Two Festive Christmas Cocktails

A zingy red cosmopolitan and a fizzy pomegranate punch to get you in the holiday spirit the boozy way

Want a cocktail veganized? Bought a bottle of something and don’t know what to do with it? Need a cool mocktail? Want to make your own liqueur? We’ll drink to that. Bartenderly is here to make all your vegan drinking dreams come true. If you want to check on whether a specific brand of alcohol is vegan, I recommend Barnivore.

Whatever you might be celebrating or avoiding this December, there’s certainly nothing wrong with indulging yourself and staying hydrated, and I’ve got you covered on both fronts. Traditionally, full-bodied concoctions like eggnog and mulled wine dominate the seasonal drinking, but I personally favor a more sprightly drink to get me in the mood.

Here I’ve got a frosty cocktail and a luscious punch to assist your partying, decorating, gift-wrapping, gift-unwrapping, hustling, bustling, and general carousing.

Merry Cosmo

Firstly, a holiday twist on the Cosmopolitan cocktail. Though at least five different people have been credited with inventing the cosmo, the origin story is largely overshadowed by its presence on Sex and the City, where the cocktail became as emblematic of the TV show as Manolo Blahniks or Carrie’s nameplate necklace. The presence of cranberry juice already makes it feel a bit Christmassy, and I’ve added some spiced rum and lush almond liqueur for extra Yuletide warmth. It’s a zingy and pert drink, with the sweetness of the Amaretto balancing the tartness of the lime and cranberry. If you can’t find Amaretto or don’t like it, ginger liqueur would be a great substitute. Or, replace the liqueur and the sugar with a good dash of gingerbread syrup. As always, 1oz = 30ml = one shot.

Merry Cosmo

  • One ounce spiced rum
  • ½ ounce amaretto
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • One ounce cranberry juice
  • ¼ ounce sugar syrup (or to taste)
  • Three dashes orange bitters

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker tin or glass and fill with fresh ice. Top with another shaker tin, close firmly, and shake hard for around ten seconds. Taste to see if you’re happy with the sweet and sour balance, and then strain through a small sieve into a cocktail glass. If you don’t have orange bitters, try a small squeeze — about a teaspoon — of fresh orange juice.

Serves one!

Pomegranate Fizz Punch

This punch recipe gets its glorious colour from pomegranate juice — the most luxurious fruit, I think — and is a lovely way to make sure everyone is catered to. Pomegranate juice has a wonderful fragrant acerbic flavour, but depending on your audience and how dry your sparkling grape juice is, you may wish to sweeten the mix with some sugar syrup. Because the pomegranate juice and sparkling grape juice are in equal quantities it’s very easy to scale this up for a crowd, and if you have the time and the inclination, you could freeze pomegranate seeds and mint leaves in water-filled ice cube trays for a beautiful garnish with practical application.

Pomegranate Fizz Punch

  • 24.4 ounce bottle pomegranate juice (about three cups)
  • 24.4 ounce bottle sparkling grape juice
  • Fresh squeezed juice of one orange
  • Sugar syrup, to taste (optional)

Stir all ingredients together in a jug or a punch bowl. Makes around 6 cups.

All photos taken at Laundry Bar in Wellington, New Zealand.

Food blogger and author from New Zealand. Writing at; Twitter at @hungryandfrozen; and exclusive stuff at

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