Tired of the same old spiked eggnog and mulled cider? Here are five classic cocktail recipes with a wonderful holiday twist!
Moscow Mules are back in style. There’s something about that copper mug that just makes everything taste better, but you could honestly make them in a mason jar and they’d still be perfect. Who says they’re only a summer drink?
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1 1/2 oz gin or vodka (depending on your preference)
- 2 oz chilled ginger beer
- 1 rosemary sprig
- Orange slice, for garnish
- Sugared cranberries, for garnish (see below for instructions)
Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin or vodka. Fill your copper mug or mason jar or whatever you’re using with ice, pour mixture over it, and top off with the ginger beer. Add a sprig of rosemary and an orange slice, and skewer a few wonderful sugared cranberries (if you want to make them) and lay them across the top of the mug.
Sugared cranberries garnish:
The sugared cranberries garnish is optional and takes some time to prepare beforehand but if you’re entertaining it’s totally worth the work, because they can be used for many other holiday treats, so you may want to make a batch and keep them on hand.
Make a sugar syrup (1:1 sugar and water, at least 2 cups of each) and bring it just under a boil. Put the cranberries in a dish and pour the syrup over them. Refrigerate overnight. Drain away the excess syrup, let them sit 5 minutes until they are semi dry and sticky. Dip them in sugar (the finer the grade the better) and set them on a tray to finish drying for 2 hours. Once they’re set, you can use them immediately or put them away for use all holiday long!
White Christmas Mojito
Another summer drink reimagined for wintertime, the White Christmas Mojito brings together the best of both worlds. This drink has an intense coconut flavor, so you might want to adjust the ratio of coconut milk to sparkling water according to taste. If that means drinking a few practice drinks, then hey, no judgment here!
- Juice from one lime
- 6-8 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp white rum
- 1 tbsp coconut rum
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- Sparkling water for topping
- Pomegranate seeds garnish
Muddle (crush together) the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves in a glass. Fill ice to halfway and set aside.
In a blender or processor, combine the rums and coconut milk and pulse until it’s smooth. Add to your prepared glass. Stir, don’t shake! Then top it off with the sparking water. Add more mint leaves for a garnish, and for a real color kick add a few pomegranate seeds (with the mint it makes it look like holly!)
Salted Caramel White Russian
White Russians are already wintery, what with the Kahlua and whatnot. But if you really want to jazz it up, it’s all in the preparation.
- 1 oz Kahlua or coffee liqueur
- 2 oz vodka
- Salted caramel sauce (to prepare the glass)
- half & half or cream
- coarse sea salt
- caramel candies for garnish
Lightly salt the rim of the glass. Drizzle the caramel sauce off the back of a spoon to make a delicate pattern on the inside of the glass. Be fancy! When your masterpiece is complete, add ice.
Mix Kahlua and vodka and 2 ice cubes; shake well. Strain into glass over ice, top off with a splash of cream and garnish with, what else, some caramel candy!
Cranberry Orange Margaritas
Now here’s a holiday drink you’re going to want to make by the pitcher! Not only that, but remember those sugared cranberries you made earlier? You can use them here, too! I told you to make a lot of them!
- 12 oz tequila blanco
- 16 oz cranberry juice
- 4 oz orange juice
- 4 oz orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
- ¾ cup lime juice
- 3 tbsp sugar
- orange slices for garnish
- coarse salt
- sugared cranberries
Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher over ice. Serve in salt-rimmed margarita glasses with a slice of orange and a few sugared cranberries. Enjoy!
Candy Cane Martini
Here’s a lovely twist on one of the most iconic cocktails of all time. And best of all, we’re having it James Bond style! That is to say, shaken and not stirred.
- ¼ oz simple syrup
- ¼ oz grenadine
- 2 1/2 oz vodka
- peppermint extract
- crushed candy canes
Rim a martini glass with the crushed candy cane. Combine the syrup, grenadine, vodka, and ONLY one drop of peppermint extract in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake vigorously, strain into the prepared glass. If that’s not enough candy cane, you can add one as a garnish. But that’s totally up to you.