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Warm up your Christmas gathering with these hot alcoholic drinks

Ready for something special in your cocktail glass this holiday season? Here are a few fantastic festive recipes

The holidays are just about here, which means you’re likely done with shopping or at least on the home stretch. That’s a victory worth celebrating, especially in the midst of festive gatherings and holiday meals. Given the special time of year, you deserve a special cocktail to match. And the best thing about winter? It’s the perfect time for a hot alcoholic drink.

So as you gear up for Christmas parties, White Elephant gatherings, and NYE shenanigans, keep these four great holiday cocktails in mind. They will impress, whether you’re batching up a bunch for company or just yourself. Glasses are raised often this time of year, fill it with something exceptional.

Sama Toddy

A Sama Toddy cocktail on the table.
Sama Street

This lovely winter warmer from Brooklyn’s Sama Street takes Japanese whisky to new heights. The addition of galangal, or Thai ginger, makes it exceptional, and the yuzu juice stitches everything together without a seam.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Japanese whisky (preferably Suntory Toki)
  • 1/2 ounce yuzu Juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 0.5oz galangal honey*
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 ounces water
  • 50 grams galangal, sliced
  • 2 1/2 ounces hot water (ideally 195 F)
  • Dehydrated lemon


*Galangal Honey: combine honey and water in a saucepan and heat until incorporated. Then, transfer to a blender and add galangal. Lastly, blend, strain and cool.

  1. Pour all ingredients into a warmed tea cup, stir and garnish with dehydrated lemon.

Toasted Ghost Cocoa

A Toasted Ghost Cocoa cocktail in a mug.
Ghost Tequila

Tequila and chocolate work wonders together, especially when hit with the warming, spicy tones of cinnamon. It’s a recipe from the good folks at Ghost Tequila and is guaranteed to take the chill out of the biggest winter storms.


  • 2 ounces Ghost Tequila
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces milk of choice
  • 1 ounce agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but worth it)
  • Top with whipped cream and rim with crushed peppermint candies


  1. Begin with heating milk of choice, then combine tequila, cocoa powder, agave syrup and cinnamon.
  2. Stir until well mixed and cocoa powder has dissolved.
  3. Then, transfer to a mug and top with whipped cream and rim with crushed peppermint candies to garnish.

Yum Cha

A Yum Cha cocktail made by Death and Co.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This cocktail is from the mixologists at Death and Co. and also capitalizes on some good Japanese whisky. The incorporation of banana liqueur is brilliant and really brings things up a notch. At the bar, they offer a standard version with Suntory and a more refined version with the single malt whisky.


  • 1 ounce Suntory Toki (backup option is Hakushu 12-Year Single Malt)
  • 2 ounces hot water
  • 1 ounce chocolate tea concentrate (decaf)
  • 1 teaspoon Tempus Fugit Banana liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon demerara syrup
  • 1 drop hazelnut extract
  • Banana chip for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mug and stir.
  2. Garnish with a banana chip.

Vintage Eggnog

A Vintage Egg Nog from Death and Co.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This Death and Co. drink is one of their seasonal classics and can be made cold or warm. Given that it’s the snowy season, we suggest warming the finished product on low over the stove for a bit. It’s proof that eggnog loves company, especially a little booze.


  • 1/2 ounce Old Grandad 114 Bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
  • 1/4 ounce H&H Rainwater Madeira
  • 1/4 ounce Frapin VS Cognac
  • 1 ounce white sugar
  • 2 ounces whole milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 whole egg


  1. Blend sugar and milk until dissolved.
  2. Blend eggs and milk on very low speed until incorporated.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Store in glass bottles for long term storage.
  5. Age anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years, or serve immediately.
  6. Pour into a flip and garnish with grated nutmeg

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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