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Five Festive Drinks for Holiday Cheer

Whether you’re looking for a festive cocktail to try out at home, planning a menu for a family get together, or searching for a unique new drink to bring to a holiday cocktail party, we’ve got you covered with delicious drinks to help celebrate the holiday season!

While we enjoy coming up with our own cocktail combinations, it saves time and money to try out recipes others have perfected. 

5 Festive Cocktails for Holiday Cheer

A variety of four alcoholic cocktails on a wooden table against white brick background

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Here are five of our favorite winter drink recipes that we found on the web – with some holiday gift ideas for the hostess on your list (or yourself!)

These mixed drinks with a holiday twist have all been a hit with our friends and loved ones over past celebrations and the present season!

1. Wintery Moscow Mule from Total Wine

The history of the invention of the Moscow Mule cocktail dates back to the 1940s. But the crisp combination of spicy ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice served in its signature copper mug has stood the test of time. It's one of the nation's most popular drinks today! 

For the holiday season, the addition of cranberry juice will add an interesting twist to this already well-liked bubbly cocktail. 

Figure out what you need to pick up at the store from this list of ingredients for each serving:

You can mix up some Wintery Moscow Mules in no time!

Combine the simple syrup, cranberry juice, and Vodka and pour over ice in your copper mug. Top it off with ginger beer and garnish (if desired) with rosemary instead of the usually mint sprigs, an orange slice, and a few cranberries.

*Gift Idea! If you don’t have copper mugs or want to gift a set to family or friends this holiday season, consider this set of 4 mugs (16 oz.), copper straws, coasters, shot glass, brush, and spoon for under $40!

With over 5,000 ratings and a score of 4.7 stars out of 5 – it is sure to be enjoyed.

2. White Christmas Margarita Punch from How Sweet Eats

If you’re dreaming of impressing your loved ones with a fun Christmas cocktail, consider serving this creamy coconut drink that’s earned a 4.98 out of 5 star rating from more than 200 votes!

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces silver tequila
  • 8 ounces grand marnier
  • 8 ounces lime juice
  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 8 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 6 ounces coconut cream
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 6 ounces simple syrup
  • If desired, 1 teaspoon coconut extract 
  • Garnish with a Sprig of Rosemary, fresh cranberries

Combine ingredients and whisk in a large mixing bowl (it might take a while to make sure ingredients are well mixed and won’t separate!) For a sweeter or more tropical taste, add more simple syrup or coconut extract.

*Gift Idea! Rather than using a punch bowl at your holiday parties, consider a decorative glass serving pitcher instead. Serve your guests their festive cheer in a fun margarita cocktail glass.

3. Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian from Half Baked Harvest

If you are looking for a flavorful cocktail with a new twist, give a Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian a try. The Vanilla Chai Tea syrup you make provides more depth to the flavor of this creamy mocha favorite that’s served over ice.

It takes about 20 minutes to make the Chai Tea Simple Syrup. But mixing up the White Russian takes no time at all. You’ll find that the unique flavor the syrup brings to this popular after-dinner drink is well worth your efforts!

Note: The Syrup recipe is enough for about six servings and the Chai White Russian Recipe is for one person.

Ingredients:

Chai Tea Simple Syrup

  • 4 chai tea bags
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chai White Russian

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces Kahlua
  • 1-2 ounces chai tea syrup
  • 1-2 ounces heavy cream
  • To garnish, use cinnamon sticks and star anise

Directions to make Chai Tea Simple Syrup

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, remove it from the heat. Add the chai tea bags, cover, and allow them to steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the honey, and bring it to a boil over high heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. This mixture can stay in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Chai White Russian

Fill your favorite glass with ice and add the vodka, Kahlua, and chai tea syrup. After stirring gently, add the heavy cream and stir. Garnish with cinnamon and star anise, if desired. 

*Gift Idea! You can get a Yamees starter set that includes 6 oz. of cinnamon sticks, star anise, and whole cloves. With a score of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 900 reviews, you can be confident that the fresh spices and seasonings you buy will really boost the flavor of your holiday cheer!

4. Eggnog Martini from The Spruce Eats

This quick and easy 3-ingredient holiday cocktail is a spin off of traditional recipes for Eggnog. Rather than using rum, brandy, or bourbon, you’ll use both vanilla-flavored vodka and amaretto in this recipe.  

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to give this twist on traditional eggnog a try.

  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce amaretto liqueur
  • 2 ounces eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg and cinnamon stick, for garnish if desired

Chill your drink glasses (you don't need a martini glass if you don't have them). Then, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, amaretto, and eggnog.

Shake for a minimum of 20 seconds and strain into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg and add a small cinnamon stick for even more taste.

*Gift idea! If you enjoy making interesting and festive drinks throughout the year, consider buying (or gifting) your “bartender” a cocktail shaker set.

5. Spiked Hazelnut (Nutella) Hot Chocolate from the Today Show

One of our staple beverages during the winter season is hot cocoa. But a homemade hot cocoa recipe that adds a perfect blend of Nutella to the mix takes it to a new level. What’s great about this recipe is that you can make it with – or without – the liquor so that everyone on your naughty and nice list gets a chance to enjoy it! 

Here are the basic ingredients you need for this festive favorite:

1 1/2 cups milk

1/3 cup Nutella

1 cinnamon stick

*4 ounces bourbon, Frangelico, cacao rum, or chocolate liqueur (optional)

To make Nutella hot cocoa, warm the milk over medium-high heat and stir in the Nutella until it melts. Grab your favorite mug and garnish your drink with a cinnamon stick and liquor of your choice (if desired). To top off your delicious drink, the kids (or even the kid in you!) might enjoy adding a candy cane or a toasted marshmallow or two.

*Gift Idea! You’ll need a bigger jar of Nutella when your family and friends try out this seasonal treat! And why not boost the size of your cocoa mug and try these wonderful 20 oz. multi-colored ceramic cups. With over 1400 reviews and an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, they’re bound to be a hit on a holiday – or any day!

During this most wonderful time of the year, set aside your go-to beer and wine choices and give a new festive beverage a try. These are just a few drinks we’ve enjoyed as we get into the holiday spirit out over the years.

What are some of your favorites? We’d love to hear about them!

Next: New Year’s Resolutions for Snowbirds

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