Our Favourite Christmas Recipes



As the final flush of Spring gives way to the glow of holiday season, family and friends gather country-wide to toast the year that was. At the same time, Aria’s dining room hums with December festivity. Our kitchen is alive with the sizzle of the grill, the air fragrant with culinary creation. With Sydney Harbour stretching below and beyond, diners take to their plates and reminisce about the feasts and flavours they’ll enjoy on Christmas Day. 


It’s a time for togetherness. Sharing food and swapping recipes around laden tables. Languorous moments pouring drinks over tinkling ice. Laughing, singing, relaxing and re-energising. And who doesn’t have a favourite Christmas cocktail or yuletide dessert? 


Aria’s Head Bartender, Gunzan Lama, mixes his favourite Christmas cocktail, a Spiced Daiquiri, for our diners in the restaurant. It’s a treat for the taste buds. Recalling the sweetly spiced decadence of Christmas flavours, it’s like Christmas Pudding in a glass!  The recipe for this delicious, raisin-infused rum, toasted rice, cinnamon, bay leaf, lime and nutmeg cocktail is shown below. 


We’re also visiting Executive Chef, Joel Bickford’s prized Christmas recipe for sumptuous sherry-soaked trifle. This luscious dessert captures everything about Christmas in Australia. Beautiful summer fruits, gleaming ruby-red jelly, sherry-soaked madeira cake, creamy custard and a froth of chilled whipped cream…simply the best! 


Seasonal cheer at Aria Sydney is in full swing.  We hope that you’ll join us and enjoy our favourite Christmas foods around your own holiday tables. Merry Christmas! 

Joel's Christmas Trifle

“This trifle not only captures everything about Christmas in Australia but is also dear to my heart as it was the one dish that was my grandmother's speciality."


Enjoy creating Joel's Grandmother's delicious Christmas trifle, with beautiful summer fruits, jelly and chilled whipped cream, combined with custard and Madeira cake soaked in sherry.

•    2 x 85g packets strawberry jelly crystals
•    500ml boiling water
•    250g fresh strawberries, sliced
•    130g fresh raspberries
•    130g fresh blackberries
•    500ml  thick custard
•    250g packet Madeira cake
•    125ml sweet  sherry
•    300ml  thickened cream
•    2 teaspoons icing sugar
•    Extra fresh berries to serve

1. Dissolve the jelly crystals as per instructions.

2. Pour the jelly mixture into a large-glass heatproof bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until it's just beginning to set.

3. Stir through the strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.
4. Spoon the custard over the jelly. Slice the Madeira cake on top and arrange over the custard. Drizzle with sherry, whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks appear.

5. Top the trifle with cream mixture and cover with extra raspberries, blackberries and strawberries to serve.

6. Enjoy!


Gunzan's Christmas Spiced Daiquiri

Enjoy creating Head Bartender Gunzan's Christmas Spiced Daiquiri this season for your loved ones. It's a festive concoction of all the sweet spice flavours of Christmas, almost like drinking a Christmas pudding! 



•    60ml raisin infused rum

•    40ml toasted rice syrup

•    30ml freshly squeezed lime juice


1. To create the raisin infused rum: add 200gm of raisin into a jar, pour 500ml-700ml white rum, add 100gm white sugar. Close the lid tightly and let it sit on the shelf for at least 10 days. Gently shake the jar once every day. 
2. To create the toasted rice syrup: toast 200gm rice in a deep pan in low heat until slightly golden, then add 1 cinnamon quail, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 5-6 fresh bay leaf roughly shredded, 300gm sugar and 500ml water. Bring it to boil in low heat. Strain out all the solids, bottle the liquid and refrigerate. 
3. Shake all ingredients vigorously in your cocktail shaker, double strain into a coupette or a martini glass.

4. Garnish with nutmeg or cinnamon sprinkle on top.