The holiday season is almost upon us and it’s the time that friends like to get together and party. Various drinks are made and shared, with specialist versions of a lot of favorites available in the stores. This is the time that people are willing to try something new and want to make something special when they have parties.
Cocktails can be holiday inspired. There’s no need to trial with a few juices, spices, and alcohols. You can make holiday-themed cocktails that everyone will love immediately.
These holiday cocktails are the ones that you want to try this season. Whether you’re looking for alcoholic or non-alcoholic there is something for all guests. They all bring out the tastes of the season, whether you want a warmed mulled wine or need something with a bit of a bounce.
Milled Wine with Cranberries
Let’s start with some homemade mulled wine. This is one of the most popular fall and winter drinks, especially around the Christmas season. While you can usually buy a bottle of premade mulled wine in the store, there’s something about making your own.
This is something that you can make without alcoholic wine, too. A dry red wine is best, so look out for a non-alcoholic version of this to make a driver-friendly version for your guests.
The cocktail will take around 25 minutes to make. This is to simmer the ingredients together and create the delicious mix and scents.
- 1 ½ cups of cranberry juice cocktail
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 3 cups of dry red wine
- ½ cup of fresh cranberries
- Combine the cranberry juice, cinnamon, sugar, and star anise in a saucepan over a medium heat, and simmer for 15 minutes
- Add the wine and fresh cranberries and simmer for another 5 minutes
Serve the wine while it’s still warm. You can make this ahead of time and store in a jug, just reheat on the stove when it comes ready to serve it to your guests.
You can add a range of other spices if you want to add a more fall taste to it. Try some nutmeg and ginger for a delicious taste.
Apple Brandy Cordials
Another delicious cocktail to make is apple brandy cordials. This isn’t one that is easily turned into a non-alcoholic version, so you’ll want to make sure you have an alternative available for the drivers. The brandy will help to add a sense of warmth, even when you serve it over ice!
It only takes 10 minutes to make this delicious cocktail. You’ll only get four glasses out of a serving though. If you’re having a lot of guests make more than you need. It’s an easy cocktail to store in the fridge for a few days!
- ¾ cup of brand
- ½ cup of apple juice
- 1/3 cup of Cointreau
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1/2tsp angostura bitters
- Garnish: apple slices
- Mix everything except the garnishing in a pitcher and stir to combine
- Place ice in each of your glasses and pour the brandy over the top
- Garnish the glasses with your apple slices
You can heat this up if you want, however you’ll want to use apple cider rather than apple juice if you do this. There will be a slightly thicker taste to the cocktail when you opt for this.
Eggnog is one of the most popular cocktails drank at Christmas time. A lot of people will avoid it because of the use of eggs. If you’re not comfortable drinking uncooked eggs, then you can avoid it if you want. However, it’s a delicious way to complete the Christmas season with your friends.
This recipe is one of the easiest eggnogs you’ll make. It’s all done in the blender, so you just must add the ingredients and mix. There’s no need for lots of measuring spoons.
It’s best using brandy, but you can also add cognac or Bourbon if you’re really like. There isn’t a non-alcoholic version that quite tastes right, unfortunately. Encourage your friends to leave the car at home and come over for a sleepover or to get a taxi home and enjoy the cocktails.
The recipe does take 20 minutes to make. You can store the mixture in the fridge after creating it, but there’s no need to like with other eggnog recipes.
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1/4tsp nutmeg
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup of brandy
- Add the cream, sugar, and nutmeg to a saucepan over a medium to low heat and allow to simmer
- Place the eggs in a blender, and mix on a low speed for a minute
- Add the cream mixture to the eggs, preferably while the motor is still running, and blend for 30 seconds
- Add the brandy and blend just to combine it all
Serve the drink while it’s still warm. If you want to put it in the fridge, heat it through on a stove slowly, only until it simmers. You don’t want to cook the eggs through!
Grape and Rosemary Gin Cocktails
It’s time to pull the gin out for your holiday cocktails. This is one of the more popular liquors to put into cocktails and works extremely well with grape juice and fresh rosemary. Try to use the fresh lemon juice for this recipe rather than buying a bottle of it. You’ll just get a better and fruitier taste to your cocktail.
If you don’t like club soda, you can switch to tonic water instead. Both have very slightly different tastes to them and you can tell the difference even in a cocktail. Work with whatever you prefer.
- ½ cup of sugar
- 8 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 cup of grape juice
- ¾ cup of gin
- ½ cup of club soda
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Grapes for garnishing
- Mix the sugar and half the rosemary springs in ½ a cup of water in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat
- Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and allow to cool
- Strain the sugar mixture into a large pitcher and then add the grape juice, club soda, gin, and lemon juice, stirring to fully combine
- Fill your glasses with ice and pour the cocktail over the top
Garnish with the grapes and one sprig of rosemary for each glass. If you want to make some ahead of time, you’ll want to store in the fridge. There’s no need to reheat anything before serving as this is best served cold.
Lemon Gin Soda
This is another popular option when you want to use gin. The honey will help to add a sweet taste. It will also take less time to make than the previous gin cocktail. Like with the previous mixture, opt for fresh lemon juice for a sweeter and better taste. You can also opt for tonic water rather than club soda if you prefer.
- ½ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of honey
- 1 cup of club soda
- ¾ cup of lemon juice
- ¾ cup of fin
- Lemon wedges for garnishing
- Place the sugar in a cup of water in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for a few minutes
- Remove from the heat and then add the honey, stirring to combine
- Allow the mixture to cool
- Pour the sugar into a pitcher and add the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon wedges
- Fill your glasses with ice and pour the gin cocktail over the top
Serve the lemon wedges as a garnish with your glasses. You can add a little nutmeg or cinnamon to this drink if you want. Add it at the same time as the honey to help all the scents and tastes combine.
Mango and Orange Fizzes
While mango and oranges are usually ingredients linked to the summer months, they’re also delicious for Christmas cocktails. This is a delicious sparkling cocktail that can be used for celebrating special occasions or using as an after-dinner drink.
You can make a non-alcoholic version of this. Opt for non-alcoholic white wine and make your own non-alcoholic version of orange bitters or buy a non-alcoholic version. However, you’re only using a teaspoon of the bitters, which when separated among the drinks will be negligible for those who just want one drink.
- 1tbsp sugar
- 1 orange wedge
- 2 ½ cups of sparkling wine
- ¾ cup of mango nectar
- 1tsp orange bitters
- Orange zest twists for garnishing
- Rub the rims of four champagne flutes with the orange wedge and dip them in the sugar to coat the rim
- Combine the rest of the ingredients, except the orange zest twists, in a pitcher and combine
- Pour the drink into the flutes and garnish each one with an orange twist in the middle
It will be very easy to drink too many of these without realizing, as the mango nectar overpowers the taste of the wine. Even if you’re not driving, you’ll want to think about being sensible with your tipple.
Bloody Mary with a Chili Spice Twist
How about a twist on a traditional cocktail? You can also make your own virgin Bloody Mary and still get the same holiday theme. The chili spice helps to add the heat, which will warm you deep inside and make you feel like it’s the middle of winter.
The cocktails only take 10 minutes to create. Make sure you have plenty of ingredients for more than the one glass!
- 3 cups of tomato juice
- ¾ cup of vodka
- 2/3 cup of fresh lime juice
- 2tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1tsp horseradish
- 1/2tsp salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2tsp hot sauce
- Celery sticks and jalapeno peppers for garnishing
- Mix everything except the garnishing ingredients together in a pitcher to combine
- Pop ice in your glasses and pour the cocktails over the top
- Garnish with the celery sticks and peppers and serve to your guests
Some people will like more of a kick to their drinks. Offer the hot sauce, horseradish, or Worcestershire sauce on the side for people to add if they want.
Lime and Chartreuse Cocktails
Finally, it’s time to try something different. There are chances that you overlook the Chartreuse liqueur. This is a French liqueur with a slight green coloring, often confused for absinthe. It’s not quite as strong as its sister. It’s something worth trying and when better than over the Christmas season when you’re more likely to enjoy trying new things?
The cocktail is another one that only takes 10 minutes to work. Because of the nature of the Chartreuse, there isn’t a non-alcoholic version of this to do instead. Opt for fresh lime juice for best results with this cocktail and you can switch out the club soda for tonic water if you prefer.
- ½ cup of light rum
- ½ cup of club soda
- 1/3 cup of Chartreuse liqueur
- 1/3 cup of lime juice
- Maraschino cherries for garnishing
- Combine everything except the cherries in a large pitcher and stir to combine
- Serve your drink over ice with the cherries to garnish
Try putting a couple of cherries on a toothpick to serve over the top. You can also serve with olives if you prefer.
Plan Your Get Together with Your Friends
Now it’s time for you to plan your get together with your friends. Throw a party and put together a few of the cocktails for everyone to try. It’s worth offering some non-alcoholic versions when you know people are driving, so they don’t feel like they’re missing out.
When you are opting for alcoholic drinks, make sure you drink with caution. It’s best to drink in moderation when alcohol is involved, even if you are going to stay home and enjoy a night in with the girlfriends.