Holiday drinks don’t have to be hot. The frozen festive cocktail is a favorite of ours. We love a chocolatey, caffeinated Bushwacker and a bright green, frozen Grasshopper with dark chocolate shavings. It’s hard not to love the warmth of hot butter rum and comforting chocolate after a long day of skiing or snowboarding. Chef Amy Brandwein’s Inverno Arancione cocktail with mulled wine has helped many editors get through difficult afternoons of shoveling snow. Here are 23 of our editors’ top holiday drinks to host a couple or a large group.
Andrew and Briana Volk from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, Maine, give their take on the classic grasshopper. This refreshing frozen cocktail is infused with bracing aquavit. It contains a bit of caraway, banana liquor, and cooling crème de menthe. The result is balanced but strong. The contrast between the white whip and the minty green drink is created using two types of creme de mousse: white and green. However, either color can be used.
This rich, velvety drink is perfect for sipping on cool nights. Slowly heat the butter and cream until the mixture is smooth. Next, whisk in the dark brown sugar. Finally, add the spiced rum, salt, and a Moroccan spice mixture. This will create a delicious, richly-flavored batch of drinks that is perfect for entertaining.
Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices
For a potent punch of flavor, this low-alcohol punch uses tart cranberry juice with spicy ginger ale. Frozen cranberries can be a punch ring to keep this fizzy drink cold.
“Spiced mulled cocktails are my favorite way to unwind in the evenings.”
“Colder months,” Amy Brandwein, a Washington chef from Centrolina, says.
D.C. This recipe uses Pinot Noir as the base wine.
Grigio will continue a focus on ginger and citrus. It almost plays off the flavors
A classic panettone is an Italian winter specialty.
You’ll need brandy and dark rum to make this creamy, rich eggnog. To ensure everything is well blended, chill it thoroughly before you serve it.
Frenched Hot Chocolate
Bobby Heugel, co-owner of Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston, says, “Chartreuse + chocolate is one of the most underrated combinations.” This boozy, decadent hot cocoa is a combination of the two.
Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth
Ponche Navideno is a Christmastime-inspired tropical fruit punch made with spices and served warm in Mexico with a tequila shot. Paola Briseno Gonzalez, the recipe developer, has chilled this holiday classic to pay homage to her love for vermouth.
Sticky Toffee Pudding Eggnog
Eben Freeman, a cocktail consultant, has created a foamy eggnog that is half a drink and half a dessert. It’s infused with the sweet caramel flavors of sticky Toffee Pudding, a British favorite. He says, “It’s thick and can be eaten with a spoon.” “So was classic eggnog.”
Leo Robitschek, bar director, makes the perfect holiday punch using warming flavors of citrus, cinnamon, and pear.
Walker’s Mulled wine
This version of mulled wines is from Walkers Maine in Cape Nedick, Maine. It’s lightly infused with vanilla, star anise, and nutmeg. Then, it’s lightly sweetened with honey or maple syrup.
Coquito, also known as “little coconut,” refers to a Puerto Rican traditional creamy rum punch that is served during Christmas and the winter holidays. Although some versions contain eggs, this recipe uses coconut cream and three kinds of milk to achieve its richness and viscosity. Warming spices, white rum, and white wine add flavor and aroma.
Waterpocket Distillery’s Long Lost Minthe is an unsweetened peppermint botanical spirit that has minty, floral, and citrus pith flavors. It comes with a shot of bittersweet fresh grapefruit juice and sweet St-Germain. It is only sold at Utah state liquor shops or directly from the distillery. However, it can be substituted for a variety of liqueurs including Vicario Monk’s Secret or Dampfwerk Distilling’s The Helgolander.
Champagne Holiday Punch
Erick Castro, a mixologist, created this sparkling drink that is light and refreshing. The whiskey-like depth of the malted grain-based genever is enhanced by Creole Shrubb, which adds warmly spiced orange flavors.
This lightened Old-Fashioned cocktail is made with richly flavored dark amber maple syrup and citrus juices.
Earl Grey-Aquavit Spritz
Honey simple syrup is much easier than regular simple syrup. Simply stir honey and water together until it becomes a smooth mixture. This tea-infused cocktail pairs the honey syrup’s subtle floral sweetness with a hint of lemon.
Marcus Samuelsson, a chef from Sweden, spikes white wine with rose vodka and adds cardamom to the mix. This drink is delicious, aromatic, and boozy.
Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies
Hot toddy is simply a shot of any potent spirit mixed with a cup hot water. This warming drink has been given a French twist by adding a splash of apple brandy to it. Honey and lemon juice are also added. A cinnamon stick is added for garnish.
Apple Old Fashioned
This Old-Fashioned variation has a rich warmth from applejack and lets fresh apple flavors shine through without being overpowered. Combine ingredients in a heatproof container with 2 ounces of boiling water to make a hot beverage.
This festive iced cocktail is a blend of three types of alcohol. It’s smooth and velvety without being too sweet. Each glass is finished with a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, a bright red maraschino cherries and a dusting ground cinnamon.
Blood Orange Margarita
This drink is known as the “fall margarita” by Chef Dean Fearing. It’s a hit at Lynae Shinsei in Dallas. This beloved cocktail is enhanced by sweet-tart blood Oranges, which add a rich citrus flavor and beautiful blush color. You can also use standard navel oranges to make a delicious margarita if you don’t have blood oranges.