Gin replacing champagne as the festive drink for the holidays

The UK’s trendiest tipple is set to dominate holiday cocktails in drinking establishments. Ben Shaw Drinks, which produces a range of mixers including tonic, surveyed more than 1,000 people to find that most people outside of London will prefer to order a spirit and mixer combo during the holiday season with gin and tonic earning the top spot in this category. Londoners opted for champagne more than mixed drinks but with a 52% increase preferring mixed drinks in the rest of the country and the gin renaissance in full swing, we expect Londoners to begin reconsidering the French bubbly for a more British drink. Or simply mix the two.

Here at the Craft Gin Club, we love a G&T. But during the holidays it’s fun to try new things. Here are five gin-based cocktails that will keep you warm as the weather turns. Keep them in mind to mix with friends and family for the holidays.


hanky panky gin

The key to this naughty-sounding concoction is the Italian digestif, Fernet-Branca, a 169 year-old liqueur whose special recipe is kept more secret than that of Coca Cola. Only one person knows the formula and personally mixes the botanicals for this bitter drink. 

The Hanky Panky was first mixed in the early 1900s at the Savoy Hotel in London. To mix your own, you’ll need:

  • 1.5oz sweet Vermouth
  • 1.5oz dry craft gin
  • 2 dashes of Fernet Branca

Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, stir and strain into a 4oz cocktail glass, garnish with orange peel.


merry christmas gin cocktail

This festive cocktail is simple to mix and specifically calls for Plymouth Gin which lessens the impact of juniper berries. Just mix:

  • 1oz Plymouth Dry Gin
  • 1oz Cranberry Juice
  • 1tsp. Lemon juice
  • Sparkling water

Pour the gin and juices in a Collins glass filled with ice, stir, add the sparkling water and top off with a cranberry garnish.


evergreen swizzle gin cocktail

For those passionate about pine, the scent that juniper berries remind some people of, try this pre-mixed cocktail. The ingredients cited here will yield 12 drinks:

  • 18oz craft gin
  • 6oz Chartreuse (the yellow, honey-sweetened variety)
  • 6oz pine liqueur (such as Zirbenz)
  • 6oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 18oz water

Stir ingredients in a large pitcher, pour into 12 individual small bottles, chill for 4 hours, garnish with rosemary sprigs.


hendrick's hot gin punch

Hendrick’s loves to get mixologists thinking and facing off against one another, even holding a competition in Australia for cocktail professionals to mix this warming holiday pleaser.

This recipe can serve a small Christmas gathering and is best accompanied by gingerbread.

  • 24oz Hendrick’s Gin
  • 24oz Madeira wine
  • 6 lemon twists
  • 1 orange slice
  • 3 chunks pineapple
  • 3oz honey
  • 1oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan and let simmer for 20 minutes. When consistency is reached, transfer to a tea pot to keep the concoction warm and serve in tea cups garnished with orange slices.


sloe gin fizz

The sweetness and the Britishness of sloe gin comes out in this cocktail. 

  • 1oz sloe gin
  • 1oz dry craft gin
  • 1/2oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2oz sparkling water

Shake the non-carbonated ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour into cocktail glasses topping up with sparkling water and garnishing with a lemon wedge.