Making your own Christmas cocktails adds a special sparkle to the celebrations. Six Waitrose drinks specialists share their festive favourites
by John Vine, Waitrose Spirits
'Travelling around Italy, I became a bit of an espresso junkie, so I love this cocktail's coffee notes. Dick Bradsell, the godfather of London's cocktail renaissance, created the first version of this - the Vodka Espresso. It was the 80s, vodka was what everyone was drinking and a certain supermodel challenged him to create a cocktail to wake her up.'
by Xenia Irwin MW, buyer, Waitrose Cellar
'This is a wonderful winter Champagne cocktail with a real kick from the sloe gin to warm you up on a cold, frosty day. We traditionally drink it at winter picnics after a long walk on Dartmoor. The sweetness of the sloegin enriches the Champagne, but it's tempered by a wonderful almondy Bakewell tart character, which keeps it fresh.'
by Matt Dicks, Waitrose Stratford-upon-Avon
'There's nothing quite like a quick cocktail to ring some sparkle to your celebrations. Amaretto Fizz is easy to prepare and I love serving it when all the family arrive on Christmas Eve. It's one of those cocktails that will get you out of the kitchen and mingling with your guests. It provides a real carnival of flavour combinations, so it also makes for a great conversation starter.'
Hot Buttered Rum
by Andrew Evans, Drinks Specialist, John Lewis Food Hall, Oxford Street
'I was introduced to this drink after a boating incident one Christmas. To cut a long story short, I fell into the water while trying to retrieve my oar. As a result, I was in need of something restorative. This did the trick and has been something of a Yuletide classic in our household ever since (complete with a retelling of the story, of course).'
Sloe & Spice
by Anne Jones, Waitrose Wines, Beers & Spirits
'This is a wonderfully Christmassy sharing drink - perfect after a long walk in the country. Or, of course, you could decant it into a Thermos flask and take it with you. The Waitrose Signature Spice lends warming notes of freshly baked fruitcake, and clove-studded oranges make a great garnish.'
by Leila Killoran, Waitrose Buxton
'Who doesn't love a bit of gingerbread at Christmas? My love of gingerbread came from my favourite fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. Throughout my childhood, I dreamt of finding the cottage made of gingerbread (the preferably without the witch). So what could be better than a cocktail version? The sweet, warming spice and crunchy biscuit are a dream combination, especially when you're sitting by a roaring fire with family all around.
Even if you don't get a chance to visit the famed Christmas markets of Germany, this glühwein (meaning 'glow-wine') will at least take you there in the metaphorical sense with its Yuletide flavours.
'With cinnamon, orange, cloves and a full-bodied red - you'll know it's Christmas when you have a glühwein'
Watch Sam Metcalf make a delicious gingerbread cocktail, perfect for the festive period.