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The weather outside might be frightful but the fire and cocktails are so delightful.

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for the hospitality and bar industry. With Christmas parties, staff outings and ‘get togethers’ with friends, bar staff around the world are central to a variety of festive social events.

To ensure you and your bar are well prepared, start your planning now. Choose this busy time of year to drive and encourage sales in some of the key spirit portfolios. Offering new serves, delicious festive drinks and excellent service will not only maximise sales opportunities but also encourage your guests to visit again in the New Year. An inviting cocktail list will also increase opportunities for premiumisation with guests more encouraged to choose a new cocktail rather than their traditional choice of lager or glass of wine.

As a helping hand, here is our ultimate list of ‘winter warmers’ and Christmas drinks sure to delight and indulge your guests this festive season. Each recipe is complete with an exclusive recipe card, available to download and keep behind the bar. These list full ingredients, method and handy tips to perfecting the serve.

From toddys to ‘tinis’ we have it covered. Read on for the first instalment of Diageo Bar Academy’s ‘12 Cocktails of Christmas’ to discover why we really do wish it could be Christmas every day…



50ml SMIRNOFF™ Gold Vodka

25ml Ginger syrup

25ml Lemon juice

0.5piece(s) Egg white

1 Piece of gingerbread man biscuit

METHOD:Add Smirnoff Gold Liqueur, ginger syrup, lemon juice and egg white to the shaker. Dry shake the mixture. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a martini glass. Add a gingerbread man biscuit and serve.

(2.0 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)


Jazz up your espresso martini with a creamy kick this season using this recipe, which features a decadent blend of Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka and a shot of cold espresso.


50ml BAILEYS™ Irish Liqueur

25ml SMIRNOFF™ Vodka

25ml Cold espresso

METHOD: Blend all the ingredients and serve in a martini glass.

(1.9 standard drinks*- 2.4 units per serve)


This is the perfect Scotch long-drink option for the festive season. Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky with ginger ale and a lemon twist on the rocks…sweet, smooth and deliciously spicy.



200ml Ginger ale

1 Lemon twist

METHOD: Combine Johnnie Walker Red Label with ginger ale and stir well. Garnish with a lemon twist.

(2.0 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)


Decadent and delicious, Captain Morgan spiced and hot chocolate. This will surprise your guests by giving their traditional hot chocolate and extra kick.



100ml Hot chocolate

Top up with cream / marshmallows or chocolate flake

METHOD: Add Captain Morgan Spiced to a mug. Make hot chocolate as usual in the mug and gently heat. Garnish with squirty cream, marshmallows or a chocolate flake.

(2.0 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)


This fresh Gordon's Gin is a perfect alternative to offer guests who are tired up with warm and spicy serves.


45ml GORDON'S™ Gin

10ml Blackberry liqueur

10ml Simple syrup

20ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice

METHOD: Add Gordon's Gin, simple syrup and lemon juice to an old fashioned glass. Fill glass three-quarters of the way with crushed ice and churn well. Cap with crushed ice, drizzle with blackberry liqueur. Garnish with lemon wheel and a blackberry.

(0.9 standard drinks*- 0.8 units per serve)


This rich and spicy cocktail is popular during the holiday season in Europe and the USA . Each region has its own version and some use rum or whisky. The egg nog may also be served warm.


30ml Brandy

15ml RON ZACAPA™ 23 Rum

1 Whole egg

120ml Milk

1 Teaspoon sugar

METHOD: Add all ingredients into shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into tall glass or goblet. Garnish with grated nutmeg and serve.

(1.9 standard drinks*- 1.4 units per serve)

Check back next week, when we’ll present the second instalment of the ’12 Cocktails of Christmas,’ featuring more holiday serves and festive treats.

Want to find out more on about Diageo Bar Academy’s guide to Christmas? Sign up to Diageo Bar Academy today and become a member of our global academy of bartenders. Keep up to date with all the latest industry news, exclusive tips and access extensive online materials.

(*One standard drink contains 8g of alcohol)

The DIAGEO BAR ACADEMY word and associated logos as well as BAILEYS, GORDON’S, JOHNNIE WALKER, CAPTAIN MORGAN, SMIRNOFF AND HAIG CLUB words and associated logos are trademarks belonging to Diageo or used by Diageo with their owners’ consent © Diageo 2015 .e BAILEYS, GORDON’S, JOHNNIE WALKER, CAPTAIN MORGAN, RON ZACAPA AND SMIRNOFF words and associated logos are trademarks ©Diageo 2015.