Christmas Cocktails to Keep You Merry and Bright
The holiday season is upon us! That means plenty of parties and good cheer. Whether you’re hosting a relaxed, intimate gathering or are planning to spike a massive punch bowl, choosing the proper signature drink can make all the difference when trying to warm the hearts—and the bellies—of your near and dear ones.
Check out the recipes for a few of our favorite holiday cocktails:
Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with spiking grocery store eggnog, once you’ve had a taste of the homemade variety, you may never go back to drinking your nog from a carton. This recipe makes a thick, boozy concoction that’s best to drink after it’s been allowed to age and mellow in the fridge for a week or two.
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 pound sugar
- 1 pint half and half
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup rum
- 1 cup cognac
- 1 cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Separate the eggs and beat them together with sugar and nutmeg. Combine the other ingredients in a separate pitcher then slowly beat into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Store in the refrigerator in sealed glass jars until ready to drink. If stored properly, this concoction will keep in the fridge for months.
Wine and Sangria Punch
This punch is fizzy, spicy, and easy to mix ahead of time. Just be sure to add the ginger ale to each glass individually so it retains the carbonation.
- 2 bottles of your favorite dry red wine
- 1 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 2 oranges
- 4 purple plums
- 4 red plums
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- Ginger ale
Juice the oranges and mix with wine, brandy, and triple sec in a large pitcher. Slice the plums and add them to the mixture. Add two cinnamon sticks then refrigerate the punch overnight to allow the flavors to mingle. Serve over ice with a splash of ginger ale for fizz.
Grown-Up Hot Cocoa
A warm, comforting mug of hot cocoa is perfect on a cold winter’s night. An added shot of Baileys makes it even better. Brew a cup of your favorite hot cocoa mix then add a two-ounce shot of your favorite Baileys liqueur. Top with fresh whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy for a festive garnish.
Candy Cane Martini
Minty and full-bodied, this sweet martini is sure to be a hit. You can also make a “skinny” version of this cocktail by opting for low-fat condensed milk.
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part peppermint schnapps
- 1 part sweetened condensed milk
Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly before straining into a martini glass. A miniature candy cane makes the perfect garnish.
Hot Buttered Rum
This classic winter cocktail makes for a wonderful nightcap. The recipe makes a batch large enough to serve an entire party or simply enough to enjoy yourself for weeks to come.
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
- 2 ounces dark rum
Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer. Pour the batter out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a log. Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container in the fridge. When it’s time to mix the drink, remove the log and cut off an inch or so of the chilled mixture. Combine with dark rum and hot water to fill a mug. Stir and enjoy!
Warm spiced wine is a cozy favorite. This version can be made in your slow cooker for easy preparation during your next holiday get-together.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 10 whole cloves
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
In a slow cooker turned to low heat, combine all the ingredients. You can add the orange peel and zest to the mixture for a hint of citrus. Warm until the sugar has completely dissolved and the ingredients are fully blended then turn the heat setting to “warm.” Serve in mugs with a ladle.
This simple cocktail, named after the holiday flower, is always a party favorite. Its short ingredient list makes it easy to whip up.
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
Combine both ingredients in a champagne flute then top with your favorite bubbly. The end result is a deliciously effervescent concoction with a festive rosy hue.
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