Everybody loves Christmas and everybody loves a cocktail. Put the two together and you’ve pushed the festivities into high gear.

Try out these crisp Christmas cocktails to break the December heat while still keeping things merry at your Christmas soiree.

1 I’m dreaming of a White Christmas Sangria

South Africa may not experience a magical white Christmas like the northern part of the world, but hey, we can still dream. Keep things sweet, bubbly and a tad tart with this white Christmas inspired sangria.

1 Granny Smith apple
1 Braeburn apple
1 cup White grape juice
1 can soda water
1 bottle Pinot Grigio

Add cranberries and chopped up apples to a jug. Add the Pinot Grigio. Add the soda water. Add white grape juice. Stir it up with a large spoon. Let it chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Wet individual sprigs of rosemary with water and roll it in sugar to make ‘snow’ covered mini branches. Pour the cocktail into separate classes, top with snowy rosemary and serve.

Recipe adapted from We Heart Recipes


2 Double brandy & eggnog

Alas, Americans own the bragging rights to one of the most famous holiday drinks around, but no one enjoys brandy quite like a South African. Take this creamy delight and spike it to your taste to make for the perfect brandewyn twist on an American classic.

Photography Clean Cuisine


12 eggs, separated
6 cups milk
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of brandy (or more)
A pinch of salt
Nutmeg for garnish

Set aside a large bowl of ice water. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar until pale yellow and thick – about 2 minutes.

Bring milk, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 2 cups hot milk mixture into yolks. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan while whisking. Cook over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon – about 3 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into bowl in ice bath. Let it cool, stirring occassionally – about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate the eggnog base until chilled – about 1 hour.

Whisk the brandy and cream into the chilled eggnog base. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whites into the eggnog base until blended. Pour into individual glasses, dust with nutmeg and serve.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


3 Ginger Jingle Juice

Sweetness, spice and a little something nice (hint: it’s whisky), this ginger-lemon mix might just get you on the naughty list. Cheers to the holidays with this refreshing blend of sweet and spicy.

Photography Good Housekeeping

5 chunks of peeled fresh ginger
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon juice
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A pinch of salt
4 single shots of whisky

Puree ginger and water in a blender. Strain juice into a medium sized bowl and throw away the solid bits. Whisk the honey, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt into the ginger mixture. Stir in the whisky. Serve over ice and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping


4 White Christmas Coconut Mojito

If you want the best of both worlds, then this coconut mojito is the holiday cocktail for you. Take the warm tropical flavours of a mojito, and festi-fy it with striking white coconut milk (and complimenting coconut flavour) that makes for a merry cocktail fit for the poolside.

Photography Half Baked Harvest

Juice of 1 lime
8 mint leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white rum
1 tablespoon coconut rum
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
Sparkling water to top
Pomegranate arils to garnish (optional)

In a glass, muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves until the leaves have broken down. Fill the glass half way with ice. In a blender, combine the white rum, coconut rum and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Pour over the ice and stir to combine. Top it off with some sparkling water, mint and pomegranate to garnish and enjoy.


5 South African Iced Coffee

Like an Irish coffee, but with Amarula, and ice cold. There are few flavour combinations that work as well as coffee and Amarula, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy that heavenly pairing refreshingly cold in the middle of summer. Try out this creamy combo as a boozy dessert option at Christmas dinner this year.

Photography Global Table Adventure

Freshly brewed coffee
A shot of Amarula
Brown sugar to taste
Whipped cream
Dark chocolate shavings to garnish
Cinnamon sticks to garnish (optional)

Brew your desired amount of coffee. Add a shot of Amarula and some brown sugar for your preferred amount of sweetness. Leave to chill. Once chilled, add ice blocks to the coffee. Whip the cream and top the iced coffee with as much as you like. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings on top. Stick two cinnamon sticks into the cream, and it’s ready to drink.

Recipe adapted from Global Table Adventure

Featured photography Unsplash

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