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This Mega-Collection Of Holiday Cocktail Recipes Will Make Your Spirits Bright

‘Tis the season for rosy cheeks, and yuletide carols. Both due, in all likelihood, to alcohol. The holidays are a nexus point that highlights both the best reasons for drinking and the worst reasons for drinking. The result is that the next stiff cocktail is never far off.

With that thought in mind, we created a compendium of some of our favorite holiday-themed drinks from around the country. Whether you’re going out with friends or staying in with family, we hope there’s something here for you to enjoy as you toast the season.

 

GRAND MA’S MULE — Mandarin Bar

For fans of the classic Moscow Mule, Mandarin Bar presents a holiday riff that you can enjoy in Vegas or at home.

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops apple bitters
  • 1 1/2 oz Hennessy Black
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz house made cranberry and cinnamon syrup (recipe to follow)
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • sprig mint
  • 1 1/2 ox Fever Tree ginger beer

Directions:

  • Shake Hennessy Black, Grand Marnier, syrups, and lime
  • Strain over ice
  • Top with Fever Tree ginger beer
  • Garnish with dehydrated hidden rose apple, mint, and cranberry skewer

Cranberry and Cinnamon Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 16 oz sugar
  • 16 oz water
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:

  • Let cranberries simmer in syrup until they pop.

SONNY BLACK — Pistola

Want something to warm you up from the winter’s chill? The Sonny Black — a minty take on the hot toddy — should do the trick. If you can’t make it to LA to sample it, give it a shot at your home bar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Jameson Black
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup
  • 1/8 oz allspice dram
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 3 oz hot fresh mint tea
  • lemon (for garnish)

Directions:

  • Shake all ingredients together except hot tea.
  • Pour in Irish coffee mug. Add tea.
  • Garnish with lemon wheel.

 

DULCE DE LECHE HOT-TEA TODDY — by Leslie Ross for Hunky Dory Tavern

Dulce de Leche Toddy

A riff on the hot toddy, Leslie Ross’ decadent cocktail includes homemade dulce de leche for an indulgent experience.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 parts Maker’s 46
  • 3-4 parts double brewed Harney & Sons White Christmas Tea
  • 3/4 part dulce de leche (recipe included)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 part Oloroso (or Palo Cortado Sherry)
  • Rosemary sprig, orange peel and glazed cranberry for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a deep pot, boil one tin of sweetened condensed milk and cover with three inches of water for two to three hours. Allow to stand for 15 minutes and you have dulce de leche!
  • Stir 3/4 parts of warm dulce de leche mixture combined with three to four parts of double brewed Harney & Sons White Christmas Tea (steeped for five minutes).
  • Pour three to four parts of this mixture atop stirred Maker’s 46 and Oloroso. Serve in a pre-warmed hot toddy glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig, orange peel and glazed cranberry.

SWEATER WEATHER TODDY — by Bridget Maloney for The Sexton

Maloney’s holiday toddy is sure to keep you and yours warm in winter weather.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 parts Maker’s 46
  • 3-4 parts brewed Harney & Sons Cinnamon Spice Tea
  • 3/4 part lemon juice
  • 3/4 part maple syrup
  • Bittermens Mole Bitters
  • Dried apple chip and cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Steep Harney & Sons Cinnamon Spice Tea for three minutes.
  • Build ingredients in hot toddy glass, then top with brewed tea.
  • Garnish with a dried apple chip and sprinkle with a dusting of ground cinnamon.

 

TROPICAL HOT-TEA TODDY — by Jaren Rivas for Repour Bar

Tropical Hot-Tea Toddy

If you’re looking for a taste of the tropics in your hot holiday cocktail, look no further than Repour Bar’s play on the toddy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 parts Maker’s 46
  • 4 parts brewed Harney & Sons Holiday Tea
  • 1 part starfruit-infused honey
  • 3/4 parts grapefruit juice
  • Starfruit slice and grapefruit peel for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Steep 2 tsps/8 oz of boiling water for five minutes with Harney and Sons Holiday Tea.
  • To 24 parts clover honey, puree and add two starfruit with equal parts water. Simmer for 20 minutes with the peels of one grapefruit. Let cool and fine strain.
  • Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and pour in a hot toddy glass

CARIBBEAN CREME DE HOT CHOCOLATE — DW Bistro

Still jonesin’ for hot chocolate, huh? DW Bistro shares with us a drink with some real holiday spirit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Shellback spiced rum
  • 1/2 oz Bittermens coffee liqueur
  • 3 dashes Bittermens Tiki bitters
  • 4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate
  • 1 oz Creme de Menthe
  • 4 oz frothed milk

Directions:

  • Melt down 1/2 cup of dark chocolate, mix with 1 oz Creme de Menthe, set aside.
  • Heat milk on medium heat and whisk until froth emerges; set aside.
  • Mix rum, coffee liqueur, bitters, and four teaspoons chocolate syrup in a mug or heat proof glass. Stir well. Add frothed milk.
  • Garnish with cinnamon powder, chocolate dipped cinnamon stick, and mint.

 

HOLIDAY COFFEE GRANITA — by Community Coffee Company

Ever been at a holiday party and struggled to make a choice between a coffee and a cocktail? Community Coffee made the decision easy this year, offering up the crowd-pleasing Holiday Coffee Granita.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Community coffee (any flavor)
  • 12 cups simmering water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle Irish Cream liqueur

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place all Community coffee into a 12-cup coffee press and add water. Allow to steep four minutes, plunge, then set aside.
  • Heat Community coffee and sugar over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Carefully pour mixture into a heat-resistant container.
  • Freeze mixture for four to five hours.
  • Using a fork, scrape granita vigorously every hour to form icy flakes. It is very important to make sure the mixture does not freeze completely.
  • Pour chilled Irish Cream liqueur into small glass and top with the shaved coffee ice.
  • Top with a festive orange twist or sprig of fresh mint.

NUTCRACKER COCKTAIL — Highball and Harvest

Bartender Chelsea Ross shares her personal creation, based on the famous E.T.A. Hoffman story, later developed into the classic holiday ballet. Here, the initial heat and smokiness of the scotch recalls Clara’s battle with the Rat King, and the following sweetness of the walnut maple syrup evokes her celebratory journey to the land of sweets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Pig’s Nose scotch
  • 2 oz walnut maple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Lagavulin 16 year rinse

Directions:

  • Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Strain into a large snifter.
  • Garnish with Sorrel Red Vein.

 

MULLED CIDER — The Gleneagles Hotel

If a trip to Perthshire isn’t on your itinerary for the end of 2015, you can still get a taste of Scotland with The Gleaneagles Hotel’s recipe for mulled cider.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peel from two clementines or one large orange
  • Peel from one unwaxed lemon
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 50 ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 liter good quality (alcoholic) cider. Gleneagles uses Cairn O’Mohr

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients, except cider and maple syrup, in a saucepan and heat, stirring well until lemon juice starts to sizzle.
  • Add cider and maple syrup and continue to heat over low to medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Do not allow to boil.
  • Pour liquid through fine strainer to remove cloves, cinnamon stick, and any other solids.
  • Keeps in fridge for up to three days. Reheat to serve. Also delicious chilled over ice.
  • For the kids, replace the cider with good quality cloudy fresh apple juice.

CHOCOLATE MINT JULEP — Hard Rock Hotel Orlando’s Velvet Bar

Chocolate and mint. Many of us loved this dynamic duo as kids, especially during the holidays. Velvet Bar brings it back to us, all grown up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz shot Woodford Reserve
  • 1 oz Creme de Menthe
  • 1 oz Godiva liqueur
  • Mint sprig

Directions:

  • Strain bourbon, Creme de Menthe, and Godiva liqueur over ice.
  • Pour into martini or cocktail glass.

 

BOURBON GINGER CIDER — By Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

Decided you need a signature cocktail for holiday entertaining, but your bar isn’t stocked? If you have one hour, Drizly can deliver alcohol to your doorstep. Today, Drizly’s Chief Cocktail Officer, Trisha Antonsen, delivers up some holiday cocktail recipes, starting with this deceptively simple smooth cider cocktail with a nice little bite. And if you’re the well-prepared type, you can make a large batch ahead of time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz apple cider
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • Freshly grated ginger

Directions:

  • In a shaker, combine all ingredients with ice and shake until cold.
  • Pour into an old-fashioned glass and serve with a holiday garnish.

COQUITO — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

The Puerto Rican answer to the Christmas classic eggnog, Antonsen told us that since being introduced to this variation by one of her best friends, she “hasn’t had eggnog since. The creamy coconut and rum make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Caribbean for Christmas.”

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 oz light rum (Don Q or Bacardi)
  • 2 cans of coconut cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tblsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp ground cinnamon
  • cinnamon stick garnish

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender. Mix thoroughly.
  • Keep in bottle in fridge for up to three days.
  • Serve cold, garnished with cinnamon stick.
  • If preparing well in advance, freeze for up to two weeks and then thaw in the fridge the day of your advance.

HOPPY HOLIDAYS BEER COCKTAIL — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

Here, Antonsen brings beer lovers and cocktail enthusiasts together for the holidays with a sweet and seasonal cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz UFO Gingerland Beer
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier

Directions:

  • In an empty shaker, combine beer and liqueurs.
  • Swirl ingredients lightly to mix together.
  • Serve over a single ice cube or without ice in a classic cocktail glass.

POMEGRANATE AND LEMON WHITE WINE SPRITZER — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

Looking for holiday indulgence without the traditional abundance of calories? This spritzer is your answer. Antonsen suggests freezing pomegranate seeds in an ice cube for an unexpected, elegant twist.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz dry white wine (pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 oz club soda
  • 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
  • lemon wedge

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a wine glass with ice, combine white wine, soda, and pomegranate juice.
  • Squeeze a lemon wedge in the glass and stir gently.

CLASSIC APEROL SPRITZ — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

This classic Italian aperitif makes for a perfect holiday drink. Its low alcohol content means you can have a few without overindulging, and its bold color makes it a perfect fit for the season.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 2 oz prosecco
  • 1 oz club soda
  • mint garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pour prosecco in wine glass filled with ice.
  • Add Aperol, then top with club soda. Garnish with sprig of fresh mint.

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