Holiday cocktail recipes by the world’s best bars: Atlas Bar, Connaught Bar, Dante, Maybe Sammy and more

By Megan Murphy 22 December, 2020
La Factoria Coquito

Outstanding bartenders from around the world share their favourite festive drinks

‘Tis the season for shaking, stirring and sipping – or, in the case of 2020, chugging. This hasn’t been the most holly, jolly year, so we all deserve an uplifting dose of holiday cheer right about now. And we’ve found just the trick.

Whether you’re hosting a virtual celebration or having a small gathering with family, we believe keeping everyone’s spirits high coincides with keeping the spirits plentiful and exceptional with great cocktails all around. To seriously upgrade your standard drink-making repertoire (here’s looking at you, spiked eggnog and mulled wine), we tapped 13 of the world’s most outstanding watering holes to share festive signature cocktail recipes to recreate at home (and help drink away 2020…). Because you deserve to imbibe the very best this season.

Atlas Bar Christmas Symphony
Traditional festive ingredients such as ginger, almond, quince and clove are incorporated in this cocktail by Atlas

Atlas Bar, Singapore

Crowned the Best Bar in Asia for 2020 (and number four on the World’s 50 Best Bars list), Atlas is an opulent showstopper in an outrageous 687.5-sqm Art Deco space unlike any you’ve toasted in before. Singapore’s jazz-inspired stunner is touted for having the best spirits collection in the world, boasting a list of more than 1,300 gin labels alone. Head bartender Jesse Vida’s Christmas Symphony uses traditional flavours of the season – ginger, almond, quince, clove—to compliment the botanical spirit. This Gin Sour variation is bright and refreshing with rich spice notes, a float of bitters on top and a citrus garnish.

Christmas Symphony

  • 0.75 oz. (25 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. (15 ml) orgeat (almond syrup)
  • 0.25 oz. (5 ml) fresh ginger syrup
  • 0.5 oz. (15 ml) Whitley Neill Quince Gin
  • 1.5 oz. (40 ml) Fords Gin (Can combine 55 ml of any gin to substitute)
  • 10 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour lemon juice, orgeat, ginger syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake. Strain into a rocks glass over a big ice cube (preferred). Add 10 dashes of bitters and garnish with a large orange peel.

Connaught Bar Ginger Cuvèe
What’s a celebration without Champagne?

Connaught Bar, London

Crowned The World’s Best Bar and The Best Bar in Europe for 2020, Connaught Bar – a ritzy cocktail den within London’s prestigious Connaught Hotel – is known for its classic martini trolley service and drinks precisely mixed tableside. Their lovely Ginger Cuvèe combines orchard fruit notes from the whisky with warm spices and a refreshing touch of Champagne for a festive and effervescent holiday libation.

Ginger Cuvèe

  • 1 oz. (20 ml) Glenfiddich Grand Cru Whisky
  • 1 oz. (20 ml) Belsazar Riesling Vermouth
  • 0.25 oz. (5 ml) Nonino Ginger
  • 0.5 oz. (10 ml) sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes Hendrick’s Absinthe
  • 2 oz. (45 ml) Laurent-Perrier Champagne
  • Wild carrot essence*

Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a flute; garnish with a crystallised ginger cube on stick. Spray with wild carrot essence (*sourced from Tuscany; alternatively you can replace with a twist and spray of an orange peel).

Dante’s Fireside Old Fashioned
The classic Old Fashioned is given a festive twist

Dante, New York City

Named The Best Bar in North America for 2020 (and Best Bar in the World in 2019), Dante is a century-old Greenwich Village institution for expertly crafted cocktails and reimagined classics. “The sophisticated Old Fashioned drinkers of today have experienced palates and the rich, bold flavours in our Fireside Old Fashioned match up well to this. Holidays – and the Christmas period particularly – are all about indulgence and the addition of Palo Cortado to the classic cocktail structure makes it more lavish, giving rich fruit notes. We wanted to evoke the feeling of sitting by the fire after a great meal, slowly sipping on something special,” says Chris Moore, beverage director at Dante.

Dante’s Fireside Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz. (59 ml) Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) Palo Cortado
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) smoked raisin syrup (see below)*
  • 3 dashes Bitter Truth Decanter Bitters

Pour chilled ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass; stir. Garnish with drunk raisins (see below) and nutmeg.

*Smoked Raisin Syrup

  • 600 g sugar
  • 400 g water
  • 300 g raisins
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Heat first three ingredients in a saucepan on medium for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add cinnamon sticks and leave at room temperature to cool. Strain and bottle, but keep raisins for garnish. Once strained, pour into a Cambro, then use a smoking gun to fill the container with smoke; leave to infuse.

Maybe Sammy's Harlem Shake
If you’re a fan of coffee cocktails, this is for you

Maybe Sammy, Sydney

Crowned The Best Bar in Australia for 2020 (and ranked No. 11 in the world), Sydney’s Maybe Sammy, located in historic neighbourhood The Rocks, draws inspiration from Hollywood’s golden age of the ’50s – with a menu spotlighting martinis, highballs and even speciality coffee cocktails. This spicy number is “a nod to Sammy Davis Jr. since he grew up in Harlem and is famous for his tap-dancing skills on stage. So that’s why it’s named the Harlem Shake,” says Martin Hudak, co-founder of Maybe Sammy and International Bartender of the Year 2019.

Harlem Shake

  • 2 oz. (30 ml) Amaro Montenegro
  • 0.5 oz. (20 ml) Hennessy V.S. Cognac
  • 0.75 oz. (15 ml) ginger syrup
  • 2 oz. (30 ml) espresso

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake for 15 seconds. Serve strained into rocks glass with a big ice cube. Garnish with crushed pepper.

Cure Caldera
With just three ingredients, this recipe by Cure is impossible to mess up

Cure, New Orleans

Lauded for pioneering the cocktail revival in New Orleans, Cure has become a powerhouse in the city’s now booming bar scene. Located in a former firehouse, the stylish James Beard Award-winning cocktail haven has seen a huge interest in agave spirits and requests for spirit-forward agave cocktails, in particular. Bar star Liz Kelley created a negroni riff featuring reposado tequila with bitter citrus, pine and notes of stone fruit. Her Caldera is “simple to make at home – with just three beautiful ingredients – but is sophisticated, nuanced and wholly unique,” says Matt Young, general manager of Cure.


  • 1.5 oz. (44.3 ml) Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
  • 0.75 oz. (22.18 ml) Cappelletti Vino Aperitivo
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain up into a cocktail glass. Express with a grapefruit peel (twist over the cocktail, then rub around the rim of the glass); discard peel.

El Paradiso Emotions
Shake things up this Christmas with a stout cocktail

El Paradiso, Barcelona

Accessing Barcelona’s modern-day speakeasy requires entering an unassuming pastrami shop in El Born and finding the secret refrigerator door. One inside, El Paradiso’s drinks – designed by award-winning barman Giacomo Giannotti – are certainly worth all the fuss, but sipping this tasty recipe from the comfort of home may just be the next best thing. Emotions is a stout cocktail crafted with whisky and pine liqueur, which evokes traditional Christmas aromas and flavours.


  • 2 oz. (50 ml) Macallan Double Cask Whisky
  • 0.5 oz. (12 ml) Pine Liquor (Artesana de Licors Licor d’Avet)
  • 0.5 oz. (10 ml) Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  • 0.25 oz. (5 ml) Amer Picon
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Mix all ingredients together in your glass of choice. Garnish with an orange peel and a brandied cherry, as well as a pine cone (optional) for presentation.

Employees Only Hot Take
Employees Only’s Hot Take is an innovative variation of the classic Hot Buttered Rum cocktail

Employees Only, New York City

Inventive cocktails (which you can sip by a fireplace in normal times) are the biggest draw at New York’s iconic Prohibition-era speakeasy. Though the West Village bar is temporarily closed due to new dining restrictions, this recipe invites you to recreate the Employees Only experience at home. “This drink was basically made to be an insanely delicious variation of a hot buttered rum. We just made it thrice as decadent,” says Keith Larry, principal bartender and bar manager. “I wanted this drink to have more depth of flavour without being too terribly sweet, which is why I made that batter. The name came from the fact that we hear all sorts of crazy thoughts and opinions working in a bar and that everyone has a ‘hot take’ on any given topic.”

Hot Take

  • 2 oz. (59.15 ml) aged rum (such as Ron Zacapa 23)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon batter*
  • 3 oz. (88.7 ml) boiling hot water
  • 2 oz. (59.1 ml) heavy cream
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) simple syrup

Stir rum, batter and boiling water together (or steam if possible). Whip or shake together heavy cream and simple syrup. Pour chilled cream over a spoon on top of the hot drink. Garnish with cinnamon.

For the batter*: Mix together a pound of butter, a pound of brown sugar, a pound of white sugar, two tablespoons of cinnamon, one teaspoon of ground cloves, one teaspoon of ground nutmeg and one pint of vanilla ice cream.

Trick Dog Like Christmas
Trick Dog’s Like Christmas

Trick Dog, San Fransisco

San Francisco’s high-profile cocktail bar is beloved for its fiercely innovative, regularly changing menu. During the pandemic, Trick Dog flexed their creative muscles once again, by debuting Quik Dog – a takeout-only restaurant concept by the same owners, Bon Vivants Hospitality. The award-winning Trick Dog bar team whipped up this festive cocktail that tastes like Christmas, hence the name, which is available at Quik Dog (located within the Trick Dog space).

Like Christmas

  • 1.5 oz. (44.4 ml) Maker’s Mark
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) Martini & Rossi Rubino Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) Leopold Bros. Cranberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. (14.8 ml) Averna Amaro
  • 7 dashes Douglas Fir tincture

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass; add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Serve strained into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with cranberries.

La Factoria Coquito
This coconut-infused cocktail is perfect for tropical Singapore

La Factoria, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

This legendary bar in Old San Juan (included on The World’s 50 Best Bars list for the past six years) is a beautiful celebration of Puerto Rican culture through its energy, music and flavors. “To the Puerto Rican culture, the Coquito is an iconic beverage that carries a very powerful ritual of drinking, as it symbolizes the gathering and sharing of goods, and the joy of the Christmas spirit in its flavour,” says Carlos Irizarry, head bartender at La Factoria. This creamy, coconutty and spiced concoction, which is fortified with rum, is best made in a batch to share with family and friends in celebration of the holiday season.


  • 6 oz. (177.5 ml) Don Q Cristal
  • 4 oz. (118.3 ml) Don Q Reserva 7 Años
  • 14 oz. (414 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz. (355 ml) evaporated milk
  • 8.5 oz. (251 ml) cream of coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients well (a blender is suggested). Pour into an empty bottle and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Shake well and serve cold in a small glass. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Accomplice Bar Rebel Without a Claus
No Christmas is complete without mulled wine

Accomplice Bar, Los Angeles

Mar Vista’s award-winning neighbourhood cocktail joint boasts a progressive seasonal beverage program that isn’t afraid to push boundaries or play with daring flavors and ingredients. Accomplice Bar has become one of Los Angeles’s most popular establishments for expertly crafted libations like this festive Rebel Without a Claus made with mulled wine syrup, gin and brandy.

Rebel Without a Claus

  • 1 oz. (29.6 ml) Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
  • 1 oz. (29.6 ml) Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • 2/3 oz. (19.7 ml) mulled wine syrup*
  • 1 barspoon Granada Vallet Bitter Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1 barspoon absinthe
  • 3 dashes mole bitters
  • 1 Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and star anise or cinnamon stick.

*Mulled wine syrup

  • 1 bottle cheap dry red wine
  • 4 pieces star anise
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 300 g demerara sugar

Make a mulled wine by combining ingredients (with the exception of the demerara) in a saucepan. Heat until the wine reaches a boil on a medium-high heat; reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add demerara; mix until dissolved and continue to let the wine mixture simmer until it has reduced by three quarters. Strain mixture and allow to cool.

Note: Any mulled wine recipe will work for this syrup. If you have your own, combine three cups of mulled wine with 1.5 cups demerara; heat to reduce by three quarters.

Danico Drunk Alone
Danico’s Drunk Alone is crafted by bartender Nico de Soto, who’s known as a globetrotting mixologist

Danico, Paris

Tucked behind a bustling pizzeria on a very quiet street in Paris is one of the city’s – and the world’s – most highly acclaimed cocktail dens. Danico, the original bar from Parisian born and raised bartender and beverage consultant, Nico de Soto (who also runs Mace in New York City and Kaido in Miami) showcases a hyper-focused menu of impressive artisanal cocktails and quirky concoctions. For Drunk Alone, de Soto found inspiration in two festive drinks: mulled wine and a Bellini.

Drunk Alone

  • 2 oz. (50 ml) spiced mulled wine purée*
  • 4 oz. (100 ml) Prosecco

Stir together the red wine reduction and 2 oz. Prosecco in a flute glass. Add another 2 oz. Prosecco, gently stir and serve. Note: ingredients should be chilled before making this cocktail.

*Spiced mulled wine purée

  • 6 cups (1.4 l) red wine (non tannic, such as Burgundy or Bordeaux)
  • 7 oz. (0.2 l) Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth
  • 7 oz. (0.2 l) Lustau Pedro Ximénez Sherry
  • 7 oz. (0.2 l) tawny port
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 tsp. (10 g) cloves
  • 2 tsp. (10 g) black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. (5 g) coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. (5 g) nutmeg
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 2.5 c. (500 g) sugar
  • 0.5 oz. (10 g) citric acid

Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Boil, then simmer until reduced by half.

Don Q Manhattan
A creative spin on the timeless Manhattan cocktail

Café La Trova, Miami

World famous mixologist Julio Cabrera and James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein teamed up to open this vibrant Cuban spot in the heart of Little Havana early last year. As the creative genius behind Café La Trova’s lauded beverage program, Cabrera (named American Bartender of the Year 2019) drew inspiration from the holiday season to reimagine one of his favorite classic cocktails: the Manhattan.

Don Q Manhattan

  • 2 oz. Don Q Double Cask Finish Rum
  • 0.75 oz. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
  • 1 barspoon Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Cacao
  • 2 dashes coffee bitters

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass; add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Serve strained into a 5.5 oz. coupe glass. Aromatize with an orange peel (then discard) and garnish with a cherry.

Native Garden City
Native’s Garden City was also the cocktail featured for Singapore’s Cocktail Festival 2020

Native, Singapore

Opened by Vijay Mudaliar in 2016, Singapore’s Native (ranked No. 18 on the World’s 50 Best Bars List for 2020) champions all things local and focuses on exploring the region’s diverse cultural and physical landscape through the lens of drinks. Expect uber-creative bespoke cocktails made with Asian spirits and foraged produce. “This drink was inspired by a little pocket of life in the Garden City,” says Yong Wei, Native’s head bartender. “We use some local herbs and fruit, such as calamansi (local citrus) and pandan from our rooftop garden, paired with ginger flower we get from a local farm. The result is floral, crisp and refreshing – perfect for the warm weather in Singapore.

Garden City

  • 0.5 oz. (12 g) Roku Gin
  • 0.5 oz. (10 g) ginger flower cordial*
  • 1.5 oz. (26 g) pandan tea**
  • 2 drops lactic acid

Mix all ingredients together and serve in a rocks glass with a big ice cube.

*Ginger flower cordial

  • 0.25 oz. (6 g) of ginger flower, chopped and lightly crushed
  • 5 oz. (150 g) water
  • 0.75 c. (150 g) xylitol/sugar
  • Calamansi (halved)

Add everything to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and mash while straining. Cool strained liquid before adding to the cocktail.

**Pandan tea

  • 0.75 oz. (20 g) fresh pandan
  • 1/3 c. (67 g) sugar
  • 4 c. (1,000 g) water

If you don’t have access to fresh pandan like the Native bar team, you can purchase pandan tea online.

This story first appeared on Robb Report US