Let’s Celebrate

Get the party started with these fruity alcoholic cocktails, and their alcohol-free versions – both perfect to serve in jugs, carafes and bottles

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Non-alcoholic Option (Left)

Drop the brandy and swap wine for sparkling white grape juice.

Non-alcoholic Option (Right)

Swap the vodka and replace with more of the cranberry juice.


Prep and cook 20 mins (+ refrigeration time) | Makes 1.5 litres (6 cups)

Stir 4 strips orange rind, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 8 cloves, ¼ cup caster sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 mins or until thickened slightly. Transfer to a heatproof jug; cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold. Strain mixture into a large jug. Add ⅓ cup brandy, 2 sliced white nectarines, 2 cups chilled sparkling mineral water and 750 ml bottle-chilled sparkling white wine (or moscato for a sweeter version). Top with fresh lemon balm or mint leaves.


Prep time 15 mins (+ refrigeration time) | Makes 1.5 litres (6 cups)

Combine 750 ml chilled ginger beer, 1 cup vodka and 2 cups cranberry juice in a large jug. Squeeze 3 limes to make ¼ cup juice. Stir the juice into jug. Serve topped with 1 cup ice cubes, fresh raspberries, mint sprigs and thinly sliced pear.

TIP: Make cocktail bases a few hours ahead. Add chilled sparkling liquids and ice just before serving.
My Reading Room
Non-alcoholic Option (Left)

Swap the wine for sparkling nonalcoholic wine.

Non-alcoholic Option (Right)

Drop the vodka and use sparkling apple juice instead.


Prep 10 mins | Makes 1.75 litres (7 cups)

Slowly pour two 750 ml bottles chilled sparkling dry white wine into a large serving jug. Add 1 cup elderflower cordial and 2 teaspoons angostura bitters; stir to combine. Serve with twists of orange rind and 1 cup crushed ice.

TIP: Get angostura bitters from liquor stores and elderflower cordial from supermarkets.


Prep and cook 20 mins (+ refrigeration time) | Makes 2.25 litres (9 cups)

Stir ⅓ cup apple vodka (or vodka), ¾ cup caster sugar, 2 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick and 3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme in a medium saucepan over medium heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; simmer for 10 mins. Cool; refrigerate until cold. Pour chilled syrup and 1 cup apple vodka (or vodka) into a large jug. Add 1 thinly sliced green apple, two 750 ml bottles chilled sparkling apple cider, 3 cups crushed ice and extra lemon thyme sprigs. Stir to combine.