Winning Cocktails to Make Your Holidays Bright

By / Wine + Drinks / December 6th, 2012 / 1

Bombay Sapphire’s competition for Most Imaginative Bartender 2012 unveiled some interesting creations that are perfect for this celebratory time of year. Jay Jones, lead bartender at the Shangri-La hotel in Vancouver, made a delicious cocktail using some of the most popular seasonal ingredients. These festive cocktails are perfect for anyone looking to entertain over the holidays, either by hosting a large party, a small get together or even an intimate dinner with close friends.

“Serving a unique cocktail made with traditional holiday ingredients is a great addition to any festive occasion and can help set the right mood and tone for your evening,” said Jones. “When I think of this time of year, watching old holiday movies on television immediately comes to mind. I used my favourite characters from these movies as inspiration when creating these festive cocktail recipes.” In addition to serving great tasting cocktails, Jones also suggests that Canadians consider the following top three tips to ensuring any holiday festivity is a success.

Nishan Nepulongoda was last year’s winner and a bartender at Blowfish Restaurant in Toronto. You should definitely add his Fig and Maple, Apple Cider Punch and Winter Wind to your cocktail repertoire!


Spirited welcome: Make your guests feel special from the moment they arrive by offering them a welcome cocktail. This cocktail should tie into the theme of your party to set the mood off right. For a perfect holiday welcome cocktail, try serving the Clark Griswald.

Deck the halls: Decorations are essential to bringing any themed party to life, but more often than not, less is more. Simple touches throughout the event space will have guests feeling festive without being overwhelmed.

Stay fresh: Ensure your guests’ cocktails stay delicious and cool throughout the party by keeping your bar stocked with cold, hard ice on hand. Also, always opt for fresh ingredients over dried spices and fruit or pre-squeezed juices to ensure your cocktails are a crowd pleaser.


Clark Griswald (Jay Jones)

30 mL Bombay Sapphire gin
15 mL Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum
10 mL Crème de Cacao
60 mL Egg nog

Combine all ingredients with ice. Stir briefly and fine strain into glass. Fill glass with cubed ice and serve. Garnish with some shaved dark chocolate

Lucy Van Pelt (Jay Jones)

45 mL Bombay Sapphire gin
60 mL Strong hot Earl Grey tea
15 mL Sugar syrup
10 mL Fresh lemon juice

Combine gin with sugar syrup and lemon juice in a warmed tea cup. Top with hot Earl Grey tea at time of service. Serve in a tea cup and garnish with lemon zest.

John McClane (Jay Jones)

45 mL Bombay Sapphire gin
20 mL Martini & Rossi vermouth
10 mL Benedictine liqueur
2 dashes Chocolate bitters

Combine all ingredients with ice. Stir thoroughly and fine strain into a cocktail coupe.

Fig And Maple (Nishan Nepulongoda)

2 oz Bombay Sapphire
2 Fresh or dried fig
1 Tbsp Ginger marmalade
1 oz Maple syrup
2 oz Fresh lime juice
2 oz Ginger beer
1 oz Hot water

In a shaker, muddle fig with ginger marmalade and water. Add Bombay Sapphire, fresh lime juice and maple syrup. Add ice and double strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with a fig slice.

Apple Cider Punch (Nishan Nepulongoda)

2 oz Bombay Sapphire
2.5 oz Apple cider
1 oz Grapefruit juice
1 Egg white
1 oz Corn syrup
1 dash Angustura bitters

Combine all ingredients into a shaker, dry shake. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into glass. Garnish with apple slice. Serve in a cocktail coupe garnished with an apple slice.

Winter Wind (Nishan Nepulongoda)

2 oz Bombay Sapphire
1 oz Fresh lime juice
1 oz Simple syrup
Pinch Cinnamon
Ginger beer

Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into glass with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of lime.



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