Festive cocktails

Festive cocktail recipes

There is something particularly special about cocktails designed for the colder, winter months. 

“Winter is an exciting time for delicious drinks because there are so many options,” says Nico Timmermans, founder of cocktail catering company The Buckrider. “From a hot or creamy cocktail, to the addition of spices, smoke and herbs, festive cocktails are complex but surprisingly easy to prepare.”

Monaco Life has teamed up with The Buckrider to bring you our top cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests – tried, tested and perfectly balanced. Make yours the best festive party this year!


Festive cocktail recipes
Smoked Manhattan

Smoked Manhattan

A smokey cocktail is delicious but also ads a bit of drama to impress guests. You can also make this drink without the smoke.


60 ml Woodford bourbon

30ml Red vermouth (Carpano’s Antica Formula or Martini Rosso)

1 bar spoon of maraschino cherry juice. We use Luxardo or Amarena Fabbri.


Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass or a jug filled with ice, stir for about 30 seconds and serve in a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with 1 or 2 maraschino cherries on a tooth pick.


When smoking the drink, simply ignite a small pile of hickory wood and place a coupe glass directly over them. Allow to sit while you combine the drink.

French 75

French 75

A well balanced and refreshing champagne cocktail to start the evening.


40ml Gin

20 ml Lemon juice

20 ml Sugar syrup

Dry Champagne


Shake all the ingredients except the Champagne and double strain into a flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist, or no garnish at all is also fine.

Festive cocktail recipes
Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander

An after dinner classic! This drink was very popular in the early 20th century. The powerful cognac cuts through this delicious creamy cocktail which also features a hint of chocolate. The garnish of freshly grated nutmeg perfectly finishes this fine cocktail.


30ml Cognac

30ml Cream

30ml Cacao liqueur


Shake all ingredients and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Grate nutmeg on top of the drink before serving.


Mulled Wine

Mulled wine

Picture a nice warm mug of mulled wine in front of a cracking fireplace while watching a Christmas movie. Now that we have set the mood, follow this recipe and enjoy the best mulled wine you have ever tasted!


200gr Caster sugar

1 Orange (1 peel and all the juice)

1 Lemon (1 peel)

1 Lime (1 peel)

1 Vanilla pod

6 Cloves

1 Cinnamon stick (break in half)

1 Nutmeg (finely grated)

6 Star anis

100ml Spiced rum

2 bottles Red wine


Set the rum and 1.5 bottles of wine aside.

  1. In a big pan, add the sugar, the juice of one orange, a large orange peel (twist to release the oils first), and do the same with the lime and the lemon. Add the juice of one orange, cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds and add everything to the pan. Also add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anis and half a bottle of red wine. Let it simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to the boil to create a thick syrup.
  3. Add the rest of the wine, let it simmer for 5 minutes and take off the heat.
  4. Add the rum, stir and serve in a mug. Garnish with a twist of orange and star anise or cinnamon stick. Make sure you rub the orange twist on the rim of the mug to release the beautiful aroma while drinking!




Considered a modern classic, this cocktail was created by an Australian bartender named Sam Ross. The Penicillin combines smoky flavours with sweet honey and spicy ginger.


50ml Bourbon

15ml Honey syrup

15ml Ginger syrup

20ml Lemon juice

Honey syrup: 

Mix 2 parts honey with 1 part warm water and whisk until blended. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Ginger syrup: 

200ml Water

400g Caster sugar

250g Ginger (around 2 large pieces of ginger thinly sliced)

Bring all ingredients to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Double-strain into a jar. Keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For a stronger ginger flavour, grate some ginger into a small strainer and extract the juice by pressing it with the back of a spoon. Add to the syrup according to your taste, being careful not to make it too strong.


Shake all the ingredients and double strain into a whisky glass filled with ice. Garnish with candied ginger or with a slice of lemon and fresh ginger. This recipe calls for a bar spoon full of a nice smokey Islay Scotch, we use Laphroaig.



Tips and explanations:


If you don’t own a shaker then use a kilner jar, for example, or any container with a tight lid. Simply add the ingredients with ice and shake for about 10 seconds.

Bar spoon:

A bar spoon is a long-handled spoon used in bartending for mixing.

Chilling a glass:

While you combine the ingredients, you can either fill a glass with ice and discard the ice before serving, or wet a glass and place it in the freezer.

Double strain:

To double strain, place your regular strainer in/on the cocktail shaker and hold a fine mesh strainer by its handle over your glass.