5 Cocktail Recipes for the Holiday Season

With the holidays coming up, we’ll find ourselves celebrating with a stiff drink at some point. So while you’re making the most of the holidays, why not try some new cocktail recipes?

Below are 5 of the best holiday cocktails. You’ll find some old favorites and a few festive twists on the classics. Whether you're an old pro or only now learning your way around the bar, these recipes will serve you well.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Mule

Mulled wine is what most people think when they hear “Christmas cocktail.” It’s the perfect drink: simple, delicious, and perfect for the season.

What’s really great about mulled wine is how simple it is.

Ingredients

  • Bottle of red wine
  • 2 oranges
  • 4 star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • Honey or brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of brandy

Directions

  • Put everything in a medium sized pot except the oranges, set those aside (make sure not to cut up or grind your spices)
  • Bring to a simmer at medium heat
  • Once it’s simmering, reduce heat
  • Peel one orange and juice it into the mix
  • Heat between 20-30 minutes
  • Turn off heat and serve, garnished with an orange slice

For extra dazzle, add a cinnamon stick or star anise to each cup.

Peppermint White Russian

Peppermint White Russian

This is a great update to the white russian, which is a delicious cocktail any time of year. Because it’s so popular, many readers likely have the ingredients already.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce Peppermint Schnapps
  • Half and half
  • Candy canes

Directions

  • Combine vodka, kahlua, and schnapps over ice
  • Fill to top with half and half
  • Garnish with candy cane 

If you really want to get fancy, you can garnish the rim with crushed candy cane. Before filling your glass, cover the rim with corn syrup or simple syrup then dip in crushed candy canes.

Irish Cream

Irish Cream

While you can go out to the store and buy Irish cream, you aren’t going to impress anyone. Homemade is the way to go, and it is a delectable treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup of Irish whisky
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Ground coffee

Directions

  • Combine cream, condensed milk, and vanilla in a blender
  • Blend at low speed for 30 seconds or so
  • Add whisky at low speed for a second or two
  • Add chocolate syrup and ground coffee to taste

If you like to experiment, try adding a little almond extract.

EggNog

Egg Nog

This is perhaps the granddaddy of all holiday cocktails. Some people will hold their nose at it, but those who love it can’t get enough.

This year, don’t buy a carton of premade eggnog mixer — make your own! Once you get the hang of it, you can start experimenting with other seasonings and create your own tradition.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pint milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Bourbon

Directions

  • Separate egg whites and yolks
  • Beat yolks and add sugar, cream, milk, and nutmeg
  • Whip egg whites, adding a little extra sugar as you go
  • Mix egg whites into the yolk mixture
  • Add bourbon to taste (skip for anyone wanting virgin eggnog)
  • Serve cold

What’s so great about eggnog is that it can easily be made non-alcoholic, so non-drinkers and kids can join in the fun of this iconic holiday drink.

Yule Mule

Yule Mule

The Moscow Mule has dominated the cocktail scene for the last ten years for good reason. It’s refreshing, strong, and delicious. It’s popularity has spawned a million spin-offs, and this yule mule is the perfect version while roasting chestnuts on an open fire.

Ingredients

  • Ginger beer
  • 2 shots of vodka
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Cranberries

Directions

  • Mix vodka and cranberry juice in a glass
  • Juice lime in the drink
  • Fill glass with ginger beer (or to taste)
  • Garnish with cranberries

This is a super simple drink that explodes with flavor. The cranberry juice brings tartness and the ginger beer brings the sweet, with the lime turning the volume up on everything. And remember: if you have copper mugs, you gotta use them for the mule!

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