‘Tis the season to be merry, and these five of the best holiday cocktails will see you through Christmas and beyond to impress your dinner party guests and warm up cold winter nights with gusto! Delve in for Christmas martinis, easy mulled wine, and traditional Christmas cocktails to celebrate the holiday season in style.
Whiskey Hot Toddy
This classic holiday cocktail is the perfect nightcap or one to sip slowly over family card games – it’s refreshing and light, compared to the stronger, sweeter mulled wine or Espresso Martinis. Whiskey, hot water, lemon, ginger, cinnamon, and honey pack a punch, not just for your tastebuds, but for coughs and colds too. Tinker with the ingredients (a teaspoon of lemon here, an extra kick of honey there) until the combination is to your liking. Add a dash of turmeric syrup (turmeric and sugar combined) for an extra boost for your immune system and to create a golden hue.
The fresh lemon detoxifies to clear your body of toxins, ginger settles your stomach and is good for your gut health, while cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory. High-quality manuka honey and cloves will give your classic hot toddy recipe the edge – they’re packed full of antibacterial properties. This is a great one to give your immune system a boost if you’ve picked up a winter cold or feel worse for wear after overindulging! Make way for fresh, tangy, warming goodness to soothe your senses (or a sore throat) – an easy Christmas cocktail for entertaining!
They’ve had a revival and are now considered a classic, but Espresso Martini’s energy-enhancing powers are ideal for dark, cold winter nights when you need a boost. The creamy, smooth blend of vodka, coffee liquor, sugar syrup, and freshly brewed coffee makes for the ideal crowd-pleaser and pick-me-up dessert cocktail. Serve after your main with a cheese board to revive your guests from their post-dinner lull.
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake it to your favorite holiday playlist, before serving in martini glasses. Don’t forget your garnish either – the three floating coffee bean garnish atop the neat froth originates from the traditional serving of Sambuca in Italy, with the three beans signifying health, wealth, and happiness. Share the sentiment with your guests for a touching way to spread holiday well-wishes!
What says Christmas better than mulled wine? For this delicious festive favorite, combine full-bodied red wine, brandy (although you can leave this out if you don’t have any handy) fresh orange juice, and warming whole spices – cinnamon, star anise, and cloves – plus honey or maple syrup for sweetness in a pot and heat low and slow. The rich, spicy flavors warm you through, from hands to heart, and if you’re short on time, this easy cocktail is the simplest to throw together for a last-minute shindig, even on weeknights! You can even pop it in the slow cooker. This classic Christmas cocktail will not only wow your guests, but have a beautiful, fruity holiday fragrance wafting through your house.
As well as antioxidant-rich red wine, your immune system will reap the benefits of the warming spices rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which go to town boosting your immune system. Impress your guests by serving your mulled wine in glass mugs (so the vibrant hues shine through) and fanciful garnishes – orange slices cut into half-moons, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and a handful of cranberries. Light a fire or candles, switch on your favorite holiday songs, and enjoy!
VANILLA CHAI TEA WHITE RUSSIAN
For an aromatic take on a classic White Russian, try this creamy and delicious Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian.This makes a great nightcap or dessert cocktail for when your energy is dipping thanks to its caffeine hit. Start by making a concentrated chai tea syrup.Bring some water to a boil, then take it off the heat and add three chai tea bags to brew for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add some honey, and bring to the boil over high heat for 15 minutes, then stir in the vanilla. Let this cool before mixing with one part coffee liqueur(like Kahlua), one part vodka, then top with heavy cream and garnish with Christmas spices, a cinnamon stick, and star anise. Sip slowly on this indulgent,cozy drink ideal for the holiday season – a chic and modern update to a classic Eggnog! Make a big batch and serve with mince pies in front of a roaring fire and a feel-good Christmas movie for ultimate cozy vibes!
BOURBON APPLE CIDER FIZZ
This delicious fizz-topped concoction is warming and sweet in equal measures – just what we want from a holiday cocktail! Plus, it’s ideal to make as a big pitcher to share amongst guests at a holiday gathering. Bourbon works best in this, but you can also use whiskey or a darker rum if that’s all you have in. Comforting vanilla bean and rich, warming cinnamon make it extra tasty, and the cinnamon sticks make for a fun festive garnish which gives it the wow-factor.
For the apple cider, it’s worth it to get the high-quality produce from your local farm shop for this – you really will taste the difference, and it shouldn’t be too hard to track down at this time of year – ‘tis the season after all! For the apple cider syrup, pop apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean on a low heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes, then stir in some brown sugar and allow it to cool to room temperature. You can keep this mixture for up to a month in the fridge once the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean have been discarded!
To make the cocktail, combine the apple cider syrup with Bourbon, lemon juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker, then shake for 10 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass with ice. For the fizz, top with sparkling white wine, or for a lower alcohol version, top with sparking apple cider, and garnish with festive cranberries. This one’s so delicious, it won’t stick around for long!