Puffer coats, plaid shirts, wool socks, and crackling fires are all great ways to combat the season’s dropping temperatures, but when it comes to warmth that’s both effective and indulgent, a holiday cocktail is where it’s at. Alcohol blankets are real, so why not turn to delicious and festive libations to raise temperatures and spirits?
Whether you’re hosting an upcoming holiday party or simply want to impress your family with a nice food and drink spread, having a seasonal cocktail or two to offer to your guests will make the night feel extra special. It’ll also help you and your guests get through any holiday drama between loved ones that might arise, because we’ve all got that one crazy aunt or friend who just can’t seem to get through a seasonal event without stirring the metaphorical pot. Trust us, your guests will thank you for providing drinkable refuge.
Below, we rounded up four of our favorite holiday cocktails that are both tasty and easy enough for a beginner bartender to make. Don’t equate the lack of preparation complexity with a lack of flavour—they’ll be sure to impress whoever you share them with.
While this punch recipe might look somewhat complex due to its ingredients list it’s really pretty simple—it requires a lot of fruit to simply be sliced up and dumped in. Featuring rum (spiced and regular), grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, simple syrup, bitters, and citrus fruits, it’s got a refreshingly tangy flavor with a warm, spicy kick. Plus, it’s beautiful to look at—serve it in a traditional punch bowl and you’ll get major presentation points.
Everyone loves a good Moscow Mule, so you know their cranberry-fied version will be a huge hit. Containing cranberry juice, lime juice, ginger beer, fresh cranberries, and vodka, this cocktail is simple to make and simply delicious.
A holiday classic, mulled wine is the best drink to get warmed up with because of both its hot temperature and rich, deep taste. This recipe calls for apple cider, red wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange zest and juice, cloves and anise, which are essentially the most festive ingredients around. It only takes 10 minutes to make and will leave your house smelling incredible—no need to light those holiday candles you’ve got.
The name of this recipe alone is enough to make you want to drink it. It sounds sophisticated and decadent and dangerously good. Featuring fresh squeezed satsuma, which is a variety of tangerine, along with fresh pomegranate juice, simple syrup, and Campari, it’s another drink that boasts a deliciously simple ingredients list. You’ll be making your own simple syrup for the libation, the directions for which are included on the recipe page.
Whether you’re hosting friends on a chilly night or you simply want to kick a stubborn cold, a good Hot Toddy is always in order. This recipe calls for honey, hot water, bourbon, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks and will be sure to satisfy all of your spiced drink cravings. If you want to make it feel even more seasonally appropriate, replace the bourbon with Apple Bourbon and cut back on the honey. Drinkable apple pie? Yes, please.
Tequila drinkers, we didn’t forget about you. Just because your liquor of choice is more closely associated with tropical beaches than snowy suburbs doesn’t mean it can’t still make for an incredible holiday cocktail. Mix it in with some cranberry juice, lime juice and orange-flavored liqueur and you’ve got yourself a festive drink. If you want to up the ante even more, add a few slices of freshly cut jalapeno for a kick of heat.
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