What are classic holiday cocktails to make?
The holidays are a time to gather and be merry with friends and family. However, the festive season can also bring stress and a little too much family. Some well-crafted cocktails can be a great way to loosen the mood at your next get-together.
So ditch the premixed eggnog and spice up your next holiday gathering with these classic holiday cocktails. Holiday food and beverages all seem to revolve around a perfect blend of warm, nostalgic, spiced deliciousness— and this cocktail list is no exception!
Read on for our list of classic holiday cocktails, and don’t forget to leave one out for Santa Claus!
Mulled wine can certainly be considered “classic,” as it has been consumed since Roman times. While the Romans were busy conquering Europe, they were also spreading their love of wine and viticulture across the lands.
It is known as Glühwein, Glögg, and other names, depending on what part of the world you are in.
A classic mulled wine preparation consists of hot red wine mixed with cinnamon, cloves, and citrus. Feel free to experiment with other spices and flavors, such as star anise, maple syrup, honey, or brandy.
Hot Buttered Rum
Hot buttered rum dates back to American colonial days. At this time, rum was considered a tonic and elixir, and each family had their own recipe. The drink recipe was first recorded and popularized by The Bar-Tender’s Guide, a 19th-century book written by Jerry Thomas, also known as “The Father of Mixology.”
The recipe featured in the book calls for hot water, butter, sugar, Jamaican rum, cloves, and allspice. Different takes on the drink include brown sugar, cinnamon, and even vanilla ice cream!
Our friend Jerry Thomas, the aforementioned “Father of Mixology,” recorded another drink into history in his book, The Bar-Tender’s Guide: the champagne cocktail. A simple blend of champagne, angostura bitters, and an orange peel create an elegant, timeless drink.
Throw in a sugar cube and enjoy the cascading bubbles!
Looking for a drink to pair with your gingerbread cookies? This is the one!
Lemon, honey, ginger root, and bourbon are combined for a refreshing and bright holiday beverage. Another popular take on the drink substitutes the bourbon for vodka. If you don’t have fresh ginger root available, the flavor can also be attained with the use of ginger beer or ginger liqueur.
Spiked Cider Punch
Spiked cider punch is the perfect drink for entertaining large groups of people! Apple cider, champagne, bourbon, and juice are combined to create a tasty punch. To add a little more holiday flair, feel free to add cinnamon or allspice.
The bourbon and apple cider in this drink are an ideal complement for each other. To garnish the punch bowl, use thin orange slices seated on the rim of the bowl. To keep the punch cold and looking good, consider adding an “ice garnish.” Slices of apple can be frozen into a block or ring of ice.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is a nostalgic childhood drink that deserves a grown-up twist! Start with your favorite recipe for hot chocolate— preferably a homemade version with real chocolate melted into whole milk. After that, adding a splash of bourbon will spice up your warm beverage. Add a cinnamon stick and whipped cream for a warm and satisfying holiday treat.
If you only have the powdered hot chocolate packets, go ahead and try spiking it! It might not taste quite as good, but it will certainly still spread the holiday cheer.
The classic holiday beverage is often sold premade, but the homemade version is leagues tastier. Eggs, sugar, milk, cream, nutmeg, and bourbon are whisked together to create a decadent, luxurious beverage.
The drink can be further enhanced by cooking it. The ingredients are slowly cooked on low heat, without the bourbon, for about 30 minutes. Ensure that the mixture does not boil, and add bourbon to complete the concoction. Vodka, rum, or your favorite liquor can be substituted to make it your own.
A hot toddy is a classic late-night, cold-weather drink. The recipe can vary but usually mixes liquor, water, honey, herbs, and/or spices. Traditionally, the beverage was used as an end of the evening “nightcap” and was often used to fight off the cold and flu.
In the 2009 book How to Drink, author Victoria Moore describes the healing effects by saying that the honey can soothe a sore throat, the Vitamin C can help keep you healthy, and the alcohol, as always, has a numbing effect.
A traditional recipe mixes whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy a warm and soothing beverage.
Do you like coffee or milkshakes? How about a coffee milkshake with liquor? If so, the mudslide is definitely your drink.
A simple version of the drink uses vodka, coffee liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and heavy cream. The vodka can be substituted with brandy for a more nuanced flavor profile. Garnish with chocolate shavings, and you have yourself a creamy dessert cocktail.
Popularized by its availability in bars of chain restaurants, the drink is not considered “classy.” To add to the decadence, many iterations of the drink add ice cream and are served in larger-than-life-sized glasses.
Apple Butter Old Fashioned
This apple butter old fashioned presents a new take on an old classic. Apple cider and apple butter are combined with lemon juice, orange bitters, and bourbon to create this “remixed” drink. The apple butter adds a rich touch, while the apple cider could be substituted with ginger beer for an alternate take.
For a beautiful garnish, a sugared rim with thinly sliced apples and a cinnamon stick will be sure to impress your guests.
The Peppermintini is a holiday take on the classic martini. The drink is created with a mix of vodka, peppermint schnapps, white chocolate liqueur, and heavy cream.
Crushed peppermint and chocolate shavings make an excellent garnish to really add the festive cheer! If you need any ingredients for this drink delivered to your door, check out Saucey.com. You may even be able to find peppermint vodka to add even more holiday joy.
Sangria is an infinitely adaptable and changeable drink that is perfect for any occasion. Change the fruit, add some different spices, and you have a drink for a whole different season. Holiday sangria makes it easy to entertain a large number of guests if prepared in a punch bowl or pitcher.
Our holiday edition of sangria combines red wine of your choice, sparkling apple cider, brandy, cinnamon, and star anise. If you and your guests don’t like the licorice-like flavor of star anise, feel free to leave it out or replace it with another spice of your choice.
Now you have the perfect excuse to plan some holiday parties! A well-crafted drink is sure to bring a high level of class to your festive events. And there’s something for everyone on this list!
You might already have the ingredients for a lot of these drinks or will only need an extra component or two.
If you and your holiday guests are already feeling the holiday cheer, Saucey has you covered with freaky fast alcohol delivery. Saucey.com delivers fan favorites, seasonal booze, and local favorites.