Cocktails to get you into The Festive Season

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Cocktails to get you into The Festive Season

Whilst half of the globe rests in the southern hemisphere, warm festive seasons hardly match the snowy and Wintery scenes painted by the media. South Africans just don’t do stuffy, buttoned-up festive celebrations. What is eggnog even? We are about braaing, sun tanning and chilling. We need indulgent festive cocktails which embody our unique and diverse culture!

Find Flavours And Combinations That You Love

Getting just the right balance of flavours is truly an art. A drink too sweet may go down too quickly or not quite quench. One too bitter, may not quite suit your summer mood. These recipes are a great guide but don’t forget to experiment with different brands and add the ingredients to taste.

The Orange Splash

Combining the sweet and tart flavours of citrus with vodka and Cointreau or Triple sec, this is a great recipe for citrus lovers.

  • 2 Tbsp Cointreau or Triple sec
  • 1/4 Cup citrus/citron flavoured vodka
  • 1 Splash of orange juice
  • 1 Splash of fresh lime juice
  • Sugar to garnish
  • A slice of orange to garnish


Pour the ingredients into a chilled glass or cocktail shaker and shake. Garnish rim of the glass with sugar. Put ice and a slice of orange in the glass and add the ingredients from the cocktail shaker.

White Wine Sangria

A nice twist on the ol’ red wine sangria, the white wine sangria forgoes the apple slices in favour of peaches, lemons, strawberries and oranges.



Start by putting all the fruit in a pitcher (you will need a pretty big one), with the wine, let it steep for at least 4 hours at room temperature. Before you serve it you can add ice and sparkling water.

Tequila and Mint Lemonade

All the best lemonade has tequila in it, right? This one will go down so smoothly while you are sitting next to the swimming pool sunning yourself!

  • 2 Cups of ice cubes
  • 8 Lemons
  • A dash of sugar or cane syrup
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh peppermint
  • 1 Sliced lemon to garnish
  • 118ml tequila
  • A dash of sparkling water


In a pitcher put 2 cups of ice cubes and squeeze out the juice of the 8 lemons. Add sugar or cane syrup to taste and stir the mixture. Tear the sprigs of mint to release the flavour and toss them into the mixture. Mix in the tequila and sparkling water, stir again and garnish with the remaining slices of lemon.

The Bourbon-Jalapeño Julep

More than shaking and stirring, this recipe requires a tiny bit of extra effort. It’s absolutely worth it though.

  • 4 Mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp jalapeño syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • 1/3 Cup of bourbon
  • Sparkling water
  • A thinly sliced jalapeño chilli to garnish
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 jalapeño chilis


The first step is making the jalapeño syrup. In a hot frying pan combine the sugar two roughly chopped jalapeño chilis, sugar and water. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar while bringing it to the boil. Remove it from the stove and allow it to steep for 20 minutes. Strain the jalapeño syrup once it has cooled, removing the chillis. This syrup will last up to 6 months in an airtight container in the fridge.

Now that syrup has been made, pour it into a cup with the mint leaves. Add the crushed ice, bourbon and sparkling water and stir. Garnish your bourbon-jalapeño julep with a thin slice of jalapeño and mint.

Rosemary- Honey Sidecars

The traditional sidecar cocktail may be a bit too sweet for some, but we have found the perfect solution! This version of the sidecar uses rosemary to temper the sweetness and the result is a fabulous combination of flavours.

  • 3 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup honey
  • 2 Cups cognac


In a medium sized pot, boil 1 and 1/3 of a cup of water with 3 rosemary sprigs for 1 minute. Take it off the stove and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary and pour the water into ice trays to freeze.

Garnish rim of the glass with a coat of honey and then sugar.

Combine the cognac, remaining honey and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Add the rosemary-infused ice cubes and stir the mixture until the honey dissolves. Strain the ice and pour the mixture into your glasses. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Now that you have an array of great recipes for inspiration, you can go shopping for ingredients and great accessories to make your cocktails look even more inviting when you serve them!

The post Cocktails to get you into The Festive Season appeared first on Norman Goodfellows Blog.