Holiday Cocktails: Christmas Drink Recipes and More | PBS Food
Holiday Cocktails: Seasonal Drinks from Top Mixologists custom banner

Holiday Cocktails: Seasonal Drinks from Top Mixologists

Oxonian Cocktail
Photo Credit:

The Oxonian

Contributing Bartender: Lesley Solmonson of the “12 Bottle Bar” blog

“One of the most historically important holiday drinks is the cognac/egg batter-based Tom and Jerry. As a salute to said tipple, we’ve named our drink neither for Tom nor Jerry, but rather their oft-forgotten companion, Bob Logic the Oxonian comic relief of the threesome. Inspired by the spiced ale punches so popular with the Oxford set of the early 19th century, we created a contemporary drink that married the egg-y richness of advocaat, an eggnog-like European winter holiday staple, with Christmas spices and an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) ale. Served cold, it’s a surprisingly refreshing drink and a welcome change from the more prosaic spiked eggnog.”

The Oxonian Cocktail

This variant on the classic eggnog comes with a unique name: The Oxonian. Learn the history and inspiration behind the name and how a European winter staple inspired this. Discover other holiday cocktails in our collection of original recipes from the top bartenders across the nation.



  • 3 parts Advocaat (Dutch/Belgian eggnog liqueur)
  • 3 parts ESB ale (Extra Special/Strong Bitter)
  • 1 part (or to taste) spiced brown sugar syrup (recipe below)
  • Top with grated nutmeg


  1. For the Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup, dissolve 2 cups light brown or evaporated cane sugar into 1 cup water over low heat.
  2. Add a ¼ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger.
  3. Stir until combined, and allow to cool.
  4. Simply add all ingredients to a glass of any shape or sort and stir to combine. Some may like a cube or two of ice. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top.


Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, a cocktail blogger, prefers homemade advocaat, but says store-bought advocaat will work fine. Find an advocaat recipe on the 12 Bottle Bar website.

For the ale, any quality ESB with a nice bite should work – whatever ale used should not get lost in the mixture.


Meet the Bartender

Lesley Solmonson

With her husband David Solmonson, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson is the co-founder of, a site that focuses on cocktail history and classic drinks. In 2012, her first book, Gin: A Global History was released by Reaktion Books to uniformly strong reviews. Additionally, she is a regular contributor to Wine Enthusiast magazine and a columnist for the Bloomberg economic blog Echoes. Over the past fifteen years, she has written for Gourmet, Interiors, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Relish, C, Shelter, and the International Sommelier Guild’s Sommelier News. She is also writing Liqueur: A Global History also for Reaktion Books. (Headshot Photo Credit: Garrett Wedel)


Getting Hungry?

Sign up for weekly recipes