Christmas Holiday Drinks

Kathleen Esposito

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

When people think of the holidays, they think of family feasts, but drinks are just as important for adding to the atmosphere. They can also be easy and fun to make.

Candy Cane Martini

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


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


  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.


  • 5 ounces store-bought eggnog
  • 1 ounce Southern Comfort
  • 1 ounce white chocolate liqueur


  1. Combine the ingredients in a mug.
  2. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or 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.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice


  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.


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


  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.


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


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

Pear Ginger Brew

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


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


  1. In a shaker with ice, combine the rum liqueur and lemon juice and shake.
  2. Strain the drink into a highball glass. Add ginger ale to the glass.
  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.


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


  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.


  • 1 ounce melon liqueur
  • 2 ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice


  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!


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


  1. Blend all of the ingredients for three minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture into a coffee mug.

If desired, add a candy cane for garnish.

Santa's Little Helper

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


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


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

Sparkle and Shine

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


  • 1 part mandarin liqueur
  • 4 parts Champagne


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

If these recipes seem a little too chilly, check out some hot Christmas drinks.

Kathleen Esposito
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Christmas Holiday Drinks