It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time of fun and festivity, a time when friends and families come together, and a time when we can eat, drink and be merry.

And when it comes to celebrating the silly season, what better way to get into the party spirit than with some festive drinks? Whether you’ve got a full house of relatives on the big day itself, or are hosting a pre-Christmas bash for friends, if you’re stuck with hosting duties nothing is guaranteed to impress more than a creative cocktail.

But what cocktail? And how to make it? And how do you ensure that there’s enough of it to keep all your guests satisfied? Well, we’ve turned to the big guns to get the answers, specifically award-winning chef, restaurateur and TV personality, Matt Moran.

The best-selling cookbook author has one of the most well-rounded palates in the biz, and it’s a palate that extends to spirits too. In fact, the famous foodie has recently launched his own range of whisky and gin, available exclusively on

“When you think of a really good gin drink, you think of a Tom Collins,” he says of his Christmas cocktail top pick. “The century-old cocktail has stood the test of time thanks to it being both simple and very tasty.”

Its simplicity means that it’s also easy to make in in large quantities, which is essential to ensure that you’re not left frazzled making each drink from scratch and running around to top up empty glasses.

“During Christmas you don’t want to spend all of your time in the kitchen,” Matt continues. “So I always make a large amount, which means that people can just help themselves.”

How to Holiday with Matt Moran

Read on for Matt’s quick-fix, ‘how to” guide to creating a Tom Collins batch that you can easily whip up in a few shakes.

  1. STEP ONE:
    First off, make sure that you have the right tools. A professional kit can turn even the most clueless of cocktail makers into a master mixologist. And for a set that combines both style AND substance, the six-piece BarCraft Cocktail Making Kit can’t be beat.

    Made in brushed brass, the set includes a bar knife, mixing spoon, strainer, wooden muddler and jigger — everything you need to create an at-home bar. You’ll also get an exclusive recipe book to craft other cocktail creations.

    “Start with six nips of the beautiful Moran’s blend No. 299 gin,” says Matt. “It was made in Tasmania using the state’s famed pure water. Then pair that with four nips of freshly squeezed lemon juice.”

  2. STEP TWO:
    Prep your sugar syrup mixture by dissolving caster sugar in water over a low heat and leaving to cool — you can bottle any excess for future use.

    “Add to the gin and lemon juice two nips of sugar syrup,” instructs Matt. “Then some soda water and mix in a large glass.”

    The Uberbartools URAI Glass Mixing Glass is the perfect vessel for creating stirred cocktails. Plus, the diamond textured tempered glass mimics the elegant pattern of a classic cocktail tumbler.

    “Next, add some fruit,” says Matt. “Grab some strawberries and cut them into quarters, along with lots of fresh mint and squeeze in a little bit of orange.”

    With the extra bulk of the fruit — and for any kind of larger entertaining in general — a cocktail that gets poured together in a jug, rather than individual glasses, makes sense. The Kisfam 1.5 Litre Glass Water Pitcher is perfect for group get-togethers as its drip-free mouth and stainless steel filter lid makes for easy pouring.

    “Add some cucumber!” recommends Matt. “I just have a thing about gin with cucumber. So, cut some pretty strips and add to the mixture.”
    “Make sure to mix to allow the flavour of the cucumber to infuse,” explains Matt. “Then set out for guests to help themselves.”

    Make sure to wow your assembled partygoers with appropriately luxe glasses — the set of six art-deco-inspired Luigi Bormioli tumblers are made from blown lead-free crystal glass and are guaranteed to impress.

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