A good brunch is all the rage, and a festive brunch deserves cocktails with a delicious seasonal twist. These six Christmas brunch cocktails are all devilishly easy to make, so are ideal to please a crowd.
Festive aperitivo spritz
Festive aperitivo spritz (serves one)
A classic brunch cocktail with an added kick of orange liqueur to make it that little bit more Christmassy.
- Place ice cubes in a large wine glass and pour over the aperitivo and orange liqueur.
- Top with the Prosecco, and garnish with an orange slice or twist.
Gingerbread Manhattan (serves one)
A simple but decadent Christmassy twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail – you can find gingerbread syrup in most supermarkets.
- Pour all the ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker or glass. Shake or stir, and strain into a Martini glass or tumbler.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
Mulled apple spice cider
Mulled apple spice cider (makes four small glasses)
This tastes rather like liquid apple crumble and is incredibly warming, spicy and moreish. There's a lot of ingredients listed below, and although this is a tried and tested recipe, there's no need to panic if you haven't got or don't particularly like some of the suggested ingredients – simply work with what you have and taste as you go along.
- 500ml bottle cider (a perfect example is Hallets Real Cider)
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 large pinch grated or ground nutmeg
- 1 vanilla pod, halved
- 2 tbsp dark or spiced rum
- 2 orange slices
- 2 apple slices
- 2 heaped tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Gently heat the cider in a saucepan, then add all the spices, rum and fruit and stir for a minute or two.
- Slowly add the sweet ingredients, tasting as you go along to make sure you get the desired sweetness. Once you're happy with the flavour, allow the mixture to warm gently on the stove for a further five to ten minutes, being careful not to allow it to boil.
- Serve (carefully!) in festive tumblers or mulled wine/latte glasses, and garnish with an orange slice, cinnamon stick and star anise.
Pomegranate sloe gin fizz
Pomegranate sloe gin fizz (serves one)
A classic and super-easy wintry cocktail with added fruity, festive pizzazz from the pomegranate – and the seeds are rather lovely to eat once they've been soaking in all the bubbly, too. Beware, these are deceptively drinkable, but they pack a punch!
- 25ml sloe gin
- 25ml pomegranate juice
- 125ml sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, Cava or Champagne if you're feeling particularly fancy
- 1 small handful pomegranate seeds
- Pour the sloe gin and pomegranate juice into a flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds.
White Christmas sangria
White Christmas sangria (makes six to eight glasses)
This is a fuss-free, big-batch festive cocktail to please a crowd, and its easy-drinking, fruity lightness makes it ideal for brunch. Do away with the booze and add more fruit juice, lemonade, plus lemon and lime juice and more fresh fruit slices if you'd like a festive mocktail.
- 500ml white wine – something fruity, light and inexpensive, such as Castillo del Barón Macabeo or Piemonte Cortese
- 250ml cranberry juice
- 125ml orange juice
- 100ml orange liqueur such as triple sec
- 50ml vodka
- 200ml lemonade, or lemon-and-lime soda
- Orange slices, to garnish
- Cranberries, to garnish
- Pour the wine, fruit juices, liqueur and vodka into a large jug with plenty of ice, and top up with lemonade. Garnish with the orange slices and cranberries and serve.
Boozy mince pie coffee
Boozy mince pie coffee
A perfect treat to serve at the end of brunch – and you can make it a mocktail by substituting the liqueur for cream and a little grating of nutmeg, if you like. Mince pie syrup is available online or in many supermarkets at this time of year.
- 125ml freshly brewed coffee
- 50ml Irish cream liqueur, or just dark rum if you prefer
- 15ml mince pie syrup
- Pour the coffee and liqueur into a glass or festive mug, and add the mince pie syrup to taste, depending on how sweet a tooth you have. (If you're feeling really decadent, top your coffee with squirty or whipped cream and chocolate shavings!)