This time of year, the holiday craziness seems to take over daily life (and honestly, I’m not complaining.) And, there’s no better way to toast the season than with a collection of handcrafted holiday cocktails. Mixology doesn’t have to be your forte in order to have fun with serving up festive drinks. Inspired by a wide variety of seasonal ingredients, these drinks bring flavors that range from spicy warmth to refreshing crispness. Each one feels like a celebration of all that makes the season so magical.
10 Holiday Cocktails for Every Occasion
Holiday cocktails are a simple way to elevate your gatherings, infusing the essence of the season into every sip. Whether you’re hosting your own soirée or simply looking to unwind by the fireplace, these recipes promise to bring all the festivity. Get ready to shake and stir your way to fun.
From simple to spiced, these picks are anything but basic. Brighten any winter gathering or cozy up with your favorite holiday flick with these 10 cocktails.
Maple Bourbon Punch
Why We Love It: This maple bourbon punch is a holiday favorite in my household. It’s naturally sweetened from honey and vanilla and a bit zesty thanks to the orange juice. Add in some rosemary sprigs for an herbal touch, and you have yourself a great all-around drink to sip on.
Hero Ingredient: Make this punch in a large bowl and try the orange and rosemary ice ring included in this recipe! It’s a true pièce de resistance.
Pomegranate Spice Champagne Punch
Why We Love It: Pomegranate anything pairs perfectly with winter dishes. This champagne punch utilizes the flavor in a subtle and sweet way, with the addition of fresh fruit and spices from cinnamon sticks. Cointreau is the perfect liquor to enhance this recipe with its orange-based flavor.
Hero Ingredient: Fresh mint leaves are a great garnish to add a visually-pleasing pop of green.
Herbal Infused Bourbon Apple Cider
Why We Love It: When the temperatures dip, the first cozy drink I think of is apple cider. I’m a big fan of everything spiced when it comes to winter drinks, and this recipe does just that in an herbal-infused way. Add in some fresh apples for a crunchy topping for the coziest sipper.
Hero Ingredient: A sprinkle of cinnamon never hurt anyone.
Boozy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Why We Love It: If apple cider isn’t your forte when it comes to hot holiday cocktails, this boozy peppermint hot chocolate might just win you over. All you need to throw together this winter fave is vanilla liqueur, cocoa, peppermint extract, and a few pantry staples you’re bound to have on hand.
Hero Ingredient: You can’t forget whipped cream for hot cocoa.
Lillet Rosé Spritz
Why We Love It: Okay, hear me out: a Lillet rosé spritz deserves a spot beyond your summer happy hour. While the drink is perfectly refreshing on a hot day, I also love its citrusy tang and effervescent sparkle during the holidays. Serve it at your next gathering and expect your guests to be pleasantly surprised.
Hero Ingredient: If you haven’t yet enjoyed Lillet rosé, add it to your cart, stat. With notes of red berries, orange blossom and grapefruit, it’s a complex but easy-sipping apéritif.
Camille’s Pomegranate Punch
Why We Love It: This pomegranate punch is a great recipe for serving a holiday crowd. The Mandarin vodka and champagne don’t go overboard on flavor, and allow the orgeat (almond) syrup and pomegranate juice to really bring forward this bevvy’s freshness.
Hero Ingredient: Garnish to your heart’s content with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, or fresh mint.
Why We Love It: I’ve personally never seen a more festive cocktail than this one from Half Baked Harvest. With homemade ginger honey syrup, pomegranate juice, and lime mixed with festive Campari, vodka, and orange liqueur, it’s the perfect cocktail for brightening up any room during the winter months.
Hero Ingredient: The sugar-dusted rosemary is the icing on the cake for me.
Why We Love It: When I see a seasonal menu that features a hot toddy, I can’t help but indulge in the warming flavors. Brightened up with a squeeze of lemon juice and sweetened with homemade simple syrup, there ’twas never a better drink to gather around a fire and cozy up with.
Hero Ingredient: Red chili pepper gives this cocktail a unique kick of heat.
Why We Love It: While your traditional margarita can be found year-round here in Texas, I occasionally like to mix it up with a unique holiday twist on the classic cocktail. A simple syrup made from ginger, lime, and oranges balances out the coconut and brings the perfect Christmas-in-July-type feeling.
Hero Ingredient: Shredded coconut creates a stunning rim for your glass.
Why We Love It: When you’re feeling festive, mulled wine is always a warm and cozy option. It’s also a great way to serve a crowd without having to buy too many other forms of alcohol. This recipe is a little bit citrusy with a hint of sweetness, making it a great all-round pick for large gatherings.
Hero Ingredient: Star anise can make just about any drink look stunning.