The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by sipping on a cheerful cocktail? Whether you’re throwing an elaborate holiday fête, hosting your nearest and dearest or just cozying up by the fire, a festive cocktail is sure to bring on all the bright and merry vibes. After all, it’s getting rather chilly out there, and why bother going out for a drink when you can whip one up without layering on your Arctic-ready winter coat?
If you’re not sure where to start with the most festive beverages, don’t fret—we’ve got you covered with all the best cocktails for the season, so you can kick back, relax and cue the Netflix holiday movies. There are joyful favorites like mulled wine, hot toddies and a good old fashioned spiked hot chocolate, as well as more elaborate drinks that feature everything from hints of gingerbread and peppermint to notes of cinnamon and cranberry. There are vodka and gin recipes, celebratory bubbly options and plenty of cozy and comforting delights. Below, see all the best holiday cocktails to make from now through the New Year. Clear Glass Marbles
Subscribe to the Observer's Lifestyle Newsletter Hendrick's Festive Fizz.Hendrick's Festive Fizz
Courtesy Hendrick’s Ambassador Vance Henderson
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin 3/4 part fresh lime 1 part pink grapefruit syrup 1 dash cardamom bitters Sparkling wine Rosemary sprig, cucumber slices and cranberries, for garnish
Combine all ingredients, except for the sparkling wine, in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, cucumber and cranberries. RumHaven’s Havenly Nog. RumHaven’s Havenly Nog
2 oz RumHaven 2 oz eggnog Coconut flakes and cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Add rum and eggnog into a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake to combine and chill. Strain into a rocks glass with no ice. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes and a cinnamon stick. Silver Peppermint Southside. Silver Peppermint Southside
1.25 oz Nolet’s Silver .75 oz lime juice .75 oz simple syrup Peppermint leaves Crushed candy canes
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a crushed candy cane-rimmed martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a peppermint. Lanesborough Mulled Wine Martini. David Cotsworth Lanesborough Mulled Wine Martini
Courtesy London’s The Lanesborough Hotel, an Oetker Collection property
30 ml Belvedere Vodka 25 ml Frangelico liqueur 50 ml mulled wine (1/2 liter Italian merlot, 1 orange peel, 1 lemon peel, 6 to 8 cloves, 5 to 8 star anises, 3 cinnamon sticks and 4 oz. maple syrup) 25 ml chocolate brownie tea 1 dehydrated orange slice
First, prepare milled wine. Pour the Italian merlot into a pot and warm over medium heat. Add orange peel and lemon peel, cloves, star anises and cinnamon sticks, plus 4 ounces of maple syrup. Stir together and slow cook for about two hours. Once the mulled wine is prepared, build all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir together and chill. Serve in a coupe or martini glass (without ice!) and garnish with a dehydrated orange slice. Sipsmith Gin’s Hot Negroni. Hot Negroni
1 part Sipsmith London Dry Gin 1 part Campari 1 part sweet vermouth Red berry tea Dehydrated orange, for garnish
Add gin, Campari and vermouth into a mug and stir. Top with hot red berry tea. Garnish with dehydrated orange. Betty Buzz ABC Drink. Betty Buzz ABC Drink
1.5 oz bourbon 1/2 bottle Betty Buzz Ginger Beer 1 oz apple juice Pomegranate seeds Apple slices Cinnamon stick and star anise
Fill a glass with ice and add bourbon. Pour apple juice and Betty Buzz Ginger Beer into glass; stir gently. Add two generous handfuls of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with apple slices, cinnamon stick and star anise. Rhubarb Pie Fizz. Rhubarb Pie Fizz
Ingredients: 3/4 oz Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin 1/3 oz lemon juice 2 oz apple juice Prosecco Apple slices
Add gin, lemon juice and apple juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to combine. Pour into a flute glass and top with Prosecco. Garnish with apple slices. The Bisquit Eggnog. Sara Littlejohn The Bisquit Eggnog
1.5 oz Bisquit & Dubouché V.S.O.P. .5 oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth .5 oz maple syrup .5 oz heavy cream 1 egg yolk
Add all ingredients, including egg yolk, to a shaker tin without ice. Then, add ice to fill the tin and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass or mug; garnish with grated cinnamon. Christmas Cricket. Melissa Hom Christmas Cricket
Courtesy Joann Spiegel and Nick Nemeth at Miracle on 9th Street.
2 oz blanco tequila 1/4 oz vanilla liqueur 1/4 oz minty amaro (Branca Menta) 1 oz coco pandan 1 oz heavy whipping cream 4 dashes mole bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with shaved chocolate. The Busker Irish Coffee. The Busker Irish Coffee
1 part The Busker Irish Whiskey 1 part Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur 1 part coffee Cream
Add whiskey, coffee liqueur and coffee to a glass or mug; stir together. Top with cream. Mumm Napa Cranberry Classic. Mumm Napa Cranberry Classic
4 parts Mumm Napa Brut Prestige 1 part gin 1/2 part lemon juice 1/2 part cranberry syrup Cranberries and rosemary sprig, for garnish
Combine gin, lemon juice and cranberry juice into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary. Grand Hot Chocolate. Grand Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 parts Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge 5 1/2 parts hot chocolate 1 1/2 parts whipped cream Cayenne pepper Salt Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Pour Grand Mariner into a hot toddy glass, followed by hot chocolate. Stir the mixture together. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Belvedere Hot Toddy. Hot Toddy
1 oz Belvedere Vodka 1.5 oz hot water 1 oz French fortified wine .5 oz fresh lemon juice .5 oz honey 1 cinnamon stick Fresh grated nutmeg Orange wedge Cloves
Add hot water to heat-resistant glass mug, then add honey. Pour in lemon juice, wine and vodka. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange wedge; top with nutmeg. 818 Espresso Martini. 818 Espresso Martini
2 oz 818 Tequila Reposado 1.25 oz chilled espresso .75 oz coffee liqueur .25 oz cinnamon syrup Espresso beans
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds, until foamy, and then strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with three espresso beans. Fireside. Fireside
1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka 1/4 oz maple syrup 2 sprigs rosemary 1 pinch of salt 2 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Add maple and salt to a rocks glass. Crush rosemary in the bottom of the glass. Fill with ice and add Grey Goose. Top with grapefruit juice; stir well. Garnish with another sprig of rosemary. Grinch On Vacation. Natasha Velez Grinch On Vacation
1.5 oz Iichiko Saiten .75 oz Midori .75 oz yuzu juice .75 oz simple syrup Pear slices, cranberries and cinnamon, for garnish
Add Iichiko, Midori, yuzu juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Pour into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling cider and garnish with cinnamon-dusted scalloped pear slices and cranberries. The Hennessy Winter’s Spirit Cocktail. The Hennessy Winter’s Spirit Cocktail
1.75 oz Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège 1.5 oz hot water .15 oz sugar cane syrup 2 lemon supremes (wedges without peel, pith and skin) 1 thin slice ginger 1 orange twist
Mix Hennessy, sugar, lemon and ginger in a glass. Stir gently to allow sugar to dissolve. Top with hot water and garnish with orange twist. Proper Mocha. Proper Mocha
1 oz Proper No. Twelve .75 oz crème de cacao .25 oz coffee liqueur 4 oz coffee Whipped cream and cocoa powder, for garnish
Mix all ingredients together in a footed glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cocoa powder. Bayou Eggnog. Lucy Schaeffer Photography Bayou Eggnog
1.5 oz Bayou Spiced Rum Eggnog Nutmeg and a cinnamon stick, for garnish
Pour rum and eggnog into a glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. Celebration Martini. Eric Medkser Celebration Martini
1 oz Fords Gin 1 oz plum wine .25 oz pear brandy 2 to 3 dashes fig bitters Lemon, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice; stir until cold. Pour into glass of choice and garnish with a lemon twist. Ashford Castle Mint Cracker Cocktail. Ashford Castle Ashford Castle Mint Cracker Cocktail
Courtesy Ashford Castle in Country Cong, Ireland
50 ml Baileys 50 ml Caffe Borghetti Liqueur 5 ml Crème de Menthe Blanco 5 ml crème de Cacao Shaved chocolate and French mint, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Serve in a coupe glass and garnish with shaved chocolate and French mint. Icelandic Hot Chocolate. Icelandic Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 parts Reyka Vodka 6 parts hot chocolate 3/4 part Ancho Reyes 1 dash angostura bitters Mini marshmallows or whipped cream, for topping
Add all ingredients into a hot toddy glass; garnish with marshmallows or whipped cream. Holiday Spiced Tonic. Upstate Vodka Holiday Spiced Tonic
2 oz Upstate Vodka 1 oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur Tonic Jalapeño (cut into rounds) and sprig of rosemary, for garnish
Add pear liqueur and vodka to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, until chilled. Pour over ice into a highball glass; top with tonic. Garnish with jalapeño pepper round and rosemary sprig.
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