1 The Best Winter Sun Cocktails - The Battered Black Book

The Best Winter Sun Cocktails

By Anya Cooklin-Lofting

‘Tis the season to book your flights for a Christmas break under a golden sun, basking in the rays, paddling in the sea and enjoying a cocktail (or two) in a fabulous hotel bar. The pacing of a ‘winter sun’ holiday spent in one of the world’s finest winter sun destinations is one of life’s greatest balms; rising with the sun, enjoying a long, lazy morning with fresh fruit and coffee for breakfast, and wiling by the pool or the sea with a page-turner without even a glance at your inbox, and venturing to the spa or a local restaurant for lunch. As evening approaches, perhaps you don something special, silky or colourful, and wander down to the bar for a cocktail in the warm breeze before your dinner reservation. In fact, it is this very cocktail that will set the tone for the evening – the bite of the spirit, the twist of the citrus and the unexpected yet welcome sweetness from mango or passionfruit, characteristic of your chosen winter sun holiday destination. 

This month, we have rallied the troops of some of the very best hotels and restaurants in top winter sun holiday destinations to share their favourite cocktail recipes for summoning the splendour of the sunshine over your forthcoming Christmas break. So, here’s a snapshot of what to look out for, and look forward to, as you saunter down to the hotel bar or the beachside restaurant…

The Gagaito

Tall and refreshing, the Gagaito cocktail has been developed by Dalibor Mujovic, the Mixologist and Bar Manager at Parrot Bay by COMO in Turks and Caicos. Mujovic has managed exquisite bars all over the world, and before joining the West Indies COMO outpost, he worked in Montenegro and Phuket, Thailand with the AMAN group. His recipe for the Gagaito combines the fresh, light flavours of basil and cucumber with the clean astringency of Sake, and the spicy kick of Bombay Saphire gun. For length and mellowness, the ingredients are topped up with club soda and garnished with cucumber and basil, a nod to the flavours the Majovic shakes over ice.


2 oz Bombay Saphire gin

1 oz Dassai 45 Sake

½ oz Agave Syrup

Basil & Cucumber

Club Soda (top up)

Method: Build all ingredients in a shaker with ice & shake vigorously. Strain cocktail into high ball glass with ice.

Garnish: Cucumber slice & Basil leaf


The Amazonia

Visitors to the luxurious, exclusive and decadent island of Ibiza will find the Amazonia cocktail amongst the self-proclaimed laid-back, barefoot-chic ambience of Aiyanna, a restaurant on the fashionable east coast of the island. Last year, Aiyanna was listed and recommended by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the best beach clubs in the world, and it’s not a stretch to see why. This year, its cocktail menu is inspired by the fifth centenary of global travel, drawing on the flavours we associate with different cities and countries to inform the palette of each delectable drink. For example, Aiyanna’s Hanami cocktail is named for the Japanese word meaning, ‘the pleasure of looking at a flower.’ The Amazonia represents Africa in the sprawling list of geographical influences with flavours including mango, coconut, and amaretto.

The Amazonia

Add ice to a blender and then add the following ingredients:

5 cl. of cahaça

3 cl. coconut milk

2 cl. lemon juice

3 cl. amaretto liqueur

10 cl. mango juice

Blend well and serve in a glass with fruit to decorate and finish with cocoa powder on top


The Parrot Cay Smoker

Back to Mujovic at Parrot Bay with an eponymous cocktail that combines some of the most archetypal Caribbean flavours to bring hotel guests a punchy, indulgent, spiced beverage that will forever remind them of their stay. The Parrot Cay Smoker is a vanilla-infused rum cocktail with ginger wine, lime juice and homemade island coconut syrup served with a dried orange wheel and smoked with a smoke gun. The adventurous, theatrical cocktail is a feast for the eyes, unforgettably fragrant and light but substantial on the tongue. 

Parrot Cay Smoker

1 ½ oz Bambarra reserve rum infused with Vanilla sticks

¾ oz Ginger wine

¾ oz Lime juice

¼ oz Homemade island coconut syrup

Build all ingredients in a shaker with ice & shake vigorously. Strain cocktail into rock glass with ice

Garnish with dried orange wheel and vanilla stick

Use a smoke gun to smoke the cocktail


Ibiza Affair

Amante Ibiza is perched, rather idyllically, on a dramatic cliff overlooking the stunning Sol D’en Serra Bay on Ibiza’s untouched north-eastern coast. Arrive for sunset and browse the extensive cocktail menu, keeping a special eye out for the Ibiza Affair, which comes recommended by the bar team for its nuanced palette. The tongue-tingling tartness of passionfruit is fused with the innocent sweetness of strawberry, which is then cut through with pungent ginger juice and a kick of Bombay Sapphire gin. 

Ibiza Affair

Add ice to a blender and then add the following ingredients:

50ml Bombay sapphire

20ml passion fruit

70 ml fresh strawberry

20 ml ginger juice

Blend well and serve in a glass with fruit to decorate