Cocktails to make this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 10:32 21 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:35 22 December 2015

Cherry Pop

Cherry Pop


These unusual hot and cold winter cocktails have been devised by the talented David Smith, former Head Bartender at the Hix Oyster House in Lyme Regis, who you will now find serving his delicious concoctions at The Anchor in Seatown.

David is the never afraid to take things beyond the bar to the kitchen to create his bespoke shrubs, syrups and cordials for his Conker creations. He shares a few of his winter libations with us here. 

Cherry Pop

• 50ml Conker Gin

• 25ml cranberry juice

• 15ml spiced kumquat syrup (see recipe below)

• 10ml Morello cherry liqueur (from the Somerset Cider Brandy Company)

To make kumquat syrup:

1. This is one part water, one part sugar. Put in a pan and dissolve the sugar on a low heat. Throw in a handful of kumquats sliced in half (around 8) and add 1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice. Stir until the spice is dissolved and the water has absorbed the kumquats (around 5 minutes), fine strain and bottle.

2. Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and stir for around 10 seconds until sufficiently chilled. Strain. Serve with a large ice ball and caramelised morello cherries in cinnamon sugar.

Winter in Wessex

You will need to make the quince and pear shrub for this warm cocktail a few days before hand. The spiced apple juice is best made in advance. Heat up the apple juice in a pan until just below simmering then add 1 tsp of cloves, 1/2 tsp of juniper berries and 1 crushed star anise. Stir on the heat for around 2 minutes then leave to cool naturally.

For the pear & quince shrub:

• 300g quince, washed, and chopped or thinly sliced (not peeled)

• 200g pear, washed, and chopped or thinly sliced (not peeled)

• 500g caster sugar

• 500ml Julian Temperley cider vinegar

1. Place the chopped pears and quince inside a plastic tub. Cover the fruit with the sugar and refrigerate for a day. Add the cider vinegar and refrigerate for another two days. Then strain and bottle.

• 50ml Conker Gin

• 15ml Liberty Fields Apple Apertif

• 25ml pear & quince shrub (see recipe above)

• 100ml spiced Somerset Cider Discovery Apple Juice ( as described above)

2. Add all ingredients to a heat proof container and heat up to just below simmering level. Serve garnished with a clove-studded lemon and cinnamon stick.

Conker Spirit Gin is available in local wine shops, delis and farm shops across the south coast and into London, or you can buy online at for £35.


5 of the best cocktail bars in Dorset - Do you like your martini dirty, salty, twisted or filthy or would you prefer a Mince Pie daiquiri? Helen Stiles heads for the county’s best cocktail bars to browse their menus

The secret of a legendary cheeseboard - Mark Hartstone, who won Chef of the Year at the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards, shares the secret of his legendary cheeseboard at La Fosse with us


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