Five Awesome Christmas Drinks to Get You Through Dinner With the In-Laws

By Chris Mills on at

We're firmly in Christmas's snowy soggy embrace by now; for some of us, that's not a good thing. Some of us will spend the next few weeks being dragged round various relative's pads and tortured through long afternoons of small-talk with pea-brained people you don't really want to chat to. We feel your pain. So here's five Christmas-themed drinks to get you through it – and because they're Christmassy, it's socially accepted to get wasted on them.



The old Christmas favourite, eggnog's one of those drinks that make you truly realise it's Christmas time. We've gone for Martha Stewart's recipe, as it's simple, elegant, and because it's by a woman with a nice comforting name like Martha Stewart, we feel like we can drink with gay abandon without feeling like alcoholics. It's like getting pissed on communion wine -- somehow it doesn't feel so wrong.


- 4 cups milk
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- Grated nutmeg, (optional)


In a medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved; roughly 1 to 2 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour the hot mixture into the yolks in a slow and steady stream.

Return the mixture to the pan; cook over a medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat the back of spoon; roughly 20 to 25 minutes, but do not simmer. Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in the bourbon, if desired, and cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired. [Martha Stewart]


Candy Cane Cocktail

More of an evening drink, and perhaps one for the ladies, unless you're particularly secure in your masculinity. It's a mixture of fairly familiar and easy-to-come-by ingredients that results in an effeminate pinkish hue, and topped by a 'whimsical' candy cane that just adds to the festive cheer.


- 30ml raspberry vodka (or just Tesco's own-brand if you're on a budget)
- 100ml cranberry juice
- 15ml grenadine
- 15ml peppermint schnapps
- Lemonade to taste


Rim your martini glass with crushed candy cane. Combine the Vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, Cranberry Juice and Grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the lot vigorously and strain into the martini glass. Top with lemonade and garnish with a small peppermint candy cane. [BarOneDrinks]


Hot Buttered Rum

Christmas can get a wee bit hectic sometimes, what with all the presents and cooking and those goddamn Christmas songs on endless, mind-numbing repeat. Drinking hot buttered rum is like settling down in an armchair next to a fire with a toasting fork. Only it's all in a glass. And it contains maple syrup, which is scientifically proven to make everything better.


- 1 tsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 50ml/2fl oz golden rum
- apple juice, warmed, to top up
- cinnamon stick, to garnish
- freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish


Place the butter into a heatproof coffee glass, then add the maple syrup, allspice and rum. Top up the glass with warmed apple juice and mix it in with a spoon until the butter has melted and emulsified in the liquid (like mixing a salad dressing). Using a lighter or gas hob, lightly warm the cinnamon stick (be careful not to burn it). Add the cinnamon stick as a stirrer and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.


Whisky Mac

This one's brutally simple and really quite powerful. If you want to get wasted rather than being warmed by the hearth, this is your solution. Bonus: it's so simple to make you can concoct them even when you're already half-pissed. Being conscious is overrated anyway, especially when Uncle Jeff just won't shut the hell up.


- Whisky (something cheap)
- Ginger wine

Told you it was simple.


Combine your ingredients to taste. Start with a half-and-half ratio, and work from there. Increase the whiskey in line with number of in-laws present.


Sorbet and Champagne

A more sophisticated drink for the elegant boozers among you. Also very simple, which makes it a good option if you're hosting a Christmas drinks party. Pro tip: the bubbles in champagne mean that alcohol is absorbed faster, meaning drunk guests. Drunk aunts are generally easier to deal with than sober aunts.


- Berry sorbet of some description
- Sparkling white wine, ideally Champagne or Prosecco, but anything fizzy and white works if you're a cheapskate.


Combine a scoop of sorbet and a champagne-flute-full of bubbly. Serve to guests; not exactly rocket science, eh? [Martha Stewart]


Note: Whilst drinking might be a vaguely socially acceptable coping mechanism for the festive period, don't drink to excess. Drunken singing might be funny; projectile vomiting less so. Plus, if you get too drunk you might accidentally smash your newly-bequeathed Christmas gadgets. 

Image credit: Champagne Glasses from Shutterstock