18 Festive Christmas Holiday Drinks

Karen Frazier

Santa's Favorite Christmas Cocktails

The Christmas holidays provide plenty of opportunity for making fun holiday-themed cocktails. Whether you're hosting a Christmas open house or a huge family gathering, your guests are sure to love these fantastic Christmas drinks.

Candy Cane Martini

Start with a posh and festive drink like this recipe for a candy cane martini.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • Sugar or crushed candies, as garnish
  • Peppermint drop, as garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the schnapps and vodka with cracked ice and shake.
  2. Rim a martini glass with sugar and drop a peppermint in the bottom of the glass before pouring.

White Christmas Nog

Here's a tasty twist on the traditional eggnog.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces store-bought eggnog, chilled
  • 1 ounce Southern Comfort
  • 1 ounce white chocolate liqueur, chilled
  • Cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a mug. Stir.
  2. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a little sprinkle of nutmeg.

Christmas Cosmo Recipe

The Cosmopolitan actually makes a wonderful Christmas cocktail if you garnish it with some fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary to give it that "evergreen" look.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Cranberries and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Shake the ingredients with ice and strain them into a martini glass.
  2. Garnish with the rosemary sprig and cranberries.

Winter Breeze

Here's a smooth and creamy Christmas cocktail to try.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vanilla schnapps
  • 1 ounce créme de cacao
  • 1 ounce Irish cream
  • Milk

Instructions

  1. In a stemmed glass, combine the schnapps, créme de cacao, and Irish cream.
  2. Top off the glass with enough milk to fill it.
  3. Give the cocktail a gentle stir.

Cranberry Sauce

Fruit and fizz combine in this sparkling holiday cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce raspberry vodka
  • Lemon-lime soda

Instructions

  1. In a tall glass with some cracked ice, combine the juice and vodka.
  2. Top off the glass with the soda. Stir gently.

Pear Ginger Brew

Somewhat of an acquired taste, this drink has a distinct spice to it that is reminiscent of a hoppy beer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons light rum
  • 2 tablespoons pear flavored liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ginger ale

Instructions

  1. In a shaker with ice, combine the rum liqueur and lemon juice and shake.
  2. Strain the drink into a highball glass filled with ice. Add ginger ale to the glass. Stir gently.
  3. Garnish it with a slice of pear, if desired.

Holiday Mimosas to Share

While the mimosa already contains orange juice, this one has a little extra orange kick just for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 bottle dry Champagne

Instructions

  1. Dip each cocktail glass in water and then into the sugar to form a rim.
  2. Pour equal parts Grand Marnier into each glass.
  3. Add in the orange juice and then the Champagne. Do not stir.

This recipe serves 6.

Happy Elf

This drink is quick, easy to make, and sure to garner a smile or two. Use white cranberry juice if you want to achieve a bright green color.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce melon liqueur
  • 2 ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Frosty Returns

Pull out the blender for a real frosty delight!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 ounces peppermint schnapps
  • 3 ounces Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 3 ounces vanilla vodka
  • Candy cane for garnish

Instructions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients for three minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture into a coffee mug.
  3. Add a candy cane for garnish.

Santa's Little Helper

This tropical drink will make those cold winter nights not seem so frosty.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit vodka
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice

Instructions

  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass.

Sparkle and Shine

It just wouldn't be the holidays without Champagne. Grab your bottle and mix up this gem.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pour the liqueur into the glass, and then add the Champagne.
  2. Do not stir.
  3. Garnish with orange zest, if desired.

Gingerbread Man

Creamy, spicy, and delicious, this cocktail is bursting with Christmas flavors.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a cocktail glass. Run the orange wedge around the rim of the glass. Spread the demerara sugar in a shallow layer on a dish and dip the cocktail glass rim in the sugar.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rum, singer syrup, and RumChata. Shake.
  3. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass.
  4. Lightly grate nutmeg on the top of the drink to garnish.

Sugared Cranberry Garnish

Thread three of these cranberries on a skewer for garnish for the drink on the next slide, or to add a holiday twist to any of your cocktails.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and ½ cup of the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the cranberries, making sure all cranberries are coated with the syrup.
  3. Remove the cranberries from the syrup with a slotted spoon and allow them to dry on parchment for one hour.
  4. Put the remaining 1½ cups of sugar in a shallow dish. Working in baches, roll the cranberries in the sugar until coated. Allow to dry on parchment for one hour.
  5. Thread the cranberries onto skewers. Store in a tightly sealed bag until you're ready to use.

Festive Yule Mule

With a garnish of sugared cranberries, this festive Yule cocktail makes a great signature drink for parties.

Ingredients

  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces orange flavored vodka
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • Skewered sugared cranberries and lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the rosemary and simple syrup.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice. Add the vodka and cranberry juice. Shake.
  3. Strain into a chilled mule cup or rocks glass half filled with ice.
  4. Top with the ginger beer. Stir.
  5. Garnish with the skewered sugared cranberries and a lime slice.

Christmas Tree Shot

This layered shot takes a little patience to master, but once you get it down, it's a gorgeous and fun shot to offer your guests.

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • ½ ounce Midori melon liqueur
  • ½ ounce blackcurrant vodka

Instructions

  1. In a shot glass, pour the grenadine.
  2. Place a spoon over the shot glass, curved side up. Very slowly, pour the Midori over the back of the spoon to layer on top of the grenadine.
  3. Slowly pour the vodka over the back of the spoon so it layers on top of the Midori.

If you'd like to add another layer and you have a taller shot glass, you can layer ½ ounce of blue curaçao on top of the grenadine and underneath the Midori.

Fruitcake Cocktail

If you can't get enough of the holiday perennial favorite fruitcake, then this cocktail version is sure to tickle your tastebuds.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce cinnamon whiskey, such as fireball
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce amaretto
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • Bourbon cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, cinnamon whiskey, Cointreau, amaretto, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. Shake,
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a bourbon cherry.

Festive Cocktail Fun

Cocktails with a winter theme are perfect for Christmas. So are hot Christmas drinks, as well as traditional recipes such as wassail and hot buttered rum. Even the perfect wine or beer can help make your holiday bright. With so many ideas for cocktails perfect for the Christmas season, your holiday gatherings are certain to be a rousing success.

Karen Frazier
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18 Festive Christmas Holiday Drinks