Gin is my tipple of choice, but this recipe would also work with vodka. This is a delicious Christmas drink you can serve cold over ice and tonic or also warm/mulled. In this picture I’ve used the gin as the base for a festive cocktail, something extra special for this time of year.


• 750ml unflavoured, good quality gin

• 150g white caster sugar

• 3 cinnamon sticks

• 10 cloves

• 1 star anise

• 30g fresh ginger sliced (no need to peel)

• 50g of cranberries or blackberries

• 3 large pieces of orange peel

• Half lemon (juice only)


Pour the gin into a large Kilner jar or airtight container, add in the sugar then all other ingredients and lightly shake. Leave in a dark, cool place for 2-3 weeks, shaking gently every 4-5 days. When ready, place through a fine sieve so only the liquid remains.

Your gin is now ready to drink, however if you want a clearer finish with no sediment you may want to consider passing through a clean muslin or through coffee filters. Decant into a bottle and serve with premium tonic, plenty tonic and a slice of orange.

Christmas G cocktail

• Gin 50ml

• 25ml fresh lemon juice

• 15ml orange juice

• 25ml Cointreau

• 1tsp caster sugar

• 1 egg white


Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake well, strain and serve with a twist of orange or a maraschino cherry and a small dusting of grated nutmeg. Perfection.

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See or phone 0141 378 0385 to book.

Twitter @Chefgtownsend

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