Christmas is definitely the time for a cheeky cocktail or three with your loved ones. So this year, why not add a little bit of Scottish jollity to your concoctions? Because whether it's whisky, gin, vodka or fizz, Scotland has plenty of cracking craft alcohols to fling into the mix.
These Scottish cocktail recipes all feature boozy delights from the Borders region and beyond. Let's get stirring and shaking...
Sparkling Strawberry & Raspberry Crush
This recipe is actually an Airhouses invention and a variation on the classic Raspberry Crush cocktail (but with added Caledonian charm).
Instead of the usual Prosecco or Cava, this recipe features Sparkling Strawberry Wine from Scotland's oldest winery, Cairn O' Mohr in Perth. Described by the makers as a 'towering inferno of swirling, ting-tangling strawberry fizz', this wine brings together big, juicy Perthshire strawberries and light, fragrant elderflower blossoms.
You needn't worry that this cocktail will be too summery for Christmastime though, as we're flinging in a nip of warming brandy too — whoop!
When to drink it: Christmas brunch, when it would make a zingy replacement to your usual Buck's Fizz.
Recipe (serves 4):
Bottle of Cairn O' Mohr Sparkling Strawberry Wine
4 tablespoons of brandy
250g of Scottish raspberries
65g of caster sugar
Juice of one lemon
Edible gold dust (optional)
Puree the raspberries, caster sugar, lemon juice and brandy in a blender until smooth. Sift to remove any raspberry seeds, then spoon into Champagne flutes. Top up with Cairn O' Mohr Sparkling Strawberry Wine. To make it extra fancy, add sugar or edible gold dust to the rim of your flutes.
We know what you're thinking — Snowballs (basically jazzed up eggnogs) were your mad aunty's Christmas drink of choice at childhood family gatherings. Surely they belong in the misty past, along with Day-Glo socks and dial-up internet?
But actually, this deliciously frothy festive cocktail is well worth revisiting, but this time with a Scottish twist — namely whisky. But which whisky should you choose? Well, Scottish Borders Lower East Side would make a good pick. Made by The Borders Distillery and known for its honeyed smoothness, it would blend beautifully with eggnog...
When to drink it: This would be the perfect post-Christmas lunch tipple to serve to the relatives when they arrive.
Recipe (serves 4):
100ml of Lower East Side whisky
2 small eggs
3 teaspoons of caster sugar
Zest and juice of a lime
Big bottle of chilled lemonade
Cocktail cherries (optional)
Mix the sugar, lime juice and zest together. Leave to sit for half an hour, then add to a cocktail mixer along with the whisky and eggs. Shake very well, then pour into tall glasses through a strainer, topping up with the lemonade. Add a cheeky cherry for a garnish, then stick on Wham's 'Last Christmas' for a full 80s retro vibe. Whoop!
Puffing Billy's Christmas Moscow Mule
Since The Borders Distillery is so amazing, we're featuring another of their craft tipples. This time it's the delightfully name Puffing Billy Steam Vodka, which is distilled via a unique process that creates a nice creamy texture. As a result, this Scottish vodka is known for tasting particularly terrific with ginger beer.
And you know what that means, don't you? It means it would make the perfect addition to a Moscow Mule, in this case a Christmas one with added cranberry juice...
When to drink it: Later on in the evening when you really want to get into the swing of Christmas.
Recipe (serves 4):
60ml of Puffing Billy Steam Vodka
60ml of cranberry juice
Big bottle of ginger beer
1 teaspoon of sugar
8 fresh rosemary needles
Small pinch of fresh thyme
Handful of cranberries
Mix four of the rosemary needles plus the thyme and sugar together in a cocktail shaker. Add the cranberry juice, vodka and some ice, then shake again. Strain into long glasses (or traditionally, copper mugs if you've got them) and top up with more ice and ginger beer. Add the cranberries and the remaining sprigs of rosemary for a garnish.
Christmas Southside Fizz
Made in Peebles by Bloodline Spirits, Rule Gin features no less than seven fabulous botanicals, including cloudberries, liquorice and angelica.
Known for being smooth, fresh and delicate, we think this artisan creation would taste amazing in a sparkling gin cocktail such as a Southside Fizz (said to have been Al Capone's favourite drink). This recipe adds in Cointreau and orange to make it more Christmassy...
When to drink it: This marvellous mixture would be perfect for your Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) countdown. Are you ready? 10, 9, 8, 7, 6...
Recipe (serves 4):
60ml Rule Gin
Bottle of chilled fizz
2 thickly sliced oranges
2 thickly sliced lemons
Mix the Rule Gin, Cointreau, orange, lemon and a generous handful of around 50 mint leaves into a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into either Champagne flutes or cocktail glasses, top up with bubbly, then garnish with mint. Happy New Year!
Why not enjoy a cocktail in your own private hot tub while on a festive escape to an Airhouses lodge? Go on, you deserve it...
You might also like:
Classic Scottish Christmas Foods to Try This Festive Season.
Refreshing Scottish Cocktails to Enjoy this Summer.
It's Never Too Early to Book a Festive Borders Getaway.
5 Self Catering "5 Star" Luxury Lodges each with their own Hot Tub in Scotland, close to Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders offering you peace, tranquillity and a place to escape to in the heart of beautiful Scotland.