43 Spirited Holiday Cocktails
We love raising a glass during the holidays–who doesn’t? But it can be difficult to sift through the tons of Christmas cocktail recipes out there to find the best holiday cocktail recipes that fit your holiday party needs. So this year, we’ve done the work for you, and collected our very favorite festive holiday cocktail recipes–the ones that guests will be begging you to show them how to make. From classics like our Holiday Milk Punch with fresh nutmeg to a spicy, impressive Gingerbread Martini, we’ve picked out the best of the best for your holiday cocktail entertaining needs. We’ve got holiday mocktails for festive toasts with little ones, and a big-batch Bloody Mary Punch (vodka optional) for your Christmas Day brunch cocktail needs. We’ve even got a Beer Cocktail for your hipster son, nephew, or cousin. With all of these options, you're sure to find some easy holiday cocktails to enjoy this season.
Retro Rum Punch
Recipe: Retro Rum Punch
This not-too-fruity cocktail is going to be a crowd pleaser.
Spice Chocolate Stout Beer Cocktail
Brandy, simple syrup, chocolate stout, and a cinnamon stick come together to form the beer-lover's new favorite cocktail.
Recipe: Rosemary Collins
Have all the fixings for this easy cocktail on the bar cart this holiday season to ensure you're always ready for drop-in guests.
Peanut Whiskey and Cola
Recipe: Peanut Whiskey and Cola
A Southern childhood favorite gets a grown-up spin just in time for the holidays.
Southern Lemon Americano
Recipe: Southern Lemon Americano
This refreshing and refined cocktail is best served in a champagne flute.
Sparkling Rum Punch
Recipe: Sparkling Rum Punch
You'll see smiles all around when these signature cocktails are offered at your festive fete.
Recipe: Montgomery Punch
Julia found this recipe in a cookbook by the Junior League of Montgomery, Alabama, where the punch is a town staple.
Recipe: Holiday Cosmopolitan
This ritzy cocktail has a zesty zing from orange liqueur, a cranberry reduction, and fresh lemon juice.
Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer
Recipe: Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer
When you need a festive holiday cocktail, look no further than this easy spritzer made with orange juice, lemon-lime soft drink, cherry juice, and vodka. If you want a non-alcoholic beverage, just leave out the vodka and add more orange juice or soft drink.
Step-by-Step Video: The Drink that Keeps Rudolph's Nose So Red
Holiday Milk Punch
Sparkling Charleston Cosmopolitan
Boost your spirits with a Sparkling Charleston Cosmopolitan. This peach, orange, and white cranberry "Southern" cosmopolitan is topped off with sparkling white wine.
Recipe: Pear-Basil Sipper
The refreshing combination of muddled fresh basil and sweet pear-flavored vodka and nectar can't be beat. Pear-Basil Sipper is the "pearfect" pick for holiday entertaining or even a summertime libation.
Hot Buttered Rye
Recipe: Hot Buttered Rye
This warm whiskey cocktail will keep you cozy on cold nights. Topped with a maple-cream mixture and fresh nutmeg, it may taste more like a dessert than a cocktail.
Merry Berry Christmas, Sugar!
Recipe: Merry Berry Christmas, Sugar!
Make the kids feel like a part of the festivities with this mint and berry "mocktail." With fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, Merry Berry Christmas, Sugar! party beverage is great in the summertime as well, but its vibrant red color makes it ideal for Christmas.
Mississippi Bourbon Punch
Recipe: Mississippi Bourbon Punch
Muscadine wine stars in this spirited concoction of grenadine, bourbon, and a variety of fruit juices and sodas.
Recipe: Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade
This is exceptional when made with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Recipe: Apple-Ale Wassail
Cozy up by the fire with a warm apple-ale flavored with allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
Recipe: Capital Eggnog
Trim the tree and get in the holiday spirit with a cup of homemade eggnog.
Pecan "Milk" Punch
Recipe: Pecan "Milk" Punch
Toasted pecans, cream of coconut, cinnamon, and sweetened whipped cream make it hard to tell if this bourbon concoction is a cocktail or dessert.
Recipe: Gingerbread Martini
Re-invent a favorite flavor of the holiday season into a tasty cocktail. Carry the flavor even further by dipping martini glasses in ginger liqueur and crushed gingersnaps.
Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic
Recipe: Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic
Orange juice and cranberries lend a bit of festive flair to the classic gin and tonic.
Recipe: Cherry Frost
This refreshing drink is composed of black cherry liqueur, brandy, crushed ice, and then topped off with sparkling white wine. Of course, no cocktail is complete without a maraschino cherry on top!
Pomegranate juice adds a festive—and healthy—splash of red to your holiday cocktails. Make our mimosas "leaded or unleaded" by mixing to taste with Champagne, sparkling water, or a lemon-lime soft drink such as Sprite.
Recipe: Peach-Bourbon Sours
Celebrate in style with this holiday beverage. Peach preserves (like you would spread on biscuits) are the secret ingredient. Cheers!
Champagne and Cranberries
Recipe: Champagne and Cranberries
Cranberries are an easy and festive way to dress up Champagne. Your guests will love watching the cranberries dance in the glass.
Recipe: Jingle Juice
Use candy canes as fun garnishes for this orange juice and vodka cocktail. Its red-orange color comes from the addition of maraschino cherry juice.
Frozen Cranberry Margaritos
Recipe Link: Frozen Cranberry Margaritos
A mojito traditionally uses rum; here we use tequila instead, hence the fun title. Dip rims of glasses in lime juice and a mixture of equal parts kosher salt and sugar for a twist on salt-rimmed glasses.
Recipe: Pineapple Wassail
Bring the flavor of the tropics to your next winter gathering. This quick wassail will warm you to the toes and make your kitchen smell incredible at the same time. Strain the drink before serving to remove any remaining fruit or spice bits.
Bloody Mary Punch
Recipe: Bloody Mary Punch
Instead of stirring all the ingredients together, serve optional shots of vodka on the side, and let your guests add it or not.
Wayne's French 75
Recipe: Wayne's French 75
This is definitely a sipping cocktail that's at its best when made with high-quality ingredients.
Recipe: Ultimate Alexander
Your family will flip for this addictive Ultimate Alexander―part coffee, part cocktail, and part dessert.
Recipe: Margarita Sunrise
Two classic tequila cocktails come together in a drink that's tangy and sweet, and almost as beautiful as a real sunrise. For this stunning presentation, pour the grenadine into the bottom of your glasses and then carefully pour the tequila mixture on top.
Aunt Kat's Creamy Eggnog
Recipe: Aunt Kat's Creamy Eggnog
Aunt Kat's Creamy Eggnog can be prepared and chilled up to two days ahead
Recipe: Cranberry Mojito
Introduce the tart fall flavor of cranberries to your favorite minty cocktail.
Hot Cider Nog
Recipe: Hot Cider Nog
Apple cider combines with eggnog for a delicious holiday twist.
Recipe: Blushing Mimosas
The classic mimosa is equal parts orange juice and Champagne. In this cocktail recipe, pineapple juice and grenadine add a twist of flavor and color.
Kane's Peppery Bloody Mary
Recipe: Kane’s Peppery Bloody Mary
It's hard to beat the spicy bite of a good bloody mary on holiday mornings. Seasoned with fresh basil, cilantro, and chives, this drink received the highest rating from Southern Living's test kitchen.
Pepper Jelly Margaritas
Recipe: Pepper Jelly Margaritas
As the name implies, these unique drinks are mixed with green pepper jelly. Make this Southern-style margarita your signature cocktail at your next get-together.
Black Currant Champagne
Recipe: Black Currant Champagne
Celebrate with this simple and sophisticated cocktail. Fill a Champagne flute or tall glass with equal parts chilled Champagne and black currant nectar. Don't forget to garnish this spritzer with fresh blackberries.
Apple Butter Sparklers
Recipe: Apple Butter Sparklers
For a kid-friendly version, substitute sparkling apple juice for the Prosecco.