How to make cocktails using ingredients you have in the cupboard

If the idea of making festive drinks conjures images of lengthy shopping lists, fear not. Here’s what to serve this season – inspired by what you’ve already got in the cupboard.

How to make cocktails using ingredients you have in the cupboard

The stocking filler: Clementines
They’re the classic Christmas citrus that always find their way into our festive shopping – but what to do with them beyond sofa snacking? We’ve got just the thing…

Clementine cocktail

  • Juice of 15 clementines, sieved (you’ll need 375ml juice)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • Champagne or prosecco
  • 2 tsp Campari

1. To make the clementine syrup, pour the juice into a pan with the sugar, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Let the mixture bubble for a good 10 minutes until it has reduced by a third and has started to go syrupy. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine sieve and set aside to cool completely. This mixture will make 8 cocktails, and can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the fridge.
3. Pour a generous 1 tbsp clementine syrup into a champagne flute or coupe, and top with champagne or prosecco.
4. Finish with a dash of Campari (about 2 tsp or to taste).


The secret weapon: Vanilla extract
No kitchen cupboard is complete without some good quality vanilla – rehome it with your cocktail kit for the festive season and you’ll be sure to surprise your guests.

Vanilla & Pear Spritz


  • 500ml sugar syrup (see our recipe below)
  • 25ml vanilla extract (we recommend Nielsen Massey)
  • 35ml vodka (for extra pear flavour use Grey Goose La Poire)
  • 20ml vanilla sugar syrup
  • 2 drops lemon bitters
  • Lemonade to top up

Garnish (optional):

  • Pears, sliced lengthways into thin slivers

1. Add the vanilla extract to your sugar syrup, and mix well. This can be done in advance, and stored in a sterilised glass bottle.
2. Pour the vodka, vanilla sugar syrup and bitters into a large wine glass, half filled with ice cubes, and mix. Top up with lemonade, and finish with more ice.
3. Garnish with pear slices.


The old standby: Coffee liqueur
We’re willing to bet you have a bottle of this timeless favourite stashed away somewhere. Bring it up-to-date with this barista-twist for a stylish end to the evening.

Classic espresso martini

  • 25ml coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria
  • 25ml vodka
  • Single/double shot of espresso
  • 5ml sugar syrup (see our recipe below)
  • Coffee beans for garnishing

1. Fill a Boston shaker halfway with ice, and add all the ingredients.
2. Shake hard for 1-2 minutes, and double strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
3. Garnish with three coffee beans.


Sugar syrup
You can make your own sugar syrup in advance by warming up equal amounts of white sugar and water (i.e. 200g sugar and 200ml water). Stir over a medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then allow to cool. It will keep bottled in the fridge for up to a month.

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