Editor Richard Bath picks a dozen of his favourite easy-drinking festive tipples – one for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas – to ensure that our readers are seasonably lubricated (NB: contains no gin or Scotch whisky).



DAY 1 – Disaronno Velvet – £16.50

The easy thing to say is that this variation on an Italian classic would be perfect for a white Christmas given that it’s, er, white, but in fact it’s great for making creamy cocktails or for sitting sipping in front of the fire. Velvety, rich and sweet, it’s also a perfect post-dinner tipple. 17% ABV.

Micil Irish Cream Liqueur.

DAY 2 – Micil Irish Cream Liqueur – £23.95

This gorgeous Irish cream liqueur is made from poitin from Connemara in the west of the country, and is given a palpable sweetness by cream and honey, along with a drop of poitín. Awarded Best Irish Cream at the 2022 World Liqueur Awards, it is made using Micil Irish Poitín (which you can buy for £28.95), which is distilled with 100% malted Irish barley and spicy Connemara bogbean. Also available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt. 17% ABV.


DAY 3 – Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur – £30

Celebrate with Mr Black.

The best coffee cocktail you’ll ever have is a Mr Black Espresso Martini, where you put 60ml of Mr Black into a shaker with 30ml of espresso and some ice and then shake for all your might. Mr Black is the brainchild of two Aussies who made distilled this bittersweet masterpiece from 100% Arabica coffee from Colombia, Kenya and Papua New Guinea. Also available from Waitrose. 25% ABV.


Michters Single-barrel bourbon.

DAY 4 – Michters Single-barrel bourbon – £141.53

In October Michters became the first American distillery to eclipse the biggest names in whisky – beating second-placed Yamazaki and third-placed Ardbeg – to rank first overall in Drinks International magazine’s list of the 2023 World’s Most Admired Whiskies top 50 list. Once you drink this full-bodied ten-year-old bourbon, you can see why Michters have been doing so well – big charred oak and chocolate on the nose; vanilla, butterscotch and caramel on the palate; with a black cherry, dark chocolate and mint finish, this delightful small-batch bourbon is available from Hard To Find Whisky and Master of Malt. 47.2% ABV.





Mapmaker’s Coastal Spiced Rum.

DAY 5 – Mapmaker’s Coastal Spiced Rum – £35

There are several Scottish rums, but this beauty from the increasingly influential Dunnet Bay distillers in Caithness is up there with the very best, and is seasonably spiced. Mapmakers rum is a a tribute to Timothy Pont, an excellent cartographer who spent his summers diligently surveying Scotland and who between 1600-1610 was minister of Dunnet Parish. The distillers use local and traditional botanicals – lemon verbena grown in the distillery garden; kelp foraged locally, scurvy grass and Scottish sea salt from Blackthorn Salt – and I particularly like their festive Pont to Port cocktail (40ml Mapmaker’s rum, 10ml ruby port, 25ml cranberry juice and 75ml ginger ale). 40% ABV.



Giffard pineapple liqueur.

DAY 6 – Giffard pineapple liqueur – £20.95

If you’re looking for something to brighten up the day, try this beloved French liqueur with some festive fizz and it’ll be transformative. There are a whole raft of other sirops and liqueurs, with the ginger and banana liqueurs also pushing my buttons. Available from The Whisky Exchange. 20% ABV.



Adriatico Bianco Amaretto.

DAY 7 – Adriatico Bianco Amaretto – £28.99

You may have noticed by now that I love to spice up Christmas with creamy European cocktail liqueurs, with this one being derived from Amaretto. Made from crushed almonds, which are chopped and soaked, resulting in a silky liqueur with notes of vanilla, it makes for a great Liquid Tiramisu cocktail where you simply combine 30ml Adriatico Bianco with 40ml Vodka, 20ml Espresso, 20ml Coffee Liqueur and 10ml White Chocolate Syrup, and pour over ice. Available from Master of Malt and the Whisky Exchange. 17% ABV.




DAY 8 – SoGood Saké ‘Junmai Daiginjo – £37.50

SoGood Saké ‘Junmai Daiginjo.

It might be counter-intuitive, but this sake from Californian rice farmer Ken LaGrande is actually excellent, and very moreish. The Japanese rice wine sake has many variations, and this variety is well-balanced and easy drinking, with a crisp minerality and citrus flavours rounded out with a touch of sweetness, notes of melon and a nutty finish. The best sakes are drunk cold, and this is no exception, although served with elderflower tonic it is also a great alternative to a G&T. Also available via Master of Malt. 15.5 ABV.


The Kings Ginger.

DAY 9 – The Kings Ginger – £23.99

This is a weird one – let me explain why. Berry Bros & Rudd used to produce The King’s Ginger at 41%, only to cease production for some unknown reason in the Autumn of 2020, after which this watered-down 29.9% version has appeared. All of the history remains the same (it was originally created as a medicinal drink for King Edward VII in 1903) but reports vary on whether or not the new elixir is a patch on the ‘old’ one. I hope so – nothing was better on a frosty day – but I shall report back once I’ve opened a bottle. Available from Master of Malt. 29.9% ABV.


Merry Berry Fruit liqueur.

DAY 10 – Merry Berry Fruit liqueur – £26

We at Scottish Field are huge fans of Angus-based The Gin Bothy’s work, but at this time of year the one we crave is this gin-based liqueur with seasonal berries like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and sloe berries, which creates a sweet liqueur with a touch of acidity to prevent it becoming cloying. It’s especially lovely poured over ice cream, or served with fizz. 20% ABV.


Champagne Pertois-Lebrun L’Extravertie.

CHRISTMAS DAY – Champagne Pertois-Lebrun L’Extravertie – £45

Sip Champagnes have emerged as one of Scotland’s leading suppliers of Champagne, and as champions of small, independent Champagne houses. There’s no better example of that than this Grand Cru from Pertois-Lebrun, which is clean and chalky, with tart lemon on the palate. This, of course, should be served on the morning of Christmas Day, along with smoked salmon on wholemeal bread – a ritual which these days I enjoy even more than church or opening presents. 12% ABV.




BOXING DAY – Adnam’s Pedro Ximenez sherry – £10.99

Adnam’s Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Save this beauty until Boxing Day. With its jet black colour and a fig-sweetness that is the perfect accompaniment to Christmas pudding, blue cheese or vanilla ice cream, this is one of my favourite festive tipples. Beer brand Adnams has produced its first own-label PX, and describe it as being ‘full bodied with delicious sweetness of treacle and toffee, and intense aromas of dried figs and raisins’.

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