After months of tip-toeing around the C-word, we can finally say it out loud: Christmas is coming.
It’s the most wonderful time of year, especially for Londoners. The West End sparkles with festive lights, there’s enough of a chill in the air to dust down your winter coat, and Christmas sarnies are back in shelves, ready to bring lunch hour jolliness - what’s not to love?
Another year is about to be put to bed, but not without a big, fat end-of-year party first.
Whether you’re planning to host this year, or you’re in need of a crowd pleasing gift, there’s a sleighful of refreshing inspiration in this 2022’s line up of lip smacking drinks.
Luscious libations have been pouring in from every booze brand worth its salt, from warming whiskies made for hot toddies and rich bottles of port, to showy bottles of gin that perform double duty as snow globes. And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a ginormous bottle of fizz - because sometimes a standard 75cl just won’t cut it.
To that end, we’ve put together a digital cellar of the very best festive drinks and new launches to help you stick to the ultimate Yuletide directive: eat, drink and be merry.
Scroll on to discover this year’s best Christmas drinks, to give someone special or to sip all by yourself.
Merry (hic!) Christmas
Dom Pérignon x Lady Gaga Limited Edition Vintage
Demand is so high for this luxe bottle of fine French bubbles that retailer Clos19 has been forced to limit sales to just three per customer. If you’re looking to push the boat out this Christmas (if not now, when?), this is a great purchase to make. The rose vintage promises to steal the spotlight at any parties or lunches where it makes an appearance - a little like the collaborator herself.
Buy now £330.00, Clos19
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé
Perfect for virtually all gatherings and gifting ideas, who doesn’t love the cheerful pop of a cork? With its warm rose gold hue and beautiful anemone-illustrated bottle, this luxe bottle should be reserved for drinking with the ones you cherish the most. Whether you want to spoil someone rotten this season, or want something special to toast the holidays, Perrier-Jouët never fails to deliver.
The Champagne is made from a blend of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the flavour is fruity yet creamy with the merest suggestion of spice. One for the ages.
Buy now £230.00, Selfridges
Bottega Gold Prosecco
Pop the cork on a golden bottle of Venice’s finest fizz - it’s Christmas!
The gift of Bottega's signature gilded bottle is always an easy win. While the packaging screams extravagance, the fresh, crisp prosecco within is a decadent sip that can give French Champagne a run for its money.
Whether its for your glam sister, bouji brother or your gift to this year's big event, the fresh, crisp prosecco is bound to go down a storm. And, once drained, it also makes a rather lovely candlestick holder.
Buy now £19.49, Amazon
Virgin Wines Christmas Day Mixed Wine and Prosecco Gift Box
If you’re spending Christmas at someone else’s house this year, show your hosts your gratitude with the gift of a triple whammy of wine. Virgin Wines’ Christmas Day curation offers three bottles made to sip during Christmas lunch: an Australian Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir and a nice bottle of prosecco, the UK’s most sought-after fizz.
Buy now £48.99, Virgin Wines
Searcys English Sparkling Wine
English sparkling wine is having a moment, and the latest brand to launch a homegrown fizz is Searcys. Made in collaboration with the award-winning Greyfriars Vineyard, the cuvee is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that have gone through a four year ageing process, leaving it crisp, vibrant and ready for Christmas toasting.
Buy now £31.00, Searcys
Harvey Nichols Mulled Wine
Repping a minimalist Scandi-cool theme this Christmas, Harvey Nick’s bottle is made for reusing long after the tasty spiced wine (made with German grapes) within has been sipped. Don’t forget to add a slice of fresh orange to best bring out the flavours.
Buy now £17.50, Harvey Nichols
Sipsmith Very Berry Gin
You can always count on homegrown London distillery Sipsmith to launch a spirit brimming with fruity festive flavour. This year, it’s the Very Berry Gin, a juicy gulp full of poached plum, roasted cherry and bright cranberry notes.
The refreshing iteration is the fifth in Sipsmith’s Sipping Series and thanks to the colourful packaging, is perfect for both gifting or sitting pride of place on your drinks trolley. Best of all, a portion of sales will go to The Felix Project, a charity also close to the Evening Standard’s heart.
Buy now £28.50, John Lewis
Sixpence Pud Christmas Pudding Gin Liqueur 500ml
Part-festive decoration, part-Christmassy spirit, the adorable design of this bottle guarantees you’ll be rolling it out at any opportunity for all to see. Give it a shake before you pour to enjoy it at its sparkly, gently spiced best.
Buy now £25.00, Harvey Nichols
Fortnum’s Mince Pie & Marmalade Gin Liqueur, 50cl
F&M is renowned for creating some festive fare that makes you salivate on sight. For drinks, we’re tipping this incredible mince pie and marmalade gin liqueur for the win. It’s 27 per cent ABV, and a little goes a long way with this concentrate. Full of ripe fruit notes and a sprinkling of spice, add some to your post-dinner coffee or sip slowly with dessert.
Buy now £35.00, Fortnum & Mason
Encased in beautifully coloured Venetian glass, the Isle of Wight distillery’s Mermaid Gin always goes down well for special occasions.
It’s a versatile spirit, working just as well in a classic G&T as it will in a Gingerbread Martini, in tune with the season. As well as the classic, there’s a pink Mermaid Gin (£39.90) that’s flavoured with juicy IoW strawberries and Mermaid Zest (£39.90), infused with locally foraged coastal rosemary.
Not sure which to splash out on? Try the Mermaid Gin discovery pack, which comes with 5cl miniatures of the original and pink gins as well as a salted vodka (£18).
Buy now £39.90, John Lewis
That Boutique-y Gin Company Yuletide Gin
Christmas in a bottle, this craft gin is bursting with the flavours of the season. Try it with a flavoured tonic (star anise is supposedly sensational) and a cinnamon stick for true Yuletide vibes.
Buy now £32.21, Amazon
Scilly Spirit Island Gin Atlantic Strength
Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, so why not use your festive serve as an opportunity to boost a small British business - and one that protects an area of the UK to boot?
Made on the isles of Scilly, this gin sparkles as brightly as the sun on the Atlantic Ocean with notes of orange and lemon mixing with spicy fennel and fiery cardamom. And at 57 per cent ABV you won’t need as much to feel the plesing effects.
Buy now £49.95, Master of Malt
Clase Azul Reposado tequila 700ml
Long gone are the days of tequila with a worm at the bottom of the bottle. Modern iterations of the Mexican spirit are designed to be sipped and savoured, not shot. With tequila enjoying something of a revival in recent years, use this Christmas as an excuse to try something really special.
From artisan producer Clase Azul comes this white and blue ceramic decanter, it’s beauty rivalled only by the liquid within. Smooth and full bodied, the spirit, made from pure weber blue agave, slips easily down the throat, imparting undertones of vanilla and toffee caramel along the way. We had no idea that tequila could be this good. A triumph.
Buy now £215.00, Selfridges
Axia Extra Dry Mastiha
Not a gin, not a vodka, but a white spirit from Greece (no, not Ouzo either), Axia is made from resin drawn from the Mastic trees on the picturesque island of Chios. The harvested resin goes through a double distillation before being bottled without sweetening so that the citrus notes can shine through.
At 40 per cent ABV, this stuff certainly smells strong, but tastes surprisingly smooth. Fabulous in all sorts of winter cocktails as well as a boozy hot chocolate, say hello to the dark horse in your Christmas drinks cabinet.
Buy now £31.44, Amazon
Lepanto PX Solera Gran Reserva brandy
When the weather is ghastly, all you want to do is curl up beside a wire with a lovely brandy to keep Jack Frost at bay.
Lepanto is a brandy brand made with Palomino grapes and comes in three iterations: Lepanto Solera Gran Reserva (£47.95) which has been aged for a total of 12 years in two different casks for richer flavour, and Lepanto OV Solera Gran Reserva (£47.95) which has undergone a 15 year ageing process again in two casks.
Then there’s the gift-boxed Lepanto PX Solera Gran Reserva (£69.95) which is beautifully sweet and perfect for enjoying after Christmas lunch.
Buy now £69.95, The Whisky Exchange
Bacardi Ocho 8 Year Old Premium Aged Rum, 70cl
Anyone for hot buttered rum? Yes, we thought that would catch your attention; the words alone are enough to warm the cockles. Make hot buttered rum, a hot Collins or a festive eggnog using Barcardi’s eight-year aged rum, BACARDÍ Ocho.
The indulgent notes of dried fruits, spices and oaky vanilla make it an ideal winter warmer to enjoy neat or in a dark rum cocktail.
Buy now £30.47, Amazon
Made from just three ingredients plucked from the Belize rainforest, Copalli Rum offers something very special indeed. In fact there are three distillations of this rum: Copalli Cocoa (£34.74), Copalli Barrel Rested (£38.74) and Copalli White (£31.47). Try it in a rum cocktail with mince pies when you’ve got guests over and wait for the compliments to roll in.
Buy now £31.47, Master of Malt
Smirnoff Cherry Drop Flavoured Vodka
Hot on the heels of its sisters Smirnoff Mango & Passionfruit Twist and Berry Burst, Smirnoff has unveiled its latest launch ahead of the festive season - and it’s cherry flavoured.
Just the thing to zip through all that stodgy festive fare.
Buy now £16.50, ASDA
MOTH French 75
Made with sparkling white wine rather than Champagne (as the authentic recipe dictates), MOTH’s version of a French 75 is nonetheless one of our favourite canned cocktail releases this season. Light and refreshing, it’s dangerously sessionable and looks beautiful in the glass filling it with an elegant blush hue. Each 200ml can (note: slim enough to slip inside a Christmas stocking) sings with notes of lemon and berries, merrily mixed in amongst Tarquin’s Cornish gin. A lovely option for Friendmas parties or starting off December 25 right.
Buy now £3.99, MOTH
You’ve seen them in that cool new pizza place everyone’s talking about, and in every hip hotel minibar from here to Land’s End. Now Whitebox Cocktails - the makers of those dinky colourful cans of Pocket Negroni and Squeezy’s Margaritas - is allowing you to pick n’ mix a bundle of its six cutest, tastiest cocktails to enjoy this Christmas. The weeny serves make brilliantly fun stocking fillers for adults or package up the entire box to surprise your favourite barfly this year.
Buy now, Whitebox Cocktails