Many people associate several kinds of alcoholic drinks with celebrating Christmas in the UK. If you’re planning a Christmas party or having guests over during Christmas, you should keep a few of these festive favourites on hand for your guests to enjoy.
Champagne is a celebratory drink, and there’s no better time to celebrate than during Christmas. Champagne is best served at the start of any Christmas meal or when you’re welcoming guests into your home. You can pair Champagne with a seafood starter or combine it with a welcome toast. It's been long associated with celebrations, and the theatrical opening of a bottle of champagne provides excitement and entertainment for your guests.
Port is a fortified wine that’s traditionally drunk after dinner with a Christmas pudding or with a cheeseboard later in the evening. When serving port, you should follow the tradition and etiquette of passing the port. The port is served by the host to the guest to their right; the port then passes to the left and all the way back around to the host. The passing of the port is a tradition that’s thought to have originated in the British navy; some theorise it was to keep one’s sword arm free. If the port doesn’t make it back around to the host, they should ask, “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” This is code for the port to continue its way around the table. This fun tradition is a great way to share a bottle of port with friends and family.
Traditionally many British families leave a glass of sherry and a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas eve, which is why sherry is commonly associated with Christmas. Sherry is also typically associated with the older members of the family. However, more younger people are now beginning to enjoy a glass of sherry by the fireplace at Christmas time.
Eggnog is a festive drink made with eggs, milk, rum or whisky and a selection of Christmas spices. You can serve eggnog warm or cold. For cold winter days, a warm glass of eggnog is a great way to heat up. This drink originated from the American colonies in the 18th century; eggs and rum were plentiful at this time. The warmth and addition of Christmas flavours, including vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, made this drink synonymous with Christmas. You can buy eggnog premade in most supermarkets or make your own at home for an extra special touch.
isn’t complete without mulled wine; this warm and spicy drink has been a key part of Christmas since Roman times. Traditionally mulled wine is made with red wine that’s been steeped with various Christmas-inspired spices. Mulled wine is also served hot, making it a great warming drink for cold Christmas evenings. You can create your own mulled wine at home or buy bottles pre-made, which you can heat up and serve to your guests. Mulled wine is perfect for taking with you to an outdoor Christmas market on a chilly winter day.
Sloe gin is a traditional Christmas drink that starts with the collection of sloe berries during autumn at the first frost. They’re then placed with gin and sugar in a jar and left to steep over the winter months until the drink is ready to be tasted around Christmas time. The drink has been made for hundreds of years in Britain, starting in the 17th century. It's been long associated with Christmas, a traditional drink that many people make themselves enjoy during Christmas.
Cream liqueurs such as baileys are associated with indulgence and treating yourself to something special. Many people choose Christmas as the time to indulge in delights they wouldn’t drink at any other time of year. Cream liqueurs are seen as unhealthy and often reserved for special occasions. In addition, at Christmas time, many cream liqueur manufacturers bring out new flavours which further associate the drink with Christmas.
Britons enjoy a drink, especially at Christmas. If you keep a selection of the abovementioned tipples on hand during your festivities, you will surely have a great time celebrating Christmas.