Spread holiday cheer in liquid form.
Add these festive cocktails and punches to your wish list. From traditional recipes like eggnog and hot chocolate to a Negroni riff that tastes like a Christmas tree, they might just be the best way to spread holiday cheer—whether you’re serving them on December 25 or any time during the season.
1. Christmas Punch
This fruity and refreshing drink combines light rum, cranberry and tart cherry juices, ginger ale, rich simple syrup, fresh ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Make a batch for the kid’s table: It’s equally flavorful without the booze.
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You won’t go back to store-bought after trying this delicious mix of eggs, sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, and your choice of rum, bourbon, or brandy. Beating the egg yolks and whites separately before recombining them produces an extra-luscious texture.
3. Hot Buttered Rum
Our recipe for this winter classic has an unexpected ingredient: softened vanilla ice cream. Combined with butter, sugar, and spices, the ice cream creates a smooth batter that won’t become lumpy when you blend it with rum and boiling water.
4. Naughty or Nice
Let your guests decide. This inventive punch from Seattle bar pro-Jamie Boudreau serves two and can easily be multiplied. The combination of London dry gin, maraschino liqueur, chardonnay, pinot noir, and ginger ale can be scaled up or down in volume as you please.
5. Boozy Hot Chocolate
When hot chocolate cravings strike, skip the powdered stuff and make this recipe with high-quality semisweet chocolate and milk. Spike with your spirit of choice. (We recommend aged spirits like a dark rum or añejo tequila.)
Try Scandinavia’s answer to mulled wine with this warming big-batch drink. Dried figs and raisins add nutty complexity to a mix of red wine, port, vodka, light brown sugar, oranges, and holiday spices.
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7. Irish Coffee
The ultimate after-dinner drink might also be the simplest. Just top Irish whiskey and two teaspoons of brown sugar with freshly brewed coffee, then garnish with freshly whipped cream.
8. Bring Me Back Something French
Add an ounce of absinthe to homemade hot chocolate for a decidedly grown-up twist on the classic. Vanilla whipped cream, sprinkles, and Pocky garnish helps keep things playful.
9. Cranberry-Ginger Mimosa
This simple recipe might become your go-to drink for Christmas morning brunch—or any time of day. Just top Champagne with cranberry juice, ginger beer, and sugared cranberries.
Wassail is most often made with spiced apple cider, but this richer and nuttier version calls for a base of brown ale and oloroso sherry. It’s just as warming as the original, thanks to apples, lemon zest, a clove-studded orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, brown sugar, and apple slices.
11. Pear Tree Martini
There’s no partridge in this pear tree, but there are plenty of festive holiday flavors in the mix of spiced pear vodka, St-Germain liqueur, lime juice, and Angostura bitters. Christmas carols are optional.
12. Tom & Jerry
This classic recipe dates to 1820s England, but its cozy appeal has lasted well into the 21st century. The irresistible drink combines a rich batter made from eggs, dark rum, and vanilla extract with boiling water, dark rum, cognac, and whole milk.
13. Winter Sour
A low-ABV base of Campari makes this cocktail a great choice for holiday parties where the drinks are flowing all night long. Bar pro H. Joseph Ehrmann shakes the bittersweet amaro with muddled rosemary leaves, clover honey syrup, Meyer lemon juice, and an egg white to produce a drink that’s merry and bright.
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14. Golden Cadillac
Cap off a special meal with this retro drink. Equal parts anise-flavored Galliano liqueur, white creme de cacao, and heavy cream produce a rich, herbaceous, and timeless cocktail.
15. Stranger in the Alps
Consider this drink a Christmas tree Negroni. A juniper-forward gin and an alpine amaro add piney and herbaceous notes to the classic mix of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. For added depth, the glass is rinsed with a special fir brandy.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR IN ADVANCE