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Top 10 after dinner drinks for Christmas

You’ve polished off the turkey, nibbled the Stilton, and eaten more mince pies than you care to recall. Forget about a wafer thin mint, what you need is an after dinner drink, something bracingly strong to perk up your jaded palate, refresh and get you ready for a plate of leftovers. 

Now that could be Port, whisky or sherry, we’ve already rounded some of those up, but why not get something a little different in? Whether it’s a distinctive herbal liqueur like kümmel, a decadent Armagnac or you could add some caffeine into the mix with a coffee-flavoured rum. What could possibly go wrong!

Here are our favourite after dinner drinks.

Top ten after dinner drinks for Christmas

Mentzendorff Kümmel Liqueur 

This is a liqueur flavoured with caraway seeds along with cumin, fennel and other spices. It’s not dissimilar to Scandinavian akvavit, though sweeter, and it has its origins in the same part of the world, the Baltic, Riga in modern day Latvia, to be precise though Mentzendorff’s version is now distilled in France.

How do I drink it?

You drink it neat chilled or on the rocks. It’s also delicious in a Silver Bullit – shake 25ml of Kümmel with 45ml of London Dry Gin and 10ml of lemon juice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tosolini Grappa Artigiana Cividina 

Grappa is a kind of Italian brandy made from the skins and stalks leftovers from wine production. No meal in Italy is complete without a little glass to help with your digestion. Some grappa can be extremely fiery but this example from Friuliano is as smooth as Marcello Mastroianni.

How do I drink it?

Neat and lightly chilled, it’s also very nice mixed into an espresso to make a caffe correto. 

Lepanto Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez 

If you like your brandy on the sweeter side then Brandy de Jerez is a good option. Lepanto from sherry masters Gonzalez Byass is produced exclusively using palomino grapes and is aged for years in Fino casks within a Solera system, where it develops a rich profile that ripples with ripe berries, baking spices, and indulgent oak.

How do I drink it?

Sip it neat but it’s also a very versatile mixer. Try it in a Old Fashioned instead of bourbon or shake it in a Brandy Sour

Henriques & Henriques 5 Year Old Medium Rich Madeira

The magical thing about Madeira is that even when it’s sweet, it has an electric charge of acidity that keeps it fresh and zingy. This medium sweet 5 year old example with its flavours of dried fig, toffee, and marmalade is a great introduction to the style.

How do I drink it?

It works as a great Port substitute with blue cheese but it’s also great with Christmas pud. 

Kyrö Dairy Cream Liqueur

All the way from Finland comes Kyrö Dairy Cream Liqueur. This is made with local milk and cream as well as a touch of Kyrö’s whiskey so it has a layer of sweet rye spice in there. It makes a great alternative to certain other brands of cream liqueur. 

How do I drink it?

Drink it on the rocks, pour it over ice cream or try it with coffee liqueur in a Baby Guinness. What could be more fun?

Hayman’s Sloe Gin

A traditional Sloe gin from Hayman’s, this is made by steeping the sloes (a kind of wild plum that grows in British hedgerows in the winter) in Hayman’s gin before blending with natural sugar. Bittersweet and intense in flavour, we love it.

How do I drink it?

Out of a hip flask on a post-Christmas lunch walk is best but it’s also lovely sipped by the fire with the dog curled up by your feet.

Skåne Akvavit Aquavit

A popular Swedish aquavit, first produced all the way back in 1931. Traditionally spiced with caraway and fennel, as well as anise, it’s something of a classic, some might say. It’s named after the province of Skåne in Sweden, well known for its vodka and aquavit production.

How to drink it?

In Scandinavia akvavit is usually drunk alongside beer during the meal, usually with cries of ‘skol!’ and much singing. 


The mighty Fernet-Branca. It is made with 27 different herbs and spices from around the world, including saffron, myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe vera, and gentian for the ultimate in after dinner bitterness. 

How do I drink it?

Just a little drunk neat and chilled is an amazing pick-me-up or try it in a Hanky Panky. Stir two parts London Dry Gin, one part Italian vermouth and a tablespoon of Fernet with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a twist of orange.

Nusbaumer Vieille Prune Eaux de Vie

Vielle prune, a kind of eau-de-vie made from plums is a very popular digestif in France. This comes from Nusbaumber Distillery in Alsace and it is aged in oak barrels giving it a roundness and a satisfying fullness.

How do I drink it?

Delicious neat served lightly chilled or for sipping while lingering over fruit, nuts, and cheese.

Baron de Sigognac 20 Year Old Armagnac

We love Armagnac here at Master of Malt because it offers an amazing amount of deliciousness per pound. This 20 year old brandy is packed with rich flavours of custard, apricots, tobacco, and nuts. 

How do I drink it?

This tastes best at room temperature drunk out of little copitas. And if you’re thinking of having a postprandial cigar, then this would make a splendid accompaniment.

Project #173 Coffee Rum

Rum and coffee, though – what a combination! Bringing together a tasty base of quality rum and naturally flavoured with coffee, this expression packs plenty of both sides in its flavour profile. 

How do I drink it?

We have two words for your ‘Espresso’ and ‘Martini’. It’s time to get the party started… again. 


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