The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by sipping on a cheerful cocktail? Whether you’re throwing an elaborate holiday party, hosting your nearest and dearest or just cozying up by the fire, a festive cocktail is sure to bring on all the bright and merry vibes. After all, it’s getting rather chilly out there, and why bother going out for a holiday drink when you can whip one up without layering on your Arctic-ready winter coat?
If you’re not sure where to start with the most festive beverages, don’t fret—we’ve got you covered with all the best cocktails for the season, so you can kick back, relax and cue the Netflix holiday movies. There are joyful favorites like mulled wine, hot toddies and a good old fashioned spiked hot chocolate, as well as more elaborate drinks that feature everything from hints of gingerbread and peppermint to notes of cinnamon and cranberry. There are vodka and gin recipes, celebratory bubbly options, tried and true classic cocktails and plenty of cozy and comforting delights. Below, see all the best holiday cocktail recipes to make from now through the New Year—and into 2024, because you deserve to celebrate all year long.
1800 Spiced Cranberry Highball
1.5 oz 1800 Cristalino
1 oz spiced simple syrup
1 oz fresh cranberry reduction
Lemon wheel, cloves and torched rosemary, for garnish
Add tequila, spiced simple syrup and cranberry reduction to a shaker. Add ice and shake. Double strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda
Hendrick’s Festivus Fizz
Courtesy Hendrick’s Ambassador Vance Henderson
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 part fresh lime
1 part pink grapefruit syrup
1 dash cardamom bitters
Rosemary sprig, cucumber slices and fresh cranberries, for garnish
Combine all ingredients, except for the sparkling wine, in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, cucumber and cranberries.
RumHaven’s Havenly Nog
2 oz RumHaven
2 oz eggnog
Coconut flakes and cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Add rum and eggnog into a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake to combine and chill. Strain into a rocks glass without ice. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes and a cinnamon stick.
1.5 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz cinnamon syrup
1 tsp maple syrup
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Fine strain into a chilled champagne flute; top with sparkling wine. Garnish champagne cocktail with a cinnamon stick.
Silver Peppermint Southside
1.25 oz Nolet’s Silver
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
Peppermint leaves and crushed candy canes, for garnish
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a crushed candy cane-rimmed martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a peppermint.
Festive White Russian
1 oz Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
1 oz Ketel One Vodka
Milk or non-dairy alternative
Nutmeg, for garnish
Add Mr Black and vodka into a rocks glass filled with ice; stir. Top with choice of milk; garnish with grated nutmeg.
Lanesborough Mulled Wine Martini
Courtesy London’s The Lanesborough Hotel, an Oetker Collection property
(Makes a big batch)
30 ml Belvedere Vodka
25 ml Frangelico liqueur
50 ml mulled wine (1/2 liter Italian merlot, 1 orange peel, 1 lemon peel, 6 to 8 cloves, 5 to 8 star anises, 3 cinnamon sticks and 4 oz maple syrup)
25 ml chocolate brownie tea
1 dehydrated orange slice
First, prepare mulled wine. Pour the red wine into a pot and warm over medium heat. Add orange peel and lemon peel, cloves, star anises and cinnamon sticks, plus 4 ounces of maple syrup. Stir together and slow cook for about two hours. Once the mulled wine is prepared, build all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir together and chill. Serve in a coupe or martini glass (without ice) and garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.
Add gin, Campari and vermouth into a mug and stir. Top with hot red berry tea. Garnish with dehydrated orange.
1/2 bottle Betty Buzz Sparkling Grapefruit
1.5 oz rum
Fresh pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice
Grapefruit wedge and fresh sage, for garnish
Combine rum and pomegranate juice into a cocktail shaker. Pour into a glass over ice. Top with Betty Buzz Sparkling Grapefruit and garnish with a grapefruit wedge and fresh sage.
Rhubarb Pie Fizz
3/4 oz Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin
1/3 oz lemon juice
2 oz apple juice
Apple slices, for garnish
Add gin, lemon juice and apple juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to combine. Pour into a flute glass and top with Prosecco. Garnish with apple slices.
Blood Orange Spritz
1.5 oz gin
3 oz blood orange juice
1.5 tsp simple syrup
3 oz Riondo Prosecco
Blood orange slice, for garnish
Add all ingredients, except for prosecco, into a shaker with ice and stir for 30 seconds, until chilled. Pour into a glass with fresh ice and top with prosecco. Garnish with a blood orange slice.
Dulce Vida Winter Moscow Mule
Combine grapefruit tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and grapefruit juice in a glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with rosemary sprig, grapefruit slice and lime wedge.
The Busker Irish Coffee
Add whiskey, coffee liqueur and coffee to a glass or mug; stir together. Top with cream.
Add gin and Lillet Blanc in a glass filled with cubed ice. Top with club soda and champagne. Garnish with a grapefruit or lemon twist.
1.5 parts Grand Marnier Louis-Alexandre
.75 part heavy cream
.25 part crème de cacao
1 dash of Angostura bitters
Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a shaker; shake. Serve straight up in a coupe glass.
1 oz Belvedere Vodka
1.5 oz hot
1 oz French fortified wine
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz honey
1 cinnamon stick
Fresh grated nutmeg
(for single serving)
2 oz Redemption Straight Rye
1 oz Josh Prosecco
.25 oz amaretto liqueur
2 oz apple cider
.25 oz ginger syrup
1 bar spoon brown sugar
1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
.25 oz lemon juice
Apple wheel, cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Add sugar, lemon and orange peels to a shaker. Muddle together to release the citrus oils into the sugar. Add ginger syrup and muddle again. Add rye, lemon juice, ginger syrup, cider and amaretto liqueur. Add ice and shake; strain into a glass with a fresh big ice cube. Top with prosecco and garnish with apple wheel, cinnamon stick and nutmeg.
2 oz Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey
2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz maple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
Rosemary and cranberry, for garnish
Combine bourbon, cranberry juice, maple syrup and lemon juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with sugared rosemary and cranberries.
818 Espresso Martini
2 oz 818 Tequila Reposado
1.25 oz chilled espresso
.75 oz coffee liqueur
.25 oz cinnamon syrup
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds, until foamy, and then strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with three espresso beans.
Grey Goose Pom-Tini
Add a powdered sugar rim to the edges of cocktail or martini glass. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with rosemary.
Grinch On Vacation
Courtesy Natasha Velez
Add Iichiko, Midori, yuzu juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Pour into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling apple cider and garnish with cinnamon-dusted scalloped pear slices and cranberries.
The Hennessy Winter’s Spirit Cocktail
1.75 oz Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège
1.5 oz hot
.15 oz sugar cane syrup
2 lemon supremes (wedges without peel, pith and skin)
1 thin slice ginger
1 orange twist, for garnish
Mix Hennessy, sugar, lemon and ginger in a glass. Stir gently to allow sugar to dissolve. Top with hot
Proper Irish Apple Cider
2 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple
4 cups apple cider
6 sticks cinnamon
4 tbsp nutmeg
Over heat, combine Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest in pan. Pour into a heat-protected mug. Garnish with orange twist.
1 oz Fords Gin
1 oz plum wine
.25 oz pear brandy
2 to 3 dashes fig bitters
Lemon, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice; stir until cold. Pour into glass of choice and garnish with a lemon twist.
Icelandic Hot Chocolate
Add all ingredients into a hot toddy glass; garnish with marshmallows or whipped cream.