Christmas 2016: Where to find the best festive cocktails on

by Leighanne Bent

Festive drinking has taken it up a notch. Instead of guzzling as much as possible, cocktails are a work of art to be admired and sipped. Leighanne Bent shares the best Christmassy tipples from across London

We hate to break it to you, but the chances of finding your true love under the mistletoe this year are pretty slim. Save yourself the heartache and lock lips with the capital’s best Christmas cocktails instead. There are tonnes of festive mixes to try, whether you want to play it safe with a boozy hot chocolate or go wild with a cocktail garnished with brussels sprouts, there’s a merry mix for everyone this year.

If you’re looking for a cosy retreat and somewhere to beat the Christmas chill, look no further than Bluebird. This neighbourhood hangout has decked out its courtyard with tartan throws and sheepskin rugs, but if you really want to get toasty, order their Brora Warmer. It’s blended with Tanqueray No 10 gin, Denham Estate apple juice, fresh mint, cherry liqueur and aromatic bitters, topped with sparkling wine.


Dalloway Terrace have really pushed the sleigh out this winter; they transformed their intimate space into a snow-frosted wonderland and collaborated with master chocolatier, Maison Pierre Marcolini, to create a bespoke list of hot chocolate cocktails. There are four magical mixes to choose from, but our favourite is the Black Forest. It’s made with Gin, Vermouth, Cherry Heering and Marcoloni Hot Chocolate.


Speed Rack Comes to Times Square with Heering on

By Elizabeth Taylor

Speed Rack came to New York City this weekend and it could not have been a better way to spend a Sunday. The competition was created for and by female bartenders to promote female bartenders. And, on top of that they also were amazing in raising some money for breast cancer research.

Some amazing drinks were on hand for sampling and being mixed with great selections such as Heering Liqueur and Xante. Conceived by New York Bartenders Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero , Speed Rack aims to promote women from coast-to-coast in an engaging, fun and fast way through a round robin style speed competition.

Chef Haim Tibi descends on Tel Aviv on

The NYX Hotel, likely the trendiest property in the Fattal chain, is the venue that attracted chef Haim Tibi to Tel Aviv after having established his reputation in the Galilee. The restaurant’s intriguing name, Clash, adds to its mystique.

Clash takes pride in its seven specialty cocktails, which bear classic Greek names. The Thanatos (NIS 48) blends Cointreau, Cherry Heering, lemon juice, pineapple and vanilla extract, served in a martini glass garnished with orange peel. Despite the ominous name (signifying death), the drink is pleasantly sweet and smooth as silk.

The 12 bottles of Christmas on

by Charles Passy

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Tis the (sipping) season

Merry Drinkmas! Yes, it’s time again for the 12 bottles of Christmas, our annual gift guide to all things sip-worthy. As in years past, we’ve included bottles of many kinds — wine, spirits, cider, you name it — at a variety of price points. Keep in mind that during this most festive of seasons, you’re allowed to buy a gift for yourself, too. And if you’re looking for other suggestions, don’t forget our 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 editions of the 12 Bottles of Christmas. Happy shopping (and happy holidays)!

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The red bottle

For nearly 200 years, the good folks of Peter Heering, a Danish distiller, have been crafting a sweet, cherry-flavored sip that’s known simply as Cherry Heering. While the red-hued drink has had a somewhat grandmotherly reputation — Queen Elizabeth II is said to be a fan — it’s caught on of late with the hipster set, especially because of the fact it works so well in a variety of cocktails. (And it’s a must-have for making a Singapore Sling.) For the holidays, the brand has come out with a special packaging ($30) that includes a bottle and two limited-edition glasses.

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Weekend Sip: Hipsters Adopt a Queen Elizabeth Favorite

Cherry Heering, a red liqueur said to be a hit with Queen Elizabeth II, has recently caught on with hipsters. WSJ’s Charles Passy and Lunch Break’s Tanya Rivero give it a taste-test.


This scotch drink at Edinburgh’s Bramble Bar routinely shows up on lists of the world’s best cocktail bars. It interweaves the fruity sweetness and tart of Cherry Heering liqueur with the strong herbal notes of Green Chartreuse and has a backbone of Springbank 10-year-old-scotch, a well-balanced whisky with enough depth and richness to stand up to both.

2 oz Springbank 10-year-old scotch
1 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
.5 oz Green Chartreuse

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, and stir until chilled.

Strain into a Nick & Nora glass, express the oil of a lemon peel, and discard the peel.


The 2016 Peter F. Heering® Classics finalists were selected by a global jury comprised of Simon Difford – one of the worlds most renowned and respected drinks experts, David Wondrich, CHERRY HEERING® – 2016 WINNER ANNOUNCED James Beard Award Winner for his book Imbibe! and founding partner on Beverage Alcohol Resource, the United States leading training program for bartenders and other mixologists, Din Hassan, a veteran from the Singapore nightlife industry, Hamish Smith, a multi-award winning drinks journalist at Drinks International Magazine, Lauren Mote, Co-proprietor of Bittered Sling, a wildly successful line of high quality small batch cocktail and culinary bitters and Charlene Dawes, Managing Director and Owner of Tastings Group Limited. The Peter F. Heering® Classics tapped the best bar talent in the world to re-write cocktail history by creating their version of a classic cocktail.

WINNING RECIPE GRANT MURRAY, INVERNESS, UNITED KINGDOM ”BRACE POSITION” 15ml Ardbeg poured into ice filled Boston, stir and strain out liquid, leaving whisky coated ice in Boston. Then put into Boston… 35ml Botanist Gin 15ml Cherry Heering 10ml Briottet Liqueur de Violette 15ml Fresh lemon juice 15ml Sugar syrup (3:1) Shake all ingredients together and fine strain into chilled speakeasy martini glass. Garnished with cherry and lemon

 PITA DIXON, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA ”THE RIGHT WAY” 25ml cognac (Pierre Ferrand) 25ml rye whisky (Rittenhouse Rye 100) 25ml Cherry Heering 2 dash Angostura bitters 2 dash Peychaud’s bitters -Build in mixing glass or a Boston glass -Add ice -Stir -Strain over block ice Orange twist to garnish (I have put my preferred brands for use in this cocktail)

ANDREW SCHNEIDER, VANCOUVER, CANADA ”MOUNT PLEASANT” 2oz Cherry Herring .5oz Orgeat .25oz Fernet Branca 1oz Lemon Juice 1 egg white Shake all ingredients without ice, then with ice. Double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

DAWID GUZIK, LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG ”SECRET CLOVER” 4,5cl Copperhead Gin, 3cl Cherry Heering, 2 bsp Honey Acacia, 6 Fresh raspberries, 1,5cl Resh lime juice, 1 Whole egg white, 4 dash Elemakule Tiki Bitters. Crush raspberries and add all ingredients. Dry shaken, shake with ice. Double strain  into a cocktail glass. Garnish marzipan flavored with cherry and honey.

LAURA WALKER, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND ”BLOOD FROM A STONE” 2oz Cherry Herring .5oz Orgeat .25oz Fernet Branca 1oz Lemon Juice 1 egg white Shake all ingredients without ice, then with ice. Double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.


Harland: The Singapore Sling on


ALTHOUGH I’m a frequent visitor to Singapore, until now I’d never tasted a Singapore Sling. Given that this legendary cocktail – arguably the national drink of Singapore – celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, I decided it was high time to try one.

Fortunately, there’s a Raffles Hotel not far for my Makati home so I popped into the hotel’s Long Bar last week to find out more about this iconic cocktail.
It was created in 1915 at the original Raffles Hotel in colonial Singapore by Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.
At the time it was considered bad form for women to consume alcohol in public. So Mr. Ngiam set about making a cocktail disguised as a fruit juice so the ladies could enjoy an alcoholic drink without fear of being branded unladylike. His concoction was the colorful Singapore Sling.
It quickly became a hit with the ladies and its fame soon spread to other countries. Today, the Singapore Sling is a standard classic on cocktail menus around the world.
Over the years, there have been a number of recipes for the Singapore Sling, but it’s believed one of several “original” recipes was mixing two measures of gin with one of cherry brandy and one of orange, pineapple, and lime juice.
According to senior bartender at Raffles Makati, Dennis Kantong, all Raffles Hotels and Resorts around the world, use the classic Singapore Sling recipe. It’s quite a list – Tanqueray gin, DOM Benedictine, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, Grenadine, Angastora bitters, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and garnished with a slice of pineapple.
There is certainly an art to making cocktails which Dennis, a 15-year veteran of Raffles Hotels, so aptly demonstrated. A series of quick pours, a steady hand, and intense concentration. Everything into a shaker with ice, a few firm shakes, and there was my very first Singapore Sling.
The verdict? Delicious, but potent!
Then it was the turn of fellow bartender Karlo Ramos to show off his expertise and demo the hotel’s rather special version of the Singapore Sling – the Makati Luxury Sling.
It’s an unusual blend of Tanqueray Ten, Grand Marnier, DOM Benedictine, and fresh lemon. It’s topped with local pineapple juice with Angostura and cherry blossom syrup. As a final touch of luxury, 24K gold flakes are sprinkled on the cocktail.
In no time at all Karlo had this unique concoction ready and “smiling” with just the gold flakes to add to complete the job. A rather extravagant drink, but delicious.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Singapore Sling, Raffles Hotels & Resorts have joined forces with leading bespoke gin maker, Sipsmith, to produce “Raffles 1915 Gin.”
Handcrafted at the Sipsmith Distillery in London for Raffles, the recipe is a balance of Malaysian botanicals – jasmine flowers, fresh pomelo peel, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaf, nutmeg and cardamom – distilled alongside some of the classic gin botanicals found in the award-winning Sipsmith London Dry Gin.
Served exclusively at Raffles Hotels & Resorts’ bars and lounges worldwide, the Raffles 1915 Gin will now be used in the creation of Singapore Slings, including special versions of the Sling that have been fashioned to be unique to each location.

Grant is becoming The Usual suspect for prize drinks on

Written byGregor White

AN INVERNESS bartender is continuing his winning ways with a prize trip to the Big Apple.

Last month Grant Murray (30), general manager of Inverness cocktail bars Bar One and Scotch & Rye, was crowned world champ in the Cherry Heering Classics Competition, seeing off more than 2500 other entries from 46 different countries.

In that case his prize-winning creation was Brace Position – a mix of Ardbeg 10 whisky, Botanist gin, Creme de Violet, Cherry Heering, lime juice and sugar syrup.

Now he has also shown what he can do with Jack Daniels after his drink called The Usual emerged as one of three winners in an international search run by the drink giant through their Tennessee Calling competition.

Described by Grant himself as “a simple cocktail with complex flavours that takes a classic jack and coke and spins it on its head” it seriously impressed judges who travelled to Inverness to sample it and listen to the story that inspired it.

Grant said: “I based it around my journey from where I started to where I am today within the world of bartending and hospitality.

“The good, the bad and the ugly all played an important part, and Jack Daniels was present throughout.”

His skills will now see him heading to New York bar The Dead Rabbit, recently voted the best bar in the world by industry journal Drinks International.

Working and helping to plan an event there to mark Prohibition Repeal Day in December after that he also gets the chance to fly to the Tennessee home of Jack Daniels to learn from master distiller Jeff Arnett how the drink is actually made.

“Anyone who knows me knows that this is literally a dream come true for me,” said Grant.

“I am absolutely blown away.

“What I have achieved this past year has been far beyond anything I could imagine.”

Get Ready for Holiday Spirits on

by Elizabeth Taylor

It is that time of the year when we all love to celebrate. Cheerful bliss is in the air and toasts are coming your way.

We took a look at some of the hottest brands on the market and here is a list of some of our favorite spirits for mixing your holiday drinks for festive fun.

Heering Liqueur – This is a fantastic selection for several occasions this season. The classic Cherry flavor dating from 1818 is well known and will warm up any cold winter night. The extension flavor of coffee is made from all natural ingredients and contains no additives or artificial coloring. The base of Caribbean rum, cacao and coffee is bold and maintains allure. There is a slight trace of caffeine in this gluten free product that will add a lovely kick to your White Russian. Who doesn’t need a little wake me up after a few hours at an office cocktail mixer?

Another amazing option is a select cocktail called the Coffee Berry. Take two parts of Coffee Herring and mix with one part blackberry liqueur Crème De Mur, two parts fresh pressed lemon juice, and one part simple syrup. Garnish with a blackberry and get ready to be the highlight of the party.

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