It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and even though holiday festivities might look different this year, there’s still plenty of cheer to be had. This time of year is meant for entertaining, and you can keep the festive spirit alive by creating an intimate Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s celebration — even if it’s just for your household. To start, treat yourself to a menu of beverages perfect for making spirits merry and bright. We’ve rounded up some delightful holiday cocktails from popular liquor brands, including seasonal versions of classic recipes, warm beverages ideal for cozy nights and Zoom calls, and sparkling drinks meant for ringing in the new year (and saying an emphatic goodbye to 2020).
First, you’ll need the right tools, if you don’t already have them. Pick up a cocktail shaker, jigger, and bar spoon — this kit sold on Amazon has you covered. Rocks glasses, coupes, and Collins glasses are all great to have on hand at this time of year (and all year round). And don’t worry if your bar cart is looking a little bare — you can have your favorite spirits and mixers delivered ASAP, thanks to Drizly.
Holiday Cocktail Recipes
- 2 oz. Bacardi Superior White Rum
- 0.75 oz. evaporated milk
- 0.75 oz. condensed milk
- 1 oz. cream of coconut (preferably Coco Lopez)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 pinch cinnamon
Directions: Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice, then strain into a glass mug. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and coconut flakes.
Tanteo Tequila Spicy Gingerbread Margarita
- 1.5 oz. Tanteo Chipotle Tequila
- 0.5 oz. Monin gingerbread syrup
- 0.5 oz. agave nectar
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. apple cider
Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled glass.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Milk Punch
- 2 cups cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- 0.75 cup sifted powdered sugar
- Half of a vanilla bean
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Directions: In a metal bowl over an ice bath, whisk sugar, cream, milk, and bourbon until nice and frothy. Add vanilla bean and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Place pitcher in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring on occasion. Pour into a glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
- 1.5 oz. Patrón Reposado
- 0.75 oz. rosemary simple syrup
- 0.75 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. pomegranate juice
- 1 oz. cranberry Juice
- 2 oz. club soda
Directions: Combine all ingredients except soda water in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and combine, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
- 1.5 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
- 0.5 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
- 4 oz. ginger beer
Directions: Build all ingredients in a mule mug over ice. Garnish with cranberries and fresh rosemary.
The Botanist Pomegranate Martini
- 2.5 oz. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
- 0.5 oz. dry vermouth
- 1 tbsp. fresh pomegranate arils
Directions: Muddle pomegranate arils with gin and steep for one to two hours. Add the infused gin and vermouth to a mixing glass with ice, then stir to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.
- 2 oz. D’ussé Cognac
- 3 oz. cloudy apple cider
- 1 oz. pomegranate juice
- 0.25 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
Directions: Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake until cold. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with an orange wheel and cinnamon stick.
The Holiday Jam
- 0.75 oz. Cointreau
- 2 oz. vodka
- 0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
- 0.25 oz. cranberry juice
- 1 bar spoon blackberry jam
Directions: Add all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and shake. Fine strain into a glass. Garnish with blackberries.
- 6 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
- 4 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. lime juice
- 12 oz. water
- 4 dashes aromatic bitters
Directions: Add all ingredients to a punch bowl and whisk briskly to combine, aerating the cocktail just like shaking would. Add ice to punch bowl. Stir the cocktail to incorporate all ingredients and chill. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with a pinch of nutmeg and lime wedge.
- 1 cup Blue Chair Bay® Vanilla Rum
- 1 cup Blue Chair Bay® Coconut Spiced Rum Cream
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup eggnog
- 2 tbsps. molasses, plus more for drizzling
- 1 pinch ground ginger
- Whipped cream, for topping
- Caramel, for topping
Directions: Serves 4 cocktails. First, wet the rims of your glasses and dip in cinnamon sugar. Add eggnog, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum Cream and Vanilla Rum, molasses, ginger, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine, and pour into rimmed glasses. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel before serving.
- 0.75 oz. Campari
- 0.75 oz. 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso
- 1.5 oz. Russell’s Reserve 10-year-old Bourbon
Directions: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, then stir and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Warm Cocktails for Cozy Nights
Traditional Irish Coffee
- 1.5 oz. Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar syrup
- 3 oz. freshly brewed coffee
- 3 oz. heavy cream, lightly whipped
- Grated nutmeg
Directions: Rinse coffee glass with hot water, then add brown sugar syrup and whiskey to glass. Fill mug with coffee. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon, if desired.
Chocolate Ahumado (Smoked Chocolate)
- ¼ Taza Chocolate disc (add more for a richer consistency)
- 6 oz. oat milk, heated
- 1.5 oz. Ojo de Tigre Mezcal
Directions: Warm a soup pan over medium heat and add oat milk, chocolate, and a touch of grated cinnamon. Allow ingredients to warm and slowly integrate. Once chocolate and cinnamon have fully dissolved into the milk, pour into a warm beverage mug. Add 1.5 ounces of mezcal, and stir to blend. Garnish with marshmallows and lightly grate more cinnamon on top.
Sailor Jerry Hot Chocolate
- 1 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
- 1 oz. butterscotch schnapps
- 1.5 oz. almond milk
- 3 oz. dark hot chocolate
- Dash of sea salt
- Whipped cream
Directions: Heat milk and dark hot chocolate until combined and smooth. Add rum, butterscotch schnapps, and sea salt, then stir. Serve in a tall mug and garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Sparkling New Year’s Eve Cocktails
- 1 oz. Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège
- 0.25 oz. lemon juice
- 0.25 oz. simple syrup
- 4 oz. Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
Directions: Shake Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice, then strain into a chilled Champagne glass. Top slowly with three to four ounces of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
Mionetto Italian 75
- 3 oz. Mionetto Prosecco Brut DOC
- 2 oz. St-Germain Liqueur
- Soda water
Directions: Pour the Mionetto into a glass with ice, add two ounces of St-Germain Liqueur, and top with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
The Mexican 75
- 1.5 oz. El Tesoro Extra Añejo Tequila
- 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz. agave syrup
Directions: Mix all ingredients except Champagne in a shaker with ice; strain into flutes. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon peel.
- 0.75 oz. Absolut Vodka
- 0.75 oz. cranberry juice
- 0.25 oz. triple sec
- 0.25 oz. lime juice
Directions: Add the first four ingredients to a Champagne flute and top with Champagne.
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