Three of the best festive tipples to make on Christmas Day

Alongside the ham and turkey, sides and salads and (of course) the obligatory desserts, there is nothing like a well-made drink or two to set the perfect tone on Christmas Day. Here, we round up three of our favourite, go-to recipes for festive drinks that everyone will love.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Bear with us — this is actually a thing and yes, it is actually quite tasty. After all, the concept of a boozy hot chocolate is hardly new. Here, the trick is to make up one batch of hot chocolate, and one of mulled wine separately, before combining the two as the final step. And, according to The New York Times, it is best to use real dark chocolate warmed with regular milk and a bit of condensed milk (for sweetness), and to mull the wine with allspice, ancho and a touch of chipotle chilli. Add in some cloves, star anise, cinnamon and orange too if you like. (Basically whatever spices you have on hand.) Combine the two in a mug at the end and voilá — we promise you’ll be surprised by how good it is.

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1-2 bars of dark chocolate
Regular milk
Condensed milk
1 bottle of red wine
Spices (allspice, ancho, chipotle chilli, 2-4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1-2 cinnamon sticks)
Orange slices


1. Warm the dark chocolate in a pot with regular milk and a touch of condensed milk.
2. In a separate pot, prepare the mulled wine by gently warming the red wine with a sprinkling of sugar and adding in your various spices. Heat until simmering and then turn off.
3. Remove the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves from the red wine.
4. Combine the hot chocolate with the warm mulled wine in a mug and top with optional whipped cream if you like.


An undeniable classic, eggnog is (when prepared correctly) a delicious beverage to get everyone into the Christmas mood. And despite it being typically associated with the trappings of a traditional white Christmas, there’s no reason why it can’t be enjoyed as part of our Kiwi Christmas Day — it is delicious, after all. To ensure we get our eggnog right every time, it is to the simple recipe of Jamie Oliver that we turn year after year. In his recipe, Oliver advocates for starting the process by infusing milk and cream with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla beans — and it only gets better from there.


3 cups (700ml) whole milk
1 cup (240ml) heavy or double cream
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
2/3 (130g) cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175ml) Bacardí Dark Rum, or bourbon


1. Combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to steep.
3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.
4. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until everything is combined and smooth.
5. Add bourbon or rum, and stir.
6. Refrigerate overnight or for up to three days.
7. Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Christmas Sangria

Easy to make in big batches and promising a perfectly refreshing drink to combat our warm Southern Hemisphere Christmas, the classic sangria is given a fruity and festive twist here with a recipe that everyone will love. Our tip? Make this on Christmas Eve and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the flavour to really develop to its full potential. All you need to do is combine a dry red wine with a selection of freshly-chopped fruit (whatever you have on hand), cinnamon sticks, some brandy and Grand Mariner, a dash of sweetness via Agave syrup or sugar and top with ginger ale or sparkling water. Mix everything in a big jug with ice, keep it super chilled and pour for all and sundry for a very Merry Christmas indeed.


1 bottle of dry red wine (a Cabernet Sauvignon is the best option here)
Dash of Brandy
Dash of Grand Mariner
Agave or sugar
Selection of chopped fresh fruit (oranges, limes, pomegranate, pear, berries, green apple, etc.)
2-4 cinnamon sticks
Ginger ale or sparkling water


1. In a large jug, add agave nectar, Grand Marnier, brandy, orange slices, lime slices, pear slices, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon sticks.
2. Pour over the entire bottle of red wine and stir to combine.
3. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours (although overnight is recommended).
4. Right before you are about to serve, top the sangria ginger ale and give it a quick stir.
5. Pour over ice or serve chilled and garnish with fresh limes and oranges.


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