10 Christmas Cocktails You Need for Your Holiday Get-Together


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The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a blur for many people, and that’s largely thanks to alcohol. Even if you’re not a frequent drinker, we’re willing to bet your alcohol consumption increases around the holiday season. Everyone drinks more around special occasions. Give these 10 Christmas cocktails a try to make this holiday season a little sweeter!

1. Homemade Eggnog

Instead of buying cheap eggnog from the store, why not make the actual recipe at home? You might already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen. The only tricky part is mixing the eggs. Mixing the yolks and egg whites separately will give the drink a more wispy texture. Everything else can mix together right away. Add ice and enjoy!

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup rum, bourbon or brandy
  • Garnish: grated nutmeg

2. Naughty or Nice

The appropriately named “Naughty or Nice” is one of the most underrated Christmas cocktails. It combines a handful of dry, savory alcoholic beverages with crisp ginger ale, with the orange slices providing a perfect hint of citrus. These are the recommended measurements for each ingredient, but you’re welcome to increase the alcohol content to make it a little naughtier.

  • 3 oz. chardonnay
  • 3 oz. pinot noir
  • 2 oz. cognac
  • 2 oz. maraschino liqueur
  • 4 oz. ginger ale
  • Garnish: blood orange slices

3. Winter Sour

The Winter Sour is pretty tame compared to the other Christmas cocktails on this list, which makes it perfect for long nights of drinking. You can sip on this drink for hours without getting too drunk. It’s light and airy, but still packs a punch thanks to the sour ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 oz. clover honey syrup*
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 1/2 oz. Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 oz. egg white
  • Garnish: rosemary sprig

4. The Nice List

The Nice List puts a clever Christmas-themed twist on the classic Cosmopolitan, making it a great drink choice for sophisticated evenings around the holidays. The spiced cranberry syrup is the key ingredient that gives the drink its red coloring and sweet & spicy notes. Feel free to add more Cointreau or peach mead if you prefer one flavor over the other.

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. peach mead
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 oz. spiced cranberry syrup
  • Garnish: dehydrated orange wheel

5. Tea & Krampus

For whatever reason, this drink is named after a mythological demonic creature who would punish children for misbehaving around Christmas time. The ingredients are much sweeter than the drink’s namesake, though. If you’re in the mood for something tropical around the holidays, Tea & Krampus is an excellent choice.

  • 1 oz. spiced rum
  • 1/2 oz. blackberry liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. allspice dram
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla syrup
  • 1 dash of bitters
  • Garnish: grated nutmeg

6. Under the Mistletoe

If you’re planning a romantic evening with your significant other, Under the Mistletoe is an ideal cocktail. Gin is a highly popular liquor choice around the holiday season because it’s dry and has hints of pine, reminding drinkers of a Christmas tree. The cranberries and orange slices add just the right amount of citrus to create a balanced beverage.

  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. dry gin
  • Chilled cranberry juice
  • Chilled club soda
  • 4 cranberries
  • 2 orange slices
  • Garnish: thyme sprig

7. Christmas Morning Punch

Every list of Christmas cocktails should include at least one non-alcoholic beverage. The Christmas Morning Punch is packed with flavor and has plenty of festive flair. The colors, carbonation and garnishes will put you into the holiday spirit and help you stick to your sobriety goals.

  • 3 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2-inch slice of fresh ginger
  • 1 bottle sparkling apple juice
  • 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 4-oz. container pomegranate arils

8. Winter Sangria

This cocktail has some specific ingredients that might be challenging to find, but the flavor is worth the effort. This winterized version of the popular Sangria is great for large gatherings. Remember to mix the ingredients the night before your Christmas party to ensure the flavors completely mingle.

  • 2 750-ml bottles of dry red wine
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/2 c. Aperol Spritz
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples cut into 1-inch pieces

9. Cranberry Mimosa

A festive twist on the classic mimosa is always a welcome addition to a Christmas party drink selection. The recipe is also flexible, allowing you to incorporate either champagne or sparkling wine as the main ingredient. You can turn out this drink nonstop all day and people won’t get tired of it. 

  • 3 oz. champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple orange juice
  • 3 frozen cranberries
  • 1 lemon or orange twist

10. Mint Julep

If you’re a fan of simple cocktails, the Mint Julep is a tried and true option. The spicy bourbon combined with the sugar and mint undertones creates a completely unique flavor. Simple cocktails are often the most popular drinks at large social gatherings because they’re easy to prepare for beginners.

  • 4 to 5 mint sprigs, leaves only
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup OR 2 sugar cubes
  • 2 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • Garnish: mint sprig

Try Something New This Christmas

Rather than having the same old light beer this holiday season, try something new instead. These Christmas cocktails are viable alternatives for all drinkers, whether you prefer sweet, sour or spicy flavors. This list has them all. Christmas only comes once a year, so use this opportunity to broaden your horizons!

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