25 Showstopping Cocktails For Your Holiday Soiree

Dec 3 2013 - 1:07pm

The holidays are a time to celebrate, and what better way to make merry than with a festive cocktail in hand? Whether you're busy whipping up edible gifts [1], exhausted from all that shopping [2], or hosting your own amazing holiday party, here are several wonderful wintry cocktails to help you get into the spirit. Cheers to the season!

Photos: Nicole Perry

Bubbly Poinsettia

The bubbly poinsettia [3] is a Christmas-appropriate cocktail if there ever was one. Keep party guests guessing at the secret ingredient in this special drink. Spoiler alert: it's maraschino liqueur.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Cranberry Mint Martini

Need a pick-me-up after a long day of food prep? This seasonal and festive cranberry martini [4] should do the trick!

Photo: Sarah Lipoff

Sparkling Bourbon Cocktail

Bourbon and sparkling wine in one drink? It might sound odd, but trust us when we say you'll love the unexpected combo. Surprise guests with the cocktail recipe [5] that's crispy and woodsy all at once.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Mulled Manhattan

A mulled Manhattan [6] is a great cold alternative to mulled wine. It's got the same spiced flavors plus a kick of bourbon!

Photo: Susannah Chen

Eggnog Martini

Try a twist on the classic eggnog this year, and class it up with an eggnog martini [7]. It's creamy, rich, and sings of spices from cinnamon to nutmeg — and it's all topped off with a boozy graham-cracker-crust rim.


To balance out that gluttonous holiday diet, there's something called Euphoria [8]. And there's only one way to describe the elixir with gin, citrus, and earthy leaves of sage: glorious.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Ginger Sidecar

Ginger, brandy, and maple syrup [9] imbue the flavors of cold weather on a classic, war-era libation. It won't rouse any raised eyebrows, but do prepare yourself for a night full of compliments.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Ginger, Mint, and Pomegranate Vodka Cocktail

The combination of flavors in a ginger, mint, and pomegranate vodka cocktail [10] makes for a seasonally appropriate libation. And the bubbles make it all the more celebratory.

Pear Essence Cosmopolitan

There's no perennial quite like the cosmopolitan [11], though its cranberry-flavored ambrosia is particularly apropos at the holiday table. Add a timely seasonal element by incorporating fresh Anjou pears [12].

Photo: Susannah Chen

Ramos Gin Fizz

A light and frothy Ramos gin fizz [13] may be the perfect cocktail to accompany all your holiday feasting.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Cranberry Margarita

Margaritas in the Winter? Por qué no? Especially when it's a festive cranberry recipe [14] designed to be shaken in large batches and get the party started.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Pumpkin Irish Coffee

If you find yourself still craving Thanksgiving flavors come December, a pumpkin Irish coffee [15] ought to set you straight!

Photo: Susannah Chen

Isle of Pines

It doesn't get more holiday-sounding than this Isle of Pines cocktail [16]. Pomegranate juice gives the drink its deep maroon hue, while white rum gives it a kick.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Apple Cidercar

Gather your nearest and dearest for a round of Apples to Apples, and make the game even more interesting with the addition of an elegant apple cider and brandy provision [17] served up in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

Photo: Nicole Perry


Cue the holiday by taking house-made limoncello [18] and mixing it with tart cranberry juice and a splash of seltzer for some extraspecial cheer [19].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Cognac Sparkler

This unusual cocktail [20] is great, because unlike other cocktails, it's a sparkler that doesn't call for Champagne. Instead, it makes use of cognac and sparkling apple cider — and what could be more seasonal than that?

Photo: Nicole Perry

Honeyed French 75

Love the French 75 cocktail but looking for something with even more punch? Try this version that's sweetened with honey and has twice as much gin [21] and still goes down almost too easily.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Hot Buttered Rum

If the weather outside is frightful, then warm up from the inside out with a steaming mug of hot buttered rum [22]. The spiced butter is the key to this exceptionally delicious variation!

Pumpkin Mojito

You love frozen pumpkin [23] and mojitos [24], so why not put two and two together? Muddle spiced rum with pumpkin, brown sugar, and mint for a twist on the trademark cocktail [25] this holiday season.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Gingersnap Cocktail

Don't let the dainty name of this gingersnap cocktail [26] fool you. Smooth and spicy, this warming tipple is perfect for sipping throughout the holiday season.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Sage Sangria

Keep the festivities fun — but not out of hand — by serving a wine-infused cocktail instead, like this rosé sangria [27] with sage leaves.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Black Russian

Sip on a sultry black Russian [28] while you celebrate the holidays. Its combination of Kahlúa and vodka is simple and satisfying.

Photo: Susannah Chen

The Livorno

Nothing says holiday like a sparkling Prosecco cocktail! This simple sipper recipe [29] brings out more of the bubbles, providing extra texture and a richness to the overall flavor.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Cherry Bounce Old-Fashioned

Add a little fruity pep to your old fashioned this Christmas with a splash of cherry bounce [30]. And if you're feeling particularly ambitious, then make the cherry liqueur yourself [31], and give it as a gift to your friends and family!

Photo: Katie Sweeney

The Apple Cocktail

We dare you not to smile while sipping this rustic, cozy cocktail [32] straight out of a juicy apple. Leave out the alcohol for a kid-friendly version!

Photo: Susannah Chen

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