12 Days of Ultimate Festive Cocktail and Film Pairings

Written by Clara Wood

November 30, 2023

With December knocking on the door now is the time to get going on the festive movie marathons to make sure you can fit in all of your favourites. So enjoy this list of absolute classics, paired with an equally exciting merry cocktail recipe.

WHiskey orange cranberry

Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)  

+ Amaretto Cranberry Kiss  

This super easy cocktail is sure to please all (even if their heart is two sizes too small!) 

INGREDIENTS | Serves 1  

  • 45ml Vodka
  • 15ml Amaretto  
  • 30ml Cranberry Juice 
  • 20 ml Orange Juice  


Step 1: Shake all ingredients with ice and then strain into a glass!  

Cranberry mimosas

The Holiday (2006)  

+ Spiked Hot Chocolate  

In honour of Mr. Napkin Head, it’s only right you enjoy a boozy hot chocolate.  


  • 240ml milk  
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 2 oz dark chocolate 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 ½ oz bourbon 



Step 1: Add ¼ cup of the milk, cornstarch, and cocoa powder together in a saucepan. Whisk well until thoroughly combined. 

Step 2: Heat on medium-high and add the remaining milk, brown sugar, salt, and chocolate. Stir frequently until the mixture is steaming hot and the chocolate is completely melted. 

Step 3: Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon. 

Step 4: Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and top with whipped cream (optional). 

bourbon spiked hot chocolate


Love Actually (2003)  

+ Cranberry Mimosas  

Swap in cranberry for a sophisticated festive twist to your mimosa, it is also said to perfectly resemble the colour of the lobsters present at the birth of Jesus.  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 6  

  • 1 lime, halved 
  • 2 tbsp. sugar 
  • 240 ml sweetened cranberry juice 
  • 1 bottle Champagne 
  • Garnish: Fresh cranberries 
  • Garnish: Fresh rosemary 


Step 1: Pour 60ml cranberry juice into each glass and top with Champagne. 

Step 2: Use a toothpick to poke a hole through cranberries. Thread rosemary skewer through cranberries and garnish mimosas. 

ron de replay

Day #4:  Bad Santa (2003)  

+ Ron de Replay  

To celebrate Bad Santa’s love for alcohol and a good club scene we propose this boozy and indulgent South American inspired cocktail.  


  • 40ml Ron Zacapa 23 
  • 20ml Aperol 
  • 15ml Grand Marnier 
  • 15ml Liqueur or 43 
  • 2 dashes Mozart chocolate bitters 
  • Garnish:  Orange rind 
  • Garnish: Chocolate ball truffle  


Step 1: Put all of the ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir to mix and dilute, before pouring into a rocks glass over cubed ice. Garnish with an orange zest, and finish with the luxury chocolate truffle ball.  


Gingerbread gindrink b111eab

Day #5: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)  

+ White Christmas Margaritas 

Dreaming of white Christmas…? This coconutty yet tangy alternative Margarita might be the best you can get!  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 6  

  • 1(400ml) can unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 2 tbsp. cream of coconut 
  • 330ml. silver tequila 
  • 240ml triple sec 
  • 60ml lime juice 
  • 4 c. Ice 
  • Garnish: Lime wedge  
  • Garnish: Cranberries  


Step 1: If you’re feeling fancy…rim glasses with lime wedge and dip in sanding sugar.  

Step 2: Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth before pouring into the glass. Garnish with lime and cranberries. 

white margarita

Day #6: Bridget Jones (2001)  

+ Gingerbread Gin   

In the spirit of Ginning… this might help numb the pain of receiving yet another awful Christmas jumper.  

INGREDIENTS | To make 800ml 

  • 100g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 4 cinnamon sticks  
  • 8 cloves  
  • 6 cardamom pods 
  • 100g light brown soft sugar  
  • 700ml gin 


Step 1: Lightly bash the ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar.  

Step 2: Tip these into a 1-litre sterilised bottle or jar, adding the sugar and gin. Seal and swirl the bottle until the sugar dissolves, then leave in a cool, dry place to infuse for 24-36 hrs. (Any longer, and the gin will start to taste bitter).  

Step 3: Strain through muslin- or coffee-filter-lined funnel into sterilised bottles and seal. Will keep for several months in a cool, dark place.  

Enjoy served with tonic over ice, as a base for a hot toddy or straight up (you tough cookie).  

christmas punch

Day #7: Die Hard (1988)  

+ Christmas Punch  

This might help ease the tension whilst they debate whether it’s a Christmas movie or not. (It is)  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 12 

  • Ice 
  • 1L apple cider 
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Prosecco 
  • 1 (340ml.) can ginger beer 
  • 60ml unsweetened cranberry juice 
  • 60ml vodka  
  • 1 apple, any kind, sliced into rounds 
  • 1 blood orange, sliced into rounds 
  • 1 c. fresh cranberries, plus more for serving 
  • Garnish: Cinnamon sticks 


Step 1: In a large ice-filled pitcher, combine apple cider, Prosecco, ginger beer, cranberry juice, and vodka. Add apple, orange, and cranberries and stir to combine. Garnish with cranberries and cinnamon sticks.  



Day #8: The Polar Express (2004)  

+ Peppermint Martini  

A tenuous play on words.  


  • 30ml crème de menthe 
  • 30ml white crème de cacao 
  • 30ml single cream 
  • Garnish: Sprig of mint 
  • Garnish: Ground nutmeg/chocolate  


Step 1: Put all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels very cold, then strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the mint and grated nutmeg or chocolate, if using. 

To make it extra frothy you could try a reverse shake…. simply repeat the shake again but without ice.  

mint martini

Day #9: Gremlins (1984)  

+ Snowball 

A classic film deserves a classic accompaniment.  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 1  

  • 10-15ml lime juice  
  • 50ml Advocaat 
  • 50ml sparkling lemonade  
  • Garnish: Maraschino cherry  


Step 1: Over Ice pour 15ml of lime juice. Pour the Advocaat and lemonade over the ice and stir. 


Day #10: Home Alone  

+ Eggnog  

A couple of things the States do right.  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 4  

  • 480ml milk 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 6 large egg yolks 
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar 
  • 240ml heavy cream 
  • 240ml bourbon or rum  


Step 1: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and slowly bring mixture to a low boil. 

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until yolks are pale in colour. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined. 

Step 3: Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil. (If using a candy thermometer, mixture should reach 160º.) 

Step 4: Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, bourbon. Refrigerate until chilled. 

grapefruit sour 69a08d7

Day #11: Scrooge (1970)  

+ Grapefruit Gin Sour  

INGREDIENTS | Serves 2  

  • ½ grapefruit juiced and 2 strips of zest, to serve 
  • 50ml non-alcoholic gin 
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • 2 tbsp simple sugar syrup
  • 1 egg white  


Step 1: Combine all ingredients with ice and shake well.  

Step 2: Remove the ice and shake again before straining into tumblers with more ice or coupes without. Serve with a grapefruit twist garnish.  

Crem Brulee

Day #12: Elf (2003)  

+ Crème Brûlée Martini  

Something sweet in order to ensure you are hitting the five main elf food groups.  


  • 15 c. caramel sweets (such as Werther’s Originals) 
  • 240 ml Baileys 
  • 120 ml vanilla vodka 
  • 120 ml white chocolate liquor 


Step 1: (For the Impressive Caramel Garnish) Line a medium baking tray with parchment paper. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt caramels in 20 second intervals. Immediately use a rubber spatula to drizzle melted caramel over parchment into circles. Freeze until hardened, about 15 minutes.  

Step 2: In a large cocktail shaker, combine Baileys, vodka, and white chocolate liquor. Add ice and shake until chilled, about 20 seconds.  

Step 3: Divide between 2 martini glasses and top with caramel garnish. 

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