Food & Drinks

Cocktail and mocktails for festive season


Hero Bar mixologists Chris Mbuo and Monica Riungu on December 7, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

December signals one thing –enjoyment. And as we know, there is no party or enjoyment without a cocktail or a mocktail.

Being a pandemic year, many Kenyans will prefer to host parties at home with a few people. So what cocktails and mocktails will you serve your guests?

Festive cocktails come in different styles; fruity, spicy, tropical to smoky. Nairobi’s top mixologists George Makali of Diageo, Monica Riungu, and Chris Mbuo from Hero Bar at Trademark Hotel, which made it to the World’s 50 best bars, share their recipes.

1. Boy Scout Ol’ fashion Cocktail

By mixologist Chris Mbuo from Hero Bar

Ingredients: Bourbon whisky, maple syrup, Angostura.

“We came up with this cocktail to pay homage to the scouts,” Chris says.

Just like scouts who go camping, this year has had many challenges. The cocktail is a classic since the bar opened in 2019, served in a Rocks Glass with the striking orange-reddish colour and garnished with two roasted marshmallows.

The secret for making a good Boy Scout Ol’ fashion Cocktail is to bite the marshmallow then take a sip of the drink. Ice cubes make the drink presentable, so there are nothing too many ice cubes.

boy scout

Boy Scout ol' Fashion cocktail made by mixologist Chris Mbuo on December 7, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


• 60ml Bulleit Bourbon

• 30ml maple syrup

• 4 dashes of Angostura bitters

• 2 roasted marshmallow to garnish


1. In a shaker, add all the ingredients. Shake with ice and double strain into a glass with one ice block.

2. Stir to a maximum of 10 revolutions, if the ice cubes are crushed makes it easier to dissolve.

3. Garnish with the roasted marshmallow, which you later smoke it.

2. Madafu Sawa Cocktail

By mixologist Monica Riungu of Hero Bar

Ingredients: Butter washed scotch

“The Madafu Sawa cocktail pays homage to the coconut culture,” says Monica.

It is a bestseller at the bar and restaurant. Served in a whisky glass, it is cream in colour and has a coconut taste as well as fermented essence. Take it at any time of the day.

“We take Johnnie Walker Black, mix with coconut shavings and coconut oil then let it sit for 24 hours. In the morning, you get coconut-washed whisky which we are going to use for Madafu Sawa,” Monica says.


Mixologist Monica Riungu making a Madafu Sawa cocktail on December 7, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


• 60ml coconut butter washed scotch

• 25ml simple syrup

• 30ml fresh lime

• 4 dashes coconut tincture

• Aquafaba (thick liquid that results from soaking or cooking legumes, such as chickpeas)

• 20ml chickpea brine

• Desiccated coconut to garnish


1. In a shaker, add all the ingredients. Shake with ice and double strain into a glass with one ice block.

2. Garnish it with coconut shavings

3. Tiktock Mocktail

By mixologist Monica Riungu of Hero Bar

Ingredients: Pineapple, chamomile

Monica says saying it is among her top mocktails. The Tiktok Mock Tail is a pre-batched drink.

“I make it a day or two before, we make a bunch of it then we sell it after it has stayed a day or two, to blend everything together,” Monica says.

Served separately in a glass bottle and a Gran Brandy glass with a striking cream colour, it had a sharp bitter-sweet taste that sends your taste buds craving some more.


A glass of Tiktock Mocktail by mixologist Monica Riungu. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


•  20ml pineapple shrub

•  20ml chamomile

•  1 pierced pineapple

•  1 thyme twig

•  50ml soda top up

4. Foggy Nelson Mocktail 

The inspiration behind the Foggy Nelson Mocktail is a comic book character where the ingredients are put together and shaken to give it a neat and even taste.

Served in a fancy Glen cairn Whiskey Glass, with its sharp creamy appearance the drink has a very sweet limey taste that is also child-friendly.


A Foggy Nelson Mocktail by mixologist Chris Mbuo. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


• 50ml pineapple juice

• 50 ml apple juice

• 20ml passion pulp

• 25ml lime

• Lime and thyme garnish


1. In a shaker, add all the ingredients.

2. Garnish it with lime and thyme and serve the children.

5. Eggnogs

George Makali, a Diageo mixologist says for the festive season, eggnogs are the right type of cocktails to stir up that Christmas mood.

Eggnog is a milk and egg drink traditionally served during the holidays. It is made with eggs, egg yolk, sugar, milk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. It is often spiked with brandy, rum, bourbon, or any spirit and topped with freshly grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon sticks.

There are two types of drinks. It could either be Aperitif, which is an alcoholic drink taken before the meal to induce appetite or a Digestif, which is a drink taken after dinner to help in digestion also known as ‘mouth washers.’

Digestifs are normally sweet which is the same as eggnogs. Hence eggnogs are preferably taken after an enjoyable festive meal.

Contents of Eggnogs

a). Egg yolks: The yolks are raw and whisked with other ingredients and refrigerated. The copious amount of alcohol added in the recipe controls the Salmonella bacteria from thriving hence making eggnogs safe to consume.

b). Sugar: Depending on how sweet you want the Eggnogs, equal proportions of sugar will be added.

c). Whole milk: This is the foundation of eggnogs.

d). Heavy Cream: Added to make eggnogs rich and creamy.

e). Spirit- Bourbon/Rum/Cognac: Choice of the spirit depends on personal preference and taste.

f). Nutmeg: Freshly grated nutmeg always compliments the recipe. Other alternatives would include; cinnamon and vanilla.

g). Whipped Egg whites (optional): Adding whipped egg whites lightens up your eggnogs.


Mixologist George Makali preparing a Singleton whisky on November 18, 2021. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

EGGNOG 1: Fussy Raindeer


• 12 large eggs

• 1 litre heavy cream

• 1 litre light cream

• 0.5 litre Bulleit Bourbon

• 1 litre Captain Morgan Rum

• Freshly grated nutmeg

• 0.5 litre sugar syrup


a). Beat the eggs until whites and yolks are thoroughly mixed.

b). Add preferred spirit slowly while stirring to prevent precipitation of egg proteins.

c). Beat heavy cream in a separate bowl until it peaks, then add into Egg+Spirit mix.

d). Add light cream while stirring.

e). Add sugar while mixing.

f). Add nutmeg to taste.

g). Store in the refrigerator uncovered for at least one night.

h). Seal container and keep refrigerated for 3-4 weeks.

i). Serve per glass and garnish with cinnamon sticks and vanilla powder.

6. Christmas Mocktail


• 50 ml Apple Cider

• 50 ml Cranberry juice

• 15 ml pumpkin syrup

• 15 ml peppermint+ Rosemary syrup.


1. Shake up

2. Top up with Gingerale

7. Children’s Mocktail


• 50 ml cream

• 50 ml strawberry juice

• 15 ml chocolate syrup


1. Shake up

2. Top up pineapple juice

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