How to use up your Christmas liqueur

Feeling uninspired by the dusty bottles at the back of your drinks cupboard? Turn classic Christmas spirits into something spectacular with our cracking cocktail recipes.

Two glasses of snowball cocktail with glace cherry and sparkly background

The chaos of Christmas can have even the best of us rummaging at the back of the drinks cupboard, but if you want to knock up an extra-special festive tipple, we have a few tips for making the most of your liqueur leftovers.


Advocaat

If you like custard and alcohol, you will absolutely love advocaat. As the name suggests, this thick, creamy drink was initially created using avocadoes, but is now made from a mixture of eggs, sugar and brandy.

Storage

Advocaat doesn’t keep as well as some liqueurs, so it's best to store it in the fridge once opened and use it within six months. If you're keen to make the most of your bottle, here are some ideas.

Rhubarb & custard cocktail

Three rhubarb & custard cocktails in glasses

This elegant-looking cocktail will wow guests and is really simple to make. The combination of vodka, advocaat and homemade fruit syrup creates a warming, nostalgic tipple. You might have to hunt for a stick of rhubarb, but the results are well worth it.

Rhubarb & custard cocktail

Classic snowball 

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a snowball or two. This advocaat-based classic has a little sweetness thanks to sparkling lemonade. It's the perfect, bubbly way to use up the end of a bottle.

Classic snowball


Cherry brandy

Found a dusty bottle of cherry brandy at the back of the cupboard? Now’s the time to crack it open – add a splash to your cooking or use as a fruity base for a festive cocktail.

Storage

Liqueurs generally have a long shelf life, and the higher the alcohol percentage, the longer brandy will generally keep. However, added ingredients like sugar can cause a liqueur to turn, so once you've opened a bottle of brandy, it's best to keep it in a cool place with a stable temperature.

Singapore sling

Two long glasses of Singapore Sling cocktail, garnished with pineapples and cherries

Bring some fruity flavour to your festivities with this classic combo of gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, cherry brandy, Benedictine and Angostura bitters. After all that mixing, you'll be in need of a good drink!

Singapore sling

Merry cherry fizz

This pretty glass of fizz will help you get to the bottom of a variety of boozy Christmas classics. Cherry brandy, kirsch, amaretto and vodka are all included in this refreshing drink. Add a maraschino cherry or two for that extra finishing touch.

Merry cherry fizz
 

Irish cream liqueur

Sweet Irish cream liqueur can feel a bit like liquid dessert, which is probably why it's so popular over the Christmas season. If you want to do more than just pour it over ice, we have some ideas to get you started.

Storage

Irish cream liqueur guarantees its taste for two years from the day it was made, opened or unopened, stored in the fridge or not. We suggest storing it away from direct sunlight at a temperature range of 0-25 degrees celsius to ensure it keeps.

Irish cream tiramisu

Oval dish of Irish cream tiramisu, with one serving dished out on a plate

If you’ve got a good few drizzles of coffee-flavoured liqueur left, then this no-cook creamy tiramisu is a sophisticated and spectacular way to finish the bottle in style. We’re equally partial to a homemade Baileys cheesecake too.

Irish cream tiramisu

Coffee cocktails

These coffee cocktails are a great way of getting everyone energised at the beginning of a party, and they look really special with a couple of chocolate-coated coffee beans to decorate. 

Coffee cocktails
 

Whisky

Whisky traditionally referred only to a spirit produced in Scotland, but today Japan also makes whiskies that are highly rated in international competitions. This malty spirit seems to be a popular choice of gift in many households come Christmas, so we’ve thought of a few ways to bring a new twist to an old classic. Whisky purists look away now!

Storage 

Whether it's vintage or not, bottled whisky does not mature or change further the way a wine might. A tightly sealed bottle will last for years, but once a bottle is opened the alcohol will very slowly evaporate. It’s never a good idea to keep a bottle with a dispenser inserted for more than a few weeks or leave a half-empty bottle sitting around for very long. If you're a slow drinker, it’s a good idea to decant a bottle into smaller ones, which can be tightly sealed until needed. Cool storage is best.

Winter whisky sour

Winter whisky sour with orange slice, in a glass with glitter rim

Throwing a Christmas party? Turn a classic cocktail into a flirty festive tipple with a splash of orange juice and a touch of gold edible glitter.

Winter whisky sour

Bourbon cocktail 

Raid the cupboards for a bottle of crème de cacao and grenadine to shake up this glamorous and zingy cocktail. We prefer ours shaken, not stirred.

Bourbon cocktail

Old fashioned

An oldie but a goldie – in our opinion, there is no better way to get to the bottom of a bottle of whisky than with this classic recipe. Serve with plenty of ice.

Old fashioned

Want to mix it up bit? Try our three tempting twists on this classic tipple, comprising rum, tequila and even a smoky Lapsang Souchong variation.

New old fashioned cocktails

Hot toddy

Hot Toddy in two glass mugs with lemon slices and cinnamon sticks

Feeling a bit under the weather? Put your last splash of whisky to good use with a restorative tonic combining cinnamon, lemon, cloves and soothing honey. As well as a sore throat saviour, this punchy drink is ideal for winter entertaining and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.

Hot toddy

Discover more whisky cocktail recipes.

How to cook with whisky

If you're not a big drinker or you’ve simply had enough of the festive booze, this is a spirit that can be used to great effect in both sweet and savoury dishes. Add a splash to one of our favourite whisky recipes, such as caramel & whisky sauce or marmalade & whisky bread & butter pudding, or read our top 10 ways to cook with whisky for plenty more ideas.

Get more fabulous festive drinks ideas

26 Christmas cocktails & mocktails
5 mulled drinks you can make in minutes
Top 10 Christmas punch recipes
Our ultimate party drinks collection
Non-alcoholic Christmas drinks
Christmas Day drinks collection
Classic Christmas cocktails

Do you have any tips for using up your Christmas spirits? Leave a comment below…

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