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Christmas cocktails: 3 tipples to try at home this party season

Get the party started with these festive drinks

Nothing says Christmas like a bit of fizz and a classy cocktail. TV presenter and drinks expert Olly Smith has shared his top three festive tipples he'd recommend trying at home this party season: the aptly named poinsettia, the brandy Alex, and the breakfast martini to cure that Boxing Day hangover.

READ: Martine McCutcheon reveals the other Christmas film she was almost cast in

In honour of our Christmas Digital Issue, guest-edited by Martine McCutcheon, Olly talks us through some of his must-try favourite cocktails.

Poinsettia

"Fizz belongs in the festive season and this cranberry-Cointreau sparkling fusion is perfect to jig along to your Christmas kitchen disco," Olly says. "Refreshing and revitalizing, the Poinsettia is simple to make and utterly joyful to sip. Brilliant bubbly to thrill your friends and family.

RECIPE: Gordon Ramsay's alternative dessert to Christmas pudding 

"The poinsettia is one of my mum's favourite plants. Rather like this drink, its vibrant red tone is electrifying and lights up the room. It's so simple to make, and this is an easy recipe to customise to your own taste – add a little more fizz for a lighter flourish, or a little less if it's richness you're after."

Ingredients:

15ml (1/2oz) Cointreau

30ml (1oz) cranberry juice

Champagne, to top

Garnish: Fresh cranberries

Equipment: Long bar spoon

Method:

Add the Cointreau and cranberry juice to a chilled glass. Stir to combine. Top with Champagne. Garnish with fresh cranberries.

Because this drink isn't traditionally served over ice, make sure the ingredients are well chilled in advance.

Brandy Alex

"Luxuriate in the indulgence of this delicious, silky cocktail. Christmas is the perfect time to pour a Brandy Alex, whether it's a cosy fireside treat or a little post-feast pick me up, this cocktail is crowd-pleasing as well as irresistibly naughty," Olly says.

RECIPE: James Martin's Christmas Eve dinner recipe you have to try

"Perhaps it's this cocktail over all others that shows how beautifully brandy pairs with creamy and chocolate flavours. It's rich and velvety and perfect for a frosty time of year or as an after-dinner indulgence: as deluxe as it is delicious. As an all-year-rounder, I love it served instead of a dessert or for a teatime treat."

Ingredients:

45ml (11/2oz) brandy

30ml (1oz) dark crème de cacao

30ml (1oz) single (light) cream

Ice: Cubed

Garnish: Grated nutmeg

Equipment: Cocktail shaker, strainer

Method:

Fill a shaker with ice. Add all the ingredients. Shake vigorously to chill. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a light dusting of grated nutmeg.

Breakfast Martini

Olly says: "Surfing the gin wave right to the shores of Citrus Island, this is a cocktail to invigorate over the festive season at any time of day. I love serving them on Boxing Day to blow away the cobwebs and crack on with the next level of scrumptious fun!"

Ingredients:

45ml (11/2oz) gin

1 tbsp orange marmalade

22.5ml (3/4oz) Cointreau

22.5ml (3/4oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice: Cubed

Garnish: Orange twist

Equipment: Cocktail shaker, strainer, bar spoon

Method:

Stir the gin and marmalade together in a shaker until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients along with ice. Shake vigorously to chill. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Home Cocktail Bible by Olly Smith, £16, Amazon

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Home Cocktail Bible by Olly Smith is available to buy now, Quadrille

Photography by Matt Russell

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