It’s time for the days to be merry and bright, and the best way to do that is to make cocktails (and lots of them). It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a small intimate gathering for friends, meeting up with everyone in your extended family’s family or just kicking it solo in front of a fireplace, the holidays are a great time to mix up a delicious drink.
Not only do cocktails help create a feeling of merriment, but they allow you to show your loved ones that you care about them — you want them to feel good, to relax, to take in the joy that comes from realizing you’ve made it to and through another holiday season. The year is almost over so even if 2018 wasn’t the kindest, 2019 is right around the corner.
Below, you’ll find our picks for the best holiday cocktails out there. Mix up one, two, or all of them for a holly, jolly holiday.
- 2 oz Mount Gay XO Rum
- 3 oz vanilla almond milk
- .5 oz clove syrup
Method: Add all ingredients to shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into chilled rocks glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon.
The Jeff Spicoli Special
(Created by Johnny Swet, JIMMY at The James, New York City)
- 1.5 ounces Montelobos Mezcal
- .75 oz Montenegro Amaro
- 2 bar spoons pumpkin butter
- 4 drops CBD
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- CBD gummy
Method: Add the first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into a snifter with crushed ice and garnish with a CBD gummy.
- 150 ml of Rekorderlig Apple Cider
- 30ml spiced rum
- 1.5 tsp of pear puree
- Dash of bitters
- 1 egg white
Method: Mix all of the ingredients except the cider together. Gently heat the cider and pour into the mixed ingredients. Gently stir and pour into an insulated glass. Garnish with a slice of pear.
Lillet on Holiday
- 1.5 oz Plymouth gin
- 1 oz Lillet Rose
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .25 oz bitter citrus liqueur
- 2 dashes cranberry bitters
- Top with Champagne
Method: Combine all ingredients except for Champagne in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into coupe top with Champagne. Garnish with cranberries.
Hot ta Trot
- .5 oz Bourbon Barreled Big Gin
- .5 oz Giffard Apricot Brandy
- 4 oz hot water (nearly boiling)
- .25 oz JM Cane Syrup
- .25 oz lemon juice
Method: Preheat cup for hot drink. Build drink and top with hot water. Garnish with clove-studded lemon peel
The Salty Caramel
(Created at Ocean Prime New York, New York City)
- 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
- 1 oz Giffard Vanille De Madagascar
- .5 oz Baileys Irish Cream Salted Caramel Liqueur
- 2 oz half & half
- 1 oz caramel
- 1 egg white
Method: Combine all ingredients in small shaker. Fill larger shaker with ice and shake vigorously until mixture is integrated and chilled. Strain cocktail into chilled coupe and garnish with smoked sea salt.
Blackberry Mulled Wine
(Created by HelloFresh)
- 1 bottle red wine
- .5 cup brandy
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup blackberries
- .25 cup maple syrup
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 4-5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
Method: Pour a bottle of wine into pot of pan. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, orange juice, apple cider, honey and blackberries to pot. Heat wine, do not boil. We recommend simmering 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will allow the flavors of the spices and wine to meld. Serve in mugs and garnish with fresh blackberries and cinnamon stick. Add whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed peppermint.
Lone Star Sparkler
(Created by William Grant & Sons Director of Brand Advocacy Charlotte Voisey)
- 2 oz sparkling wine
- 1.5 oz Fistful of Bourbon
- 2 oz pear puree
- .75 oz ginger syrup
- .5 oz lemon juice
Method: Combine ingredients except for sparkling wine and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a star anise.
Peanut Butter Eggnog
(Created for OB Surf Lodge, in San Diego)
- 1 cup Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- .5 cup cognac
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups milk
- 6 tbsp superfine sugar
- 3 eggs
Method: Beat yolks in a bowl until thick. Slowly beat in sugar, then whisk in milk and cream. Mix in Skrewball dark rum and cognac. Before serving, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold white in to eggnog and sprinkle with fresh-grated nutmeg.
- 2 oz earl grey-infused Bluewater Vodka*
- 1 oz Wintersun Organic Aquavit
- 1 oz half & half
- .75 oz honey syrup (50/50 honey/water)
- .5 oz ginger simple
- 2 droppers allspice tincture
- 1 dropper cardamom tincture
- .5 dropper black pepper tincture
- .5 dropper clove tincture
Method: Shake + strain into a tall martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon sugar rim + top with 4 sprays cinnamon tincture.
*Earl Grey-infused vodka: Add 4 tablespoons loose leaf earl grey tea to Bluewater 80-Proof Vodka and infuse for 4-6 hours (depending on the temperature of the room/warmer, you can infuse in less time).
Kim Crawford Blanc Hot Chocolate
- 4 oz Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
- .75 oz crème de cacao (white)
- 3 oz hot water
- 3 Tbsp sweet ground white chocolate powder
- Pinch white chocolate nibs
- 3-4 meringues
Method: Pre-warm an 8-10 oz coffee mug. In a saucepan, combine white chocolate powder with hot water to make into a rich syrup. Add crème de cacao and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. Stir until ingredients are hot. Pour into pre-warmed mug. Garnish with white chocolate nibs and meringues floated on top just before serving.
- 2 oz Balcones Baby Blue
- .75 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz rosemary simple syrup
- .25 oz orange juice
- 1 tsp maple
- 1 tsp orange marmalade
- 1 egg white
- Lemon twist & rosemary sprig for garnish.
Method: Mix juices, syrups, marmalade, and egg white. Shake with no ice until frothy. Add ice and Baby Blue. Shake until cold. Strain and serve.
- 2 parts Bacardí Superior Rum
- 1 part coconut creme (preferably Coco Lopez)
- .75 part of evaporated milk
- .75 part of condensed milk
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Coconut flakes & cinnamon sticks for garnish
Method: Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice and strain into a glass mug. Garnish with cinnamon and coconut flakes.
- 4 c Virtue Cider Michigan Apple
- 2 c non-alcoholic cider
- .5 cup of your favorite spirit (whiskey, rum, brandy, etc.)
- Mulling spices
- .25 c brown sugar
- .25 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 whole allspice
- 1 juniper berry
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Method: Heat all ingredients in a saucepan, but take care not to boil. Add any spirits with the heat source off. Ladle around the spices and serve in your favorite mug. Garnish with apple slices.
Sparkling Winter Wonderland
- 6 oz Truly Spiked & Sparkling Grapefruit & Pomelo
- 1 oz vodka
- .5 oz crème de menthe
- 2 dashes silver edible disco dust
Method: Combine the vodka and crème de menthe in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour mixture into glass and garnish with Truly Spiked & Sparkling Grapefruit & Pomelo and 2 dashes of disco dust. Note: Upgrade your glass game by using this snow globe shaped cocktail glass.