Reuters recently partnered with Diageo for the unveiling of their Top 10 Christmas Cocktails - which drinks came out on top?
By Evelyn Gruber
What does a warm buttery rum cocktail have in common with an ice-cold candy cane concoction or a creamy rye-infused eggnog? All three made the cut for this year’s top 10 best Christmas cocktails across the world.
The list, which includes creations such as Spiced Apple Crumble and Mulled Margarita, has been released by Diageo World Class, the group that annually crowns the World’s Best Bartender of the Year.
Important criteria for the drinks that excelled are that they can easily be prepared at home. Using input from hundreds of top bartenders spanning the entire globe, the 2017 version is a mix of old and new and offers the perfect cocktail, no matter the holiday setting - according to its makers.
“I immediately think of a classy occasion,” said 2017 Bartender of the Year Kaitlyn Stewart. “So, I would have to go with the Champagne Cosmo, because what could be classier than Champagne and Cîroc vodka?” - she added.
Also in the party category are the Candy Cane Cocktail (with peppermint-infused Ketel One vodka) and the Zacapa Hot Rum Punch.
“I honestly think that there are very few occasions where a hot rum drink works,” said Lauren Mote, an award-winning bartender and cocktail expert based in Vancouver, adding that the Christmas season is one of the exceptions. “Nothing warms the body and soul quite like it, and it’s always a welcomed treat from cool to warm climates this time of year.”
In the dinner category both Mote and Stewart think the Mulled Margarita, an upscale play on classic mulled wine, is the perfect starter for a meal infused with Christmas spirit.
“It’s the reception cocktail in a way, and will go nicely with a lot of the lighter, more acidic fare of salads, pickles, charcuterie at the beginning of a long evening,” said Mote.
Another good choice according to the cocktail duo is a Martinez, a gin-based classic known as the ‘father of the Martini’.
“It’s slightly bitter, but not too overwhelming that it will take away from what you are eating. It’s easy to sip on and will help settle your stomach in preparation for a big meal ahead,” said Stewart.
No Christmas drinks list is complete without paying homage to the ultimate holiday libation and 2017 is no exception, with the Nutty Rye Eggnog topping the list.
Channeling a grandmother’s touch, adding Bulleit rye whisky and Dublin Porter Guinness to cream, eggs and sugar is simple, elegant and decadent, according to Mote.
Both Stewart and Mote say all top ten drinks are guaranteed to keep you happy and stress-free in the company of family and friends during the holiday season. But should all else fail, pour Scotch into a tumbler.
“Whether you prefer it neat or on the rocks, Scotch is simple, classic and a good choice for relaxed evenings by the fire.”
The world’s top 10 Christmas cocktails, along with recipes and video preparation tutorials can be found here:
- Spiced Apple Crumble - Zacapa 23
- Mulled Winter Margarita - Don Julio Blanco
- Champagne Cosmo - Cîroc Vodka
- Candy Cane Cocktail - Ketel One Vodka
- Hot Rum Punch - Zacapa 23
- The Martinez - Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
- Nutty Rye Eggnog - Bulleit Rye Whiskey
- Classic Single Malt Perfect Serve - Cardhu 12 Year Old
- Scotch Manhattan - The Singleton of Dufftown
- Hot Toddy - Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Scotch Whisky
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