Nothing says “holiday cheer” quite like eggnog, some Christmas cookies, and gathering the whole family around the fireplace. In this holiday guide, we’ve shared 5 of our favorite cocktails to get you feeling festive, as well as the perfect glassware pairing for each drink. These seasonal spirits are a fun option for restaurants who want to serve something special during the busy winter months, and they’re great for holiday house parties as well!
1. Mistletoe Mule
This playful twist on the Moscow Mule uses a copper mug and all the same ingredients as that classic cocktail, with two exceptions. To give it that holiday flair, you’ll need a crushed candy cane to flavor the drink, as well as a whole candy cane for garnish. We also recommend sprinkling pomegranate seeds to add flavor and texture. Here’s how to make it:
- Fill copper mugs with ice. Then, pour 1 oz. vodka and ½ oz. lime juice into each mug. Add ginger beer until the mugs are nearly full.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and the crushed candy cane over the top.
- Add a mint sprig and a candy cane as the final touch.
Also known as a Cranberry Mimosa, this tasty drink evokes the red and green Christmas flower. Instead of orange juice, you’ll use sweetened cranberry juice with champagne, as well as a garnish of fresh rosemary and cranberries. We recommend using a champagne glass to achieve the full effect. Here’s how to make one:
- Use lime to rim the champagne glasses, and then dip them in sugar.
- Pour ¼ cup cranberry juice in every glass and fill the remainder with champagne.
- Take a toothpick and skewer two cranberries on it. Then, thread the rosemary sprig through the same hole you made with the toothpick. Set the garnish horizontally on the rim.
3. Mulled Wine
Christmas drinks don’t get much cozier than mulled wine, and almost any red varietal will taste great in this cocktail. We recommend a dry cab or malbec, but everyone has their favorite. Here’s what you need to get mulled at your next holiday party:
- Heat a saucepan over a medium flame. Combine a bottle of red wine, a round-sliced orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves, 3 star anise, ½ cup brandy, and ¼ cup honey.
- Bring to a simmer (don’t let it boil), and then turn down the heat. Let the concoction simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve in a glass mug with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick as a garnish.
4. Santa Clausmo
Similar to the Poinsettia, the Santa Clausmopolitan is made with vodka instead of champagne, but it still has that cheerful cranberry color. Of course, you’ll need some martini glasses and a cocktail shaker to get on Santa Claus’ good list. Here’s how to make this Christmas concoction:
- Rime 4 glasses with a lime wedge and then dip them in sugar.
- Fill your shaker with ice. Pour in 1 cup vodka, 1 ½ cups cranberry juice, ¼ cup lime juice, and ¼ cup triple sec.
- Shake up the mixture until it gets really cold. Then divvy up the drink into your glasses and garnish with fresh cranberries.
5. Gingerbread Eggnog
Only Scrooges dislike nog, and that’s especially true for the gingerbread variety. Eggnog is one of the most versatile Christmas drinks — you can serve it during breakfast, brunch, or after dinner. After making nog, you can store it in the fridge for 5 days, and it will get more delicious over time. We recommend serving it in a tumbler glass. Here’s how to craft this creamy drink:
- Crack 6 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, adding the yolks to a bowl. Add ½ cup sugar and whisk it with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until smooth and creamy.
- Pour 3 cups milk (or 2 cups milk; 1 cup heavy cream) into a large saucepan. Add a cinnamon stick. Heat on the stovetop until the milk starts simmering. Add 1 tsp grated nutmeg, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp allspice, 1 tbsp molasses, ½ tsp ground ginger, and a pinch of salt.
- Slowly ladle a little of the hot milk into the whisked egg bowl, while continuing to whisk. Do this a few times. Then, add the egg bowl into the milk saucepan, and bring it to a simmer.
- Test the simmering milk mixture with a candy thermometer. When it hits 160°F, turn off the heat.
- Pour the entire mixture into a glass serving bowl and cover. Keep in the fridge for 4+ hours. When you take it out of the fridge, add ¼ cup rum to the bowl and mix. Or, serve as is for a non-alcoholic treat.