By Josh Pugh

Head Mixologist NJAC

As the evenings draw longer and the trees turn orange, the bartending world starts to wake after a sleepy autumn, ready for a busy festive season. It’s always a challenging and exciting time, because there are less ‘classic’ cocktails associated with Christmas compared with other seasons. This allows us to be more creative and playful with our drinks, and this month’s cocktails don’t disappoint!

The first of my two recommendations is the Cranberry Mule. You may well be familiar with the Moscow Mule, with Vodka, Lime and Ginger Beer, but this cranberry alternative offers a beautiful festive beverage. We are combining tart lime juice, with dry cranberry juice, clean cut vodka and a touch sugar. These ingredients will then marry together when topped with a high quality ginger beer.

The next festive cocktail, I will suggest, is well-suited after the main course or perhaps just as an ad hoc sweet treat! We created the Chocolateorange-tini for a private client last Christmas and it has stood the test of time. This mature, rich beverage offers a complex body with natural sweetness, and doesn’t leave you with a sugar rush like so many chocolate drinks do. We combine Makers Mark Bourbon, with Lejay Lagoute’s Crème de Cacao, Cointreau, Single Cream and Mozart Chocolate Bitters



25ml Single Cream

12.5ml Lejay Lagoute Crème de Cacao

12.5ml Cointreau

32.5ml Makers Mark Bourbon

2 Dashes Mozart Chocolate Bitters Orange Zest



1. Pour single cream into cocktail shaker (this must be first)

2. Pour Crème de Cacao, Cointreau and Bourbon into the shaker

3. Add a couple of dashes of Chocolate Bitters

4. Fill with cubed ice, pop the lid on and shake until heavily concentrated

5. Using a hawthorne strainer, pour through a fine strainer (tea strainer) into your Martini glass

6. Grate orange zest on top and perhaps some lime for a lift in colour


Josh Pugh Bar and Events Manager

NJAC Event Bars


Cranberry Mule

1 Fresh Lime

12.5ml Funkin’ Sugar Syrups

50ml Eager Cranberry Juice

50ml Absolut Vodka

50ml Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Handful of Cranberries

Cubed and Crushed Ice


1. Squeeze Lime Juice into Cocktail shaker

2. Pour Sugar Syrup, Cranberry Juice and Vodka into cocktail shaker

3. Fill shaker with cubed ice, pop lid on and shake until heavily condensated

4. Fill serving glass with cubed ice

5. Using a hawthorne strainer, pour contents of cocktail shaker into serving glass

6. Fill the glass again with crushed ice

7. Top up with Ginger Beer

8. Pop in a straw, a few fresh cranberries and perhaps even a lime wedge!

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