The Oxford Dictionary defines a cocktail as being an alcoholic drink which consists of one or more spirits, mixed with other ingredients and prepared in a cocktail shaker. Below are five easy cocktails to make at home over the Christmas period and in the words of James Bond, they should mostly be "shaken, not stirred."

Make a change this year from eggnog by serving your guests an Espresso Martini, Sweet Manhattan Cocktail, Black Russian Cocktail or a Strawberry Daiquiri. If any member of the family frowns at alcohol, fool them by making an Earl Grey Martini and serving it in teacups!

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

1

Espresso martini

Place 100gr caster sugar in a small pan and pour over 50ml water. Place on medium heat and stir while bringing it to boil. Let the mixture cool, while cooling two Martini glasses in the fridge. Once the sugar syrup has cooled, pour 1 tbsp into your cocktail shaker and throw in a handful of ice, 100ml vodka, 50ml Kahlua and 50ml freshly-brewed espresso coffee. Give it a good shake until cold. Strain into the chilled glasses and serve with coffee beans for decoration.

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2

Sweet Manhattan Cocktail

Mix together in a mixing jug 25ml vermouth, 50 ml whisky, 5ml syrup from your jar of maraschino cherries, a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and ice. Strain into your cocktail glasses and garnish with a cherry.

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