Snowball Cocktail

Snowball – A Christmas Classic

Every Christmas as a student in the early 1970s, I worked in a local pub. From opening to closing the pub was full, behind the bar was hectic, hard work but fun and most importantly, well paid.


Christmas was a time, when the pub saw many non-regulars as well as non regular drinkers. They were easily recognised by asking for a half of beer, even then we had about six beers on offer. Asking which beer normally caused confusion so Guinness which was the widest advertised, was often chosen which, by judging the number of unfinished drinks to clear up, wasn’t always received well!

The Snowball

Another memory from the era has to be the Snowball, throughout the rest of the year, we might have sold one or two a night, but come the Christmas season, snowballs ruled!

The Snowball is a strange drink, mixing Advocaat, a custard like liquid smelling strongly of eggs (which I admit not being too keen on) with lemonade, and adding a cherry for good measure. It seemed that once you sold one, it set others off, as the evening progressed, snowball sales seem to rise exponentially.

For us bar staff it had another consequence, empty snowball glasses had to be cleaned separately, the normal cleaner was ineffective.

New Year

New Years Eve seemed to be the last great snowball sale of the season, come January 2nd, things returned to normal, the bottle of Advocaat took its place at the back of the shelf, Babychams, Cherry Bs and Ponys (wine) again became the more likely drinks of the fairer sex.

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