Up your hosting game this holiday season by skipping the usual mixed drinks and serving delicious, impressive, and holiday cocktails full of festive flavors.
We scoured the internet for some of the most celebratory (and delicious) holiday cocktails around! These scrumptious bevies feature Champagne, vodka, and bourbon, plus three extra, over-the-top bonus drinks that will test your mixologist skills.
Best Liquors for Your Home Bar
First, let’s get your home bar ready for the holidays by stocking up on essentials. A couple of bottles of popular spirits and some mixers are all you really need. Adding a few flavored liqueurs, cordials, and syrups to your bar will instantly multiply the number of drinks you can make.
- Bourbon or another favorite whiskey
- A few liqueurs or cordials in your favorite flavors like amaretto (almond), Cointreau (orange), or Kahlua (coffee)
- Non-alcoholic mixers including club soda, soda pop, and juice (orange, cranberry)
- Simple syrup (flavored or plain)
Keep alternatives on hand for those who don’t like spirits, including red and white wine, sparkling wine like Champagne, and beer. And, of course, make sure you have non-alcoholic beverages on hand for guests who prefer not to drink.
Holiday Champagne Cocktails
Nothing says celebration like Champagne! It’s the beverage of choice for a party, but it also makes the perfect pre-holiday dinner drink. Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money on real Champagne, either. Prosecco and Cava are great, more affordable alternatives.
Poinsettia (Cranberry Champagne Cocktail)
This three-ingredient champagne cocktail is quick and simple to make, but it looks stunning and tastes refreshing, too. You just need Champagne, orange liqueur like Cointreau, and cranberry juice.
New Year’s Eve Champagne Punch
Champagne, raspberry liqueur, triple sec, blackberry brandy, plus ginger ale and pineapple juice combine to create a fun, flavorful, and fizzy punch to help you and your guests ring in the new year!
Gold Shimmery Champagne Cocktail
Now, this is a celebratory drink! Shimmering edible luster dust in gold elevates this elegant elderflower champagne cocktail.
Holiday Vodka Cocktails
Vodka is the most popular spirit in the world in part because it’s so versatile. With little flavor of its own, vodka can serve as the base for anything from super sweet to intensely bitter cocktails and everything in between. The holiday vodka cocktail recipes below are simple to make. And, in keeping with the holiday spirit, they’re all on the sweet side.
Sugar Cookie Martini
It’s no surprise that this martini is a sweet treat, just like the holiday sugar cookie that inspired it! You’ll need vanilla vodka, Irish cream, amaretto, and milk to go in the glass, plus some powdered sugar, frosting, and sprinkles to decorate.
Peppermint White Russian
The classic White Russian gets a splash of wintery flavor by adding peppermint schnapps to the standard vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream recipe.
Dry vermouth and citrus vodka are the base of this martini, but the gingerbread liqueur (or syrup) makes it a great cocktail for the holidays.
Holiday Bourbon Cocktails
Bourbon is a popular type of whiskey that’s made in America and aged in oak barrels. Its strong flavor stands up well to other strong flavors like cinnamon and ginger, and it blends nicely with citrus, too. Here are three warming, bourbon-based holiday cocktails to try.
Cinnamon Spiced Old Fashioned with Muddled Blood Orange
A cinnamon simple syrup, muddled blood orange peels, and orange bitters add festivity to this flavorful, holiday-friendly old fashioned.
Forget store-bought eggnog! It’s easy to make the classic boozy holiday drink from scratch, as long as you don’t mind the traditional raw eggs. (Choose pasteurized eggs or cook them gently over a water bath if you’re worried about food safety.)
Christmas Kentucky Buck
Cranberry juice, lemon juice, and ginger syrup combine with bourbon and club soda for a simple-to-make cocktail with holiday flavors.
BONUS: 3 Mind-Blowing, Over-The-Top Holiday Cocktail Recipes for Mixology Masters
Do you want your holiday drinks to come with a “wow” factor? Then check these three recipes out and be prepared for the oohs and aahs!
Loaded Bloody Mary
January 1 is not just New Year’s Day but National Bloody Mary Day, too! Take your basic Bloody Mary over the top with this recipe which loads up the spicy tomato juice and vodka drink with celery stalks, pickles, olives, beef sticks, beef jerky, cheese cubes, and – the crowning glory – a mini cheeseburger!
Molecular Rose Caviar Champagne
Up for some molecular gastronomy? The spherification technique in this recipe creates delicate little caviar-sized balls to add an unexpected element to this elegant rosewater-champagne drink. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not so hard, and the results are sure to impress your guests!
Mirrorbar Pousse Café (Layered Drink)
If you’re looking for a drink with a wow factor, this is it. Even though it’s just a shot, this recipe calls for 12 – yes, 12! – separate ingredients. Layering liquors cleanly takes practice, but when you get the technique down you can make impressive drinks like this for your guests.
Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration in the holiday cocktail recipes above and are ready to try something new. It’s a fun, simple, and delicious way to celebrate the holiday season.