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By Harriet Leigh, Head of Hospitality ISSUE #017 THE SUMMER ISSUE | Cocktails

What To Drink This Christmas

Planning for your Christmas break is important; whose house you’re going to fall asleep at after lunch, where you might swim once you’ve digested. It’s all important. Deciding what to eat and drink is so important a wrong turn can destroy families. I have a dear friend who still talks about the 2011 family Christmas that will be remembered for the wrong reasons by her mother’s rash decision to swap the pumpkin out for sweet potato.

Australian Christmas feasts distinguish themselves to their northern hemisphere counterparts by the unusual fact that the weather is often hot and food is often cold (not always, but often).

We’ve come up with some of our favourite tried-and-tested cocktail recipes to serve alongside some true-blue Aussie classic Christmas dishes.

Mini Martinis + Oysters

Oysters. Dear lord if you don’t like oysters it’s in your mind. You need to beat that negativity out of your mentality, because the reward for doing so is a lifetime of chasing all too fleeting moments of briney joy. What could possibly match such a small token of perfection? A mini Martini, that’s what. The two main things that separates the mini from the maxi in the world of Martinis is quaffability and coldness. When you serve a two-sip Martini with a one gulp snack you have time for two snacks. Genius! Find yourself some elegant little sherry glasses from your local op shop (almost every op shop has a ridiculously large collection).

Make one Martini see recipe here. Divide into two small cocktails.

Cranberry + Ginger Highball + Turkey

If your family is traditional in it’s eating habits come Christmas Day, but you feel like shaking things up, reach for this recipe. Except, there’s no shaking required for this one – it’s a simple build and enjoy number (but it beats cranberry sauce by a country mile).


  • 30mls Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin

  • 60ml cranberry juice

  • 10ml lime juice

  • 15mls sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)

  • CAPI Ginger Beer

  • Rosemary sprig and cranberries to garnish


Add all ingredients into a highball glass (except ginger beer), give a quick stir, add ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a rosemary sprig + cranberries.

Vodka Spritzes + Salads!

If the latest Ottolenghi recipe book is your favourite Christmas present, then this is the drink for you! It’s light and versatile and just the thing for a hot lunch served al fresco.



Add all ingredients into a flute glass, give it a quick stir and garnish with apple slices.

Melon Weekender + Prawns

If the extent of your Christmas preparations list is peeling some prawns then we have an easier solution to your drinking needs – a bottle of our Hand-fill Cocktails available across the bar to take away – the Melon Weekender. It’s not the easiest to make yourself, which is why we’ve done it for you. It’s insanely refreshing but the best part is – no one will know you didn’t do the work unless you show them the bottle, perfectly paired with the maxo relaxo you’ll be doing on the 25th.

Method – go to the Archie Rose Bar and buy it. Job’s done.

Archie-Meadies Julep + Lamb.

If you’re grilling up a storm and serving some BBQ lamb, this is just what the extended family calls for. It’s our unaged White Rye (not yet whisky) stirred down with some spiced mead (it’s back on trend after a brief 500-year hiatus – get cool before the influencers do).



To make crushed ice use our handy hack; fill your Archie Rose canvas bag with ice, pull the little ties closed and smash the living iciness out of it with a nearby book or rolling pin.

Add all ingredients into rocks glass, gently muddle mint leaves and add a half glass of crushed ice on top. Stir the drink through the ice and then cap it to the top with more ice. Garnish with mint sprig and dust lightly with icing sugar.