12 Days of Cocktails to Spice Up the Holidays
December has arrived, and it’s the season for twinkly lights, festive decorations and parties that delight. It’s also the season for tons of guests and lots of time with family. With all of the company that’s bound to head your way over the next few weeks, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple tasty cocktail recipes on hand that are easy to whip up at a moment’s notice.
Whether you’re expecting a large group or are settling in for the night with siblings, these 12 cheerful drink ideas are sure to be crowd pleasers.
A Merry Mulled Wine
What’s not to love about a delicious drink that’s super easy to make and creates the most alluring holiday aroma? Mulled wine recipes abound, but Cook the Story has an extra-special method that includes brown sugar. Plus, it can be made up to four days ahead of time and kept at room temperature.
Creating this drink is as easy as throwing some oranges, red wine, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves and peppercorns together into a pot and letting it boil. Brown sugar and brandy or orange liqueur are added later for that touch of additional sweetness.
Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour
The holidays can be super sweet, so adding a little sour to the mix can be a nice treat. Cookie + Kate has a Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour drink that combines bourbon and lemon with maple syrup and cinnamon for a whiskey sour drink unlike any other you’ve ever tasted.
With only four ingredients, it’s also super easy to make, meaning you’ll be able to spend more time mingling and less time behind the bar.
9 Ladies Dancing Scotch Punch
If you need a brew big enough to serve up in batches, you can’t go wrong with a punch. Stir and Strain’s 9 Ladies Dancing Scotch Punch is made with nine ingredients broken down into a vanilla cinnamon syrup, chai tea and punch.
What makes this recipe so sweet sounding is the idea of blending together cinnamon and vanilla bean with chai tea and Scotch. If your taste buds weren’t tripped already, don’t forget the orange wheels and star anise as a garnish.
A Classic Hot Toddy
It can be fun to try out new recipes, but sometimes you just need a little classic to really make it feel like the holidays. The Drink Blog has a refreshing take on the traditional hot toddy that takes five minutes to make and includes bourbon, honey, lemon juice, hot water, cinnamon and lemon.
When the temps dip below freezing outside, this tasty cocktail will warm you from the inside out.
A Hearty Eggnog
Nothing says holiday season like a frothy glass of eggnog, but Alton Brown’s Aged Eggnog Recipe isn’t for the faint of heart. To start, you’ll need to prep this recipe a minimum of two weeks in advance for it to taste its best, although Brown actually recommends a month or two, if possible.
Still, if you can stand the wait, imbibers of this egg and sugar, rum, cognac and bourbon drink are bound to be blown away.
A Sinfully Delightful Sangria
It’s not a party unless sangria is served, but kick it up a notch for the holidays with this fun and creative take on the fruity staple from Home Made Lovely.
A blend of apples and apple cider, oranges and cranberries mix with sparkling wine and white wine to create a tasty treat that’ll tickle your guests' taste buds and leave them scooping the bottom of the bowl for more.
A Decadent Cider
Sure, apple cider is delicious all on its own, but Lauren Kelly Nutrition’s recipe takes it to a whole new level.
By adding cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange juice, orange zest, ginger and spiced rum or brandy, this kids’ classic becomes an adults-only party pleaser that’s subtle enough for everyone to enjoy.
A Morning-After Mimosa
Who says holiday drinks have to be all about the nighttime soiree? Taste of Home has a recipe for a holiday mimosa that will add brightness to your brunch table, not to mention the fact that it tastes amazing.
With a touch of raspberry liqueur and a dash of champagne — coupled with sugar and red grapefruit juice — this zingy drink is the perfect way to start the morning.
Spiked Coffee Nog
If you’re looking for a boozy morning drink that’s not a mimosa, Common Man Cocktails has a spiked coffee nog that’ll do the trick. As simple as it sounds, this recipe requires hot coffee, Coffee-Mate’s Eggnog Latte, spiced rum, whipped cream and ground nutmeg.
Not that coffee necessarily needs anything else to be delightful, but this liquored-up version sure does give it an extra kick.
A Boozy Hot Chocolate
For something a little sweet, try mixing a decadent hot chocolate delight with some booze. The Kitchn has rounded up 18 recipe ideas — with everything from red wine hot chocolate and whiskey hot chocolate to s’mores hot chocolate cocktails and coconut cardamom bourbon hot chocolate — but it’s the spiked Nutella hot chocolate that has us the most excited.
All you need is milk, Nutella, cinnamon and your choice of bourbon, Frangelico, cacao rum or chocolate liqueur. Pick your poison and bring everything to simmer. Then, sit back and enjoy.
A Gin and Tonic With a Twist
Back at Cook the Story, the classic gin and tonic gets a holiday remix with a handful of frozen cranberries and sprig of festive rosemary.
Easy to make and delightful to taste, this pink and fizzy gin and tonic also looks fantastic amid your holiday decor.
Hold the Cucumber
You could whip up a mulled wine, eggnog or sangria for your holiday gatherings … or you could amaze people with something completely different.
For example, Fogged in Lounge offers a simple but effective recipe called “Hold the Cucumber” that combines pisco, Cynar, lime juice, celery bitters and soda for a drink that’ll delight and surprise.