Christmas Retro Cocktails


Retro Christmas Cocktails

Tradition dictates that the “Merryneum” – that strange period between Christmas and New Year  – is when everyone dusts down those bottles lurking at the back of their drinks cabinet. 

Advocaat is a case in point. Last year, festive sales of the iconic yellow Dutch liqueur snowballed…. quite literally. An iconic alcoholic blend of brandy, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla – and boasting the consistency of alcoholic custard – it was declared the ultimate Christmas cocktail by Nigella Lawson. 

With this in mind, here are half a dozen retro cocktails deserving of a new lease of life during the festive period.


Amaretto Sour (Amaretto Disaronno Originale Liqueur)

£19.45, 28% ABV, 70cl from

Italian, almondy and instantly recognisable in its oblong decanter, Disaronno dates back to 1525 and tastes like liquid marzipan. It makes a superb sour with a little lemon juice. 

50 ml Disaronno Amaretto

25 ml Fresh lemon juice

5ml Sugar syrup

Egg white

Shake all the ingredients with ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon.


The Queen Mum (Dubbonet Red)

£9.95, 14.8% ABV, 75cl from

 The Queen Mum greatly admired this iconic aperitif (the French word for dentures) made from the wines of South-West France originally designed to help French troops fight off malaria in North Africa. It’s called this because the Queen Mother would often have two before lunch …and lived till the age of 102.

25ml Warner’s London Dry Gin

50ml Dubonnet

Orange or lemon twist to garnish (optional)

Fill a chilled glass with ice, pour in the gin and Dubonnet and stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon or orange peel.


Rusty Nail (Drambuie Whisky Liqueur)

£29.95, 40%, 70cl from

Said to have been created by Prince Bonnie Charlie as “an dram buidheach” (a ‘drink that satisfies’), Drambuie is whisky sweetened with heather honey and herbs. First sold in Edinburgh in 1910 and the first liqueur to be allowed in the cellars of the House of Lords, it’s drunk most widely in a Rusty Nail – three parts Scotch whisky to one part Drambuie. It’ll put hairs on your chest and maybe other body parts if you have more than two.

60ml Drambuie

3tsp Aberfeldy 12 year-old

Ice cubes.

Stir all the ingredients with ice in a shaker or large glass. Strain into a tumbler and serve with a small slice of lemon.


Blue Hawaii (Blue Curacao)

£10, 21& ABV, 50cl,

Unable to get any Winter Sun, why not slip into your bikini or budgie-smugglers, put on some Mungo Jerry and channel the beach bars of Hawaii with this cheesy old school classic blue drink – essentially a Pina Colada turned blue. As ordered by Don Draper in series six of Mad Men.

30ml light rum

30ml Bols Blue Curacao

90ml Pineapple juice

30ml cream of coconut

Two dashes of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker and strain into a large glass filled with ice.


Golden Cadillac (Galliano L’Autentico Liqueur)

£17.45, 42.3%, 50cl from

In the late 1960s, this tall towering bottle of yellow Italian liqueur stood tall on every bar in America thanks to its inclusion, alongside vodka and orange juice, in the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. The tequila version was called the Freddie Fudpucker – which is a dangerous thing to say after you’ve had a few. But we suggest you go for this classic ice cream cocktail. Why? Because after the last 12 months, you deserve it. 

25ml Galliano

25ml white crème de cacao

35ml vanilla ice cream


Shake all ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass. Sift some cinnamon onto the surface.


The Stinger (Creme de Menthe)

£11.69, 24%ABV, 50cl from

The late and legendary hellraiser Oliver Reed had a famously eclectic appetite for alcohol but one of his favourite tipples was Crème de Menthe. This clear, mint-flavored liqueur is famous in a Stinger, an awesome after-dinner drink that is arguably the only cocktail that means you don’t have to brush your teeth before bed.


60ml Cognac

25ml Crème de Menthe

Mix all ingredients with ice, strain into old fashioned glass/tumbler filled to the top with crushed ice.


2019 Thinking Drinkers © All rights reserved.