Tis the holiday season, and holiday entertaining often can go on for days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, so a festive holiday cocktail is always welcome. The best holiday cocktail will combine color, the right glassware, and of course, great taste. Using the right ingredients is critical for a holiday cocktail, and a base of fresh fruit, herbs, and spices can go a long way to give your friends and family that holiday spirit. Try making a holiday cocktail from this list, or create one of your own to share on your Instagram.
Make Your Holiday Cocktail Prep Easy
Launching the holidays with a Thanksgiving holiday cocktail that includes the taste of pumpkin, cranberries, apple, and ginger is a good start, and though some holiday cocktail recipes are for two, it’s easy to just increase the quantities for a crowd. While it’s nice to have the right glass for the right holiday cocktail (champagne flutes, martini glasses, etc.), Ball jars now come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are relatively inexpensive and last longer than a lot of glassware without chipping.
A holiday cocktail that is almost Thanksgiving in a glass is the Cranberry Sauce Gin & Tonic from Jimmy at the James in New York City. The jewel-toned red color also makes this a great choice for Christmas. You can make a large batch of the base minus the alcohol and add the gin later to shake and serve.
Cranberry Sauce Gin & Tonic
Make your plain old gin and tonic into a festive Thanksgiving cranberry colored gin and tonic in a tall, cold glass.
From Jimmy at the James, New York City
2 oz Botanist Gin
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
1 heaping bar spoon (equivalent to a standard teaspoon)
In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and cranberry sauce. Shake with ice for 10 seconds, then strain into tall glass with ice. Stir in tonic water and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Find Something Bubby For Your Signature Holiday Cocktail
Prosecco is a nice alternative to champagne, especially if you are expecting a crowd or intend to use it in a holiday cocktail. While your oenophile friends might note the difference, it’s likely that most won’t, and the price point of prosecco is much more wallet-friendly, according to Nielsen, and your holiday cocktail will still have plenty of sparkle.
Both prosecco and champagne are festive and bubbly and can be served in a flute or a coupe, and the difference comes down to the grape.
“While they’re both sparkling white wines, Champagne is produced from chardonnay, pinot noir and Pinot Meunier grapes grown in the Champagne region of northeast France, while prosecco hails from the Veneto region of Italy and is made mainly from Glera grapes.”
A quick and easy idea is to put bright red pomegranate seeds in a champagne flute and pour in the bubbly of your choice for a simple holiday cocktail. If you don’t want to cut up a pomegranate, you can buy the seeds in the produce section of most markets. They come in a small container by the company Pomi.
From across the pond, OHM Sheffield in England brings us the Gingerbread Cocktail as seen above, which will satisfy your inner child.
Mixologist Dominic from OHM Sheffield was willing to share his secret for the ultimate holiday cocktail.
1 oz Absolut vodka
1 oz Baileys Irish cream
1 oz single cream
1 oz fresh espresso
1 oz Marie Brizard gingerbread syrup
Shake and strain all ingredients over cubed ice and top with lots of whipped cream. Add a gingerbread man or gingersnap for garnish.
Santa Margherita makes the most of their prosecco and any leftover cranberries you might have from Thanksgiving. Put some fresh cranberries in a bag in the freezer to start and use some cocktail skewers if you have them (or cut some kebab skewers to about 4 inches if you have them around the house). Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore brings any sparkling holiday cocktail to life.
Prosecco Superiore Cranberry Skewer
This cocktail combines the sweet and tart for a Christmas or winter holiday cocktail or for a New Year’s toast.
- 1 bottle of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
- 8-10 frozen cranberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- Put cranberries on a skewer and rinse under cold water.
- Dip skewered cranberries in water, then roll in granulated sugar.
- Place skewers on wax paper and place in freezer for 5 minutes.
- Fill glass ¾ with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore.
- Place skewers on top of glass and serve.
For a slightly sweeter garnish, soak fresh or frozen berries in maple syrup overnight, then skewer and roll in sugar.
If you want to go traditional, using a true symbol of the season, go with a Candy Cane holiday cocktail from Food Network.
A Holiday Cocktail With Some Sugar And Spice
Candy Cane Cocktail
This is a bit heavier, and the recipe makes a holiday cocktail for one, but it is a great eggnog alternative for a holiday cocktail.
1 shot vanilla rum
1 shot white chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane for garnish
Add all liquid ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane.
A Warm Holiday Cocktail Or Mocktail Is Always Popular
Looking for a warm holiday cocktail for Christmas or New Year’s Day? Try a Gingerbread Hot Chocolate, which can be served either virgin or high-test.
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
This is a holiday cocktail or mocktail which combines hot chocolate with a bit of spice.
- Add a shot of Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, peppermint schnapps, Green Chartreuse or bourbon
This is a great recipe to serve without alcohol for kids or teetotalers at your holiday cocktail party.
Have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!