bittersweet Ambrosia (Campari, Cointreau, Chambord, pineapple juice & orange juice); Autumn Sky (Bombay Sapphire, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, hibiscus lemon balm syrup, lemon juice; Apple Crumble (Bacardi Oakheart, caramel syrup, lemon juice & apple juice); Maple Sour (Bacardi Carta Blanca, maple syrup & lime juice); Peppery Puck (Grey Goose Poire, orgeat, lime juice, rhubarb bitters & ginger beer); The Squirrel (Jack Daniels, Frangelico & lemon juice); Call Me Rita (Patron Silver, triple sec, lime juice, agave nectar & hibiscus syrup); Gin Skate (Earl Grey Bombay Sapphire, Grand Marnier, lemon juice & marmalade syrup) and Spiced Espresso Martini (Bacardi Superior, espresso, Kahlua & cardamom syrup).
- Dirty Martini
The sleek bar chain has created a special festive menu, available at its seven central London locations. Includes The Bellringer (Amaretto Disaronno, cranberry juice, blood orange syrup, topped with Prosecco), Dirty Grinch (Havana 3yr Rum, Briottet Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Butterscotch Schnapps, double cream, dark chocolate pencils and fresh mint leaves, garnished with After Eight), Christmas Cheer (Bols Genever and Tanqueray Gin, Cherry Heering liqueur, homemade raspberry syrup, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, pomegranate juice and orange bitters), Mince Chai (Bold London Spirit, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, gingerbread syrup, chai tea syrup, pressed apple juice, egg white, citric acid and Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters) and Quince & Walnut Old Fashioned (Jim Beam Bourbon over ice with Manzanilla Sherry, Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, quince jelly, muddled walnuts, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters and Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters).
Dirty Martini, branches at Bishopsgate, Covent Garden, Hanover Square, Islington, Minories, Monument and St Paul’s.
- Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour
Experience drinking Victorian style in a traditional parlour from the Mr Fogg’s team. For Christmas, they have two festive offerings – Gin-Gle Bells (Star Of Bombay gin, apple juice, fresh lime juice, sugar and Orange-mandarin bitters) and Note To Elf (Cinnamon-infused Russian Standard, Platinum vodka, fresh lemon juice, sugar & topped With Prosecco).
Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, 1 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA. Nearest station: Leicester Square.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets, click here.
Fancy a twirl on one of London’s open-air ice rinks?
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
For a guide to London’s New Year’s Eve events, click here.