12 Days of Holiday Cocktails

There are only 12 days until Christmas, so we're celebrating with 12 days of holiday cocktails. Here are some tasty options to liven up your festivities!
Holiday cocktails

The holiday season is synonymous with merriment, and what better way to spread cheer than by indulging in festive cocktails that tantalize the taste buds? From classic concoctions to creative blends, these twelve holiday cocktails promise to add a spirited touch to your celebrations. Grab your shakers and garnishes, and let’s embark on a journey of delightful sips and flavors.

1. Holiday Clayton Margarita

Recipe courtesy of The Defined Dish, Author: Alex Snodgrass

Clayton's Holiday Margarita
Courtesy of The Defined Dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup good tequila (We love Lalo or Casamigos; you can always use a little less if you don’t want it as strong)
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tsp egg whites (fresh or out of the carton is fine!)
  • salt – for serving (I love Jose’s Turbo Salt for this recipe — sweet and salty with a kick)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until very frothy!
  2. Pour over a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice.
  3. Enjoy!

NOTE: Clayton says he never stores his batch of margaritas in the fridge, as they tend to get tart. He leaves on the counter while people serve up their own glasses. If the foam begins to disappear, simply blend it again before pouring another round.

2. Fireside Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • A few dashes of aromatic bitters
  • Orange twist for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters.
  2. Stir well and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Express the oils from an orange twist over the drink and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

3. Gingerbread Martini

gingerbread martini

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz gingerbread syrup
  • Crushed gingersnap cookies for rimming

Directions:

  1. Rim a martini glass with crushed gingersnap cookies.
  2. Combine vanilla vodka, coffee liqueur, and gingerbread syrup in a shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well and strain into the prepared glass.

4. Holiday Sangria

Recipe courtesy of The Defined Dish, Author: Alex Snodgrass

Holiday Sangria
Courtesy of The Defined Dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 small honeycrisp apple
  • ¾ cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods optional
  • 1 bottle of red wine; I use a red blend, but use whatever you prefer
  • 1 cup apple cider (juice)
  • ½ cup Cointreau
  • 1 small orange thinly sliced

For Serving:

  • Cinnamon
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Ice
  • Rosemary Sprigs

Directions:

  1. To start, thinly slice your apple, then cut those slices in half. Place the sliced apples, fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and star anise pods into the bottom of a large pitcher.
  2. Next, pour the wine, apple cider, and Cointreau into the pitcher. Gentry stir. Tuck the sliced oranges into the pitcher.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
  4. Serve in cinnamon-sugar-rimmed wine glasses filled with ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

5. Candy Cane Cooler

Candy Cane Cocktail

Ingredients:

    • 2 oz white rum
    • 1 oz peppermint schnapps
    • 2 oz coconut cream
    • Ice
    • Candy cane for garnish

    Directions:

    1. In a blender, combine white rum, peppermint schnapps, coconut cream, and ice.
    2. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled glass.
    3. Garnish with a candy cane.

    6. Skinny Rosemary Palomita

    Recipe courtesy of The Defined Dish, Author: Alex Snodgrass

    Skinny Rosemary Paloma
    Courtesy of The Defined Dish

    Ingredients:

    For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:

    For the Palomita:

    • 2 cups good tequila blanco (this drink is also great with vodka!)
    • 2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
    • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 cup Rosemary Simple Syrup
    • Salt (this is the one I use) optional for the rim
    • brut cava or champagne to top off each glass (sub Topo Chico or preferred sparkling water)
    • 1 grapefruit thinly sliced into ½ moons, for garnish

    Directions:

    For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:

    • Heat a small saucepan over medium heat with water and monkfruit sweetener. Bring to a simmer, stirring, until the monkfruit is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rosemary. Let the rosemary steep until the monkfruit simple syrup has cooled, about 20 minutes.

    For the Palomita:

    1. Combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary simple syrup in a large bowl or pitcher. Stir to combine.
    2. Salt the rim of each glass and fill it with ice. Tuck away the thinly sliced grapefruit in the side of the glass. Fill the glasses about ¾ of the way with the tequila mixture. Top with brut cava or champagne, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serve and enjoy!

    7. Rosemary Tequila Spritzer

    Recipe courtesy of The Defined Dish, Author: Alex Snodgrass

    Rosemary Tequila Spritzer
    Courtesy of The Defined Dish

    Ingredients:

    For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar or Monk Fruit sweetener (see note)
    • 2 Rosemary sprigs

    For the Spritzer:

    • 2 shots of LALO Tequila
    • 1 shot freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 1 shot Rosemary Simple Syrup
    • Champagne to top
    • Rosemary sprigs for garnish

    Directions:

    Make the Simple Syrup:

    1. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
    2. Once dissolved, set aside, add the rosemary sprigs, and let it cool.
    3. Strain before using.

    Make the Spritzer:

    1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, orange juice, and simple syrup with ice and shake.
    2. Strain into glasses and top with champagne and a sprig of rosemary!

    NOTES: The recipe for the simple syrup will make more than what you need to serve two. If you are only serving two, I would half the recipe, but I figure many will be making this for a group! 

    If using Monk Fruit, this will crystallize if not used immediately. So, if you want extra syrup on hand, I recommend using real sugar, and you can keep it stored in the fridge for one month.

    8. Spiced Pomegranate Mule

    Pomegranate Moscow Mule

    Ingredients:

    • 2 oz vodka
    • 1 oz pomegranate juice
    • Ginger beer
    • Fresh lime juice
    • Fresh pomegranate arils for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Fill a copper mug with ice and add vodka and pomegranate juice.
    2. Top with ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
    3. Stir gently and garnish with fresh pomegranate arils.

    9. Cranberry Rosemary Gin Fizz

    Cranberry Rosemary Gin Fizz

    Ingredients:

    • 2 oz gin
    • 1 oz cranberry juice
    • 1/2 oz rosemary-infused simple syrup
    • Club soda
    • Rosemary sprig for garnish

    Directions:

    1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine gin, cranberry juice, and rosemary-infused simple syrup.
    2. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
    3. Top with club soda and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

    10. Holiday Punch Royale

    Holiday Punch

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bottle of sparkling wine
    • 1/2 cup orange liqueur
    • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
    • Splash of club soda
    • Orange slices and cranberries for garnish

    Directions:

    1. In a punch bowl, combine sparkling wine, orange liqueur, and cranberry juice.
    2. Add a splash of club soda.
    3. Garnish with orange slices and cranberries before serving over ice.

    11. Nutcracker Coffee

    Nutcracker Coffee

    Ingredients:

    • 1 oz Irish cream liqueur
    • 1 oz hazelnut liqueur
    • Hot coffee
    • Whipped cream
    • Nutmeg for sprinkling

    Directions:

    1. Pour Irish cream liqueur and hazelnut liqueur into a coffee mug.
    2. Fill the mug with hot coffee and top with whipped cream.
    3. Sprinkle with nutmeg for a delightful finish.

    12. Chocolate Peppermint Espresso Martini

    Chocolate Peppermint Espresso Martini

    Ingredients:

    • 2 oz vodka1 oz coffee liqueur
    • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
    • Freshly brewed espresso
    • Chocolate shavings for garnish

    Directions:

    1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, coffee liqueur, peppermint schnapps, and freshly brewed espresso.
    2. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.
    3. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

    Conclusion

    This collection of twelve holiday cocktails is designed to elevate your festive celebrations. Whether you prefer the classic warmth of a Fireside Old Fashioned or the refreshing sparkle of a Snowflake Sparkler, each cocktail promises to be a delightful addition to your holiday festivities. Cheers to a season filled with joy, laughter, and unforgettable sips!

    Read Next:

    5 Delectable Holiday Recipes Paired with Perfect Wines

    8 Tips for Mindful Eating During the Holidays

    Toasting Gratitude: Thanksgiving Cocktails and Mocktails to Savor the Season

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