Easy Seasonal Cocktails for Holiday Cheer

seasonal cocktails

Every party seems to have its own hostess selected specialty cocktail. But who says you have to fill your house with 30+ guests before you can have a little mixology fun? Not us, that’s for sure. We’ve selected nine seasonal cocktails and three “remedies” that will make the wintertime a little warmer. Best of all (at the request of a fellow party-goer) these seasonal cocktails are not complicated by excessive muddling, flaming zest or purchasing a plethora of bizarre liqueurs you may never use again.

Bottoms Up

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail with Lemon Twist

  • 4 ounces sparkling wine
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Angostura Bitters

Soak the sugar cube in bitters and drop into a champagne flute. Fill with sparkling wine or prosecco. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Aged Rum Daiquiri

  • 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) aged rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a coupe glass. No garnish or garnish with a lime wedge.

Ballet Russe

seasonal cocktails

  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) vodka
  • 3/4  ounce creme de cassis
  • 1-1/2 ounces (3 Tbsp) lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) simple syrup

Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Or, make a Russian Fizz by adding 3 to 5  ounces ginger ale and stir. Serve over ice in a highball glass. (Recipe by Mittie Hellmich – Ultimate Bar Book

New York Sour

  • 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce (1 Tbsp) red wine float (try a Malbec or Shiraz)

Shake bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Pour into a rocks glass over ice. Using the back of a spoon held just over the surface of the cocktail, pour the 1/2 ounce red wine float.


  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) amaretto
  • 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) chilled ginger beer
  • 2-1/4 teaspoon Angostura bitters

Add the amaretto, ginger beer, and bitters to an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, and stir until combined. (Recipe by Nicole Perry and adapted from The Bitten Word) 

Guinness Milkshake

seasonal cocktails

  • 2 pints (4 cups) vanilla ice cream
  • 1 (14.9-ounce) can Guinness Draught
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce, for drizzling

Place 4 pint glasses in the freezer to chill. Place the ice cream and Guinness in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the chocolate syrup or sauce down the insides of each glass. Divide the shake among the glasses. Serve immediately. (Recipe adapted from Lisa Lavery) 

Christmas Margarita

  • 1.5 ounces (3 Tablespoons) 100% agave tequila
  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces (6 Tbsp) ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce (1 Tbsp) simple syrup
  • Coarse salt for lining rim (optional)

Line a small serving glass with fresh lime juice and dip in coarse salt (optional). Add tequila, simple syrup, ginger beer and lime juice to a large glass or cocktail shaker with 1/2 cup ice and stir. Don’t shake with a lid on or the carbonated ginger beer will explode. Strain into serving glass over ice. Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or a lime slice. (Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker and Midnight Mixologist)

The Fitzgerald

  • 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) London dry gin
  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge, and serve.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

red wine hot chocolate

  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup red wine (Try a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunk
  • Whipped cream

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and chocolate chips. Whisking constantly until chocolate is melted into milk and you have thick and creamy chocolate milk. Pour in red wine and heat until everything is hot. Pour into 2 mugs or 6-8 smaller glasses and top with whipped cream. (Recipe by Kylie Held Mitchell)


If you overdo at any of your parties – or while experimenting with the seasonal cocktails above, here are a few bonus recipes for hangover relief. (All three are courtesy of Mittie Hellmich – Ultimate Bar Book)

Bitters and Soda

  • 4 to 6 ounces chilled club soda
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura or other bitters

Pour the club soda into an ice-filled collins glass. Add a few dashes of bitters and stir briefly.


  • 3 to 5 ounces chilled champagne
  • 1/2 ounce brandy
  • Dash of Cointreau

Slowly pour the champagne into a chilled champagne flute. Add the brandy and Cointreau.

Black Velvet


  • 6 ounces chilled Guinness
  • 6 ounces chilled brut champagne

Slowly pour the stout and champagne into a chilled beer mug or champagne flute. Don’t stir.



12 Holiday Cocktails 12 Christmas Cocktails

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