12 Days of Christmas Cocktails

Hello, Holidays! We recently raved about some drinks we couldn’t live without this winter and realized it’s time for us to hand-deliver some of our absolute favourite cocktails. 

From the classics to eggnogs to peppermint-flavoured drinks, let’s talk about fun cocktails to sip from Christmas to New Year’s Eve! 

Holidays are all about vibrant, boozy beverages that spark the festive spirit all season long. After the weeks-long battle with Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday sales going around, we think it’s safe to say that we’ve made it out on the other side and wholeheartedly agree that we need a drink or two. Or more! Even if it’s just an excuse to grab a glass of your favourite aperitif. We don’t mind, really! 

Where are we supposed to start? Here are 12 delicious, tasty AF cocktail ideas you’ll enjoy:

1. White Christmas Margaritas

©Delish

First up: White Christmas Margaritas! This drink is the best way to get your holiday bash started. It is refreshing and slushy—a popular choice, even if you’ve tried pretty much every kind of margarita under the sun. Here are the ingredients:

1 (15 oz.) can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
12 oz. Silver Tequila
8 oz. Triple Sec
4 oz. Lime Juice
Ice
1 Lime, sliced into rounds for garnish
Lime Wedge & Sanding Sugar, for rimming glass
Cranberries, for garnish

Combine coconut milk, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and ice in a blend until smooth. Rim glasses with lime wedge and dip in sanding sugar. Pour the mixture into glass and garnish with lime & cranberries and serve!

2. Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour

©Delish

If you’re a cocktail novice, try this first. This drink is a no-brainer, a cakewalk. Don’t expect over-the-top. Expect a taste of what cocktail lovers flock to usually. Adding the cranberries will elevate it to an irresistible, festive drink. Satisfy your sweet tooth by living la dolce vita! 

½ cup Cranberry Juice
4 oz. Whiskey
¼ cup Simple Syrup
¼ cup of freshly squeezed Orange Juice
Juice of 1 Lime
4 oz. Ginger Beer
Ice

In a cocktail shaker, shake these ingredients until chilled: ice, cranberry juice, whiskey, simple syrup, orange, and lime juice. Strain mixture into 2 glasses filled with ice and top off with ginger beer. Cheers!

3. Peppermint Piña Coladas

©The Blond Cook/Amy Brinkley

It’s summer and Christmas in one drink! If this is hands-down not the best pina colada you’ve ever had, we still count on its esteemed reputation as a refreshing go-to. Enjoy a little taste of paradise!

Light Corn Syrup or Honey, for rimming glasses
Crushed Candy Canes or Peppermint, for rimming glasses
3 cups Crushed Ice
½ cup Cream of Coconut
⅓ cup Pineapple Juice
¼ cup Light Rum
¼ cup Peppermint Schnapps
1 tbsp. Grenadine

Rim the glasses with a thin layer of corn syrup (or honey) and crushed candy canes.  Blend ice, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, rum, peppermint schnapps and grenadine until smooth. Pour into prepared rimmed glasses and enjoy!

4. Gingerbread Martini

©Southern Living Test Kitchen

Ready to show off your bartending skills at the holiday soirée? Think of sippin’ on this seasonal dessert-slash cocktail all winter long, with a perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and warm. And you may agree, vodka really is the fitting way to get in the holiday spirit!

4 Gingersnaps, divided
1 tbsp. Honey
1½ oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Irish Cream Liqueur (such as Baileys)
2 tbsp. store-bought Ginger Syrup 
2 tbsp. Half-and-Half
Whipped Cream
½ cup Water
2 tbsp. Crushed Cookies

Seal 3 of the gingersnaps in a large resealable plastic bag and pound until coarsely crushed. Rim martini glasses with honey and crushed cookies. Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice, vodka, liqueur, ginger syrup, and half-and-half and shake until well combined and chilled. Strain into prepared martini glass and garnish with whipped cream and remaining gingersnap. Bottoms up!

5. Candy Cane Infused Vodka

©EatWell 101

No more holiday blues! Candy Cane Vodka is the most vibrant, stunning Christmas cocktail ever! As luscious as it looks, the striking colour makes your holidays even more exciting and festive. It’s easy to make: 

25 mini Candy Canes, more or less
4 cups Vodka
½ cup crushed Candy Canes, for rimming glasses
Tonic or Seltzer Water

In a glass container, dissolve the mini candy canes into 4 cups of vodka for 2-3 hours. Rim the cocktail glasses with crushed candy canes. Fill glasses with ice cubes, pour shaken candy cane vodka and fill with tonic or seltzer water. Easy-peasy!

6. The Grinch Cocktail

©Sula and Spice

Ho ho ho! I wonder how Santa and his elves make it through a boisterous season. Even though it’s their busiest time of year, we might be fortunate to wish for a vacay, a nap, and a fun cocktail. In that order! Let’s try something vibrant and fruity inspired by Dr. Seuss:

1.5 oz. Midori Liqueur
1 oz. Limoncello Liqueur
5 oz. Lemon-Lime Soda
Red Sanding Sugar
1 Strawberry
1 mini Marshmallow

Wet an old-fashioned glass and dip in red sanding sugar to coat. Shake the Midori & Limoncello liqueur and soda in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Pour into the rimmed glass, garnish with strawberry and marshmallow to resemble a Santa hat and serve.

7. Jack Frost Cocktail

©CocktailDB

Skip the travel this season and try this seriously-good, snowy cocktail without stepping away from your home. It tastes like a trip to the tropics in the wintertime! Prepare these ingredients:

2 oz. Vodka or Light Rum
4 oz. fresh Pineapple Juice 
2 oz. Blue Curaçao
2 oz. Cream of Coconut
Corn Syrup, for rimming glasses
Coconut Flakes, for rimming glasses
1 cup of Ice

Rim the glass with corn syrup and coconut flakes. Blend vodka, pineapple juice, blue curaçao, cream of coconut and ice until smooth. Pour into rimmed glass and enjoy!

8. Winter Wonderland Margarita

©Burrata Bubbles/Amanda Mcgrory-Dixon

If you want to shy away from Eggnogs and Peppermintinis, can we treat you to this fresh and festive sipper? We’re not kidding! You’ll love how the aromatic rosemary pairs with the nutty coconut. Here’s how to make this boozy drink: 

Rosemary Simple Syrup:

1 cup Water
1 cup White Sugar
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

Margarita:

2 oz. Reposado Tequila
2 oz. canned Coconut Milk 
1 oz. freshly squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz. Orange Liqueur
Ice
Coarse Sea Salt, for rimming glasses

Boil the water, sugar and rosemary sprigs over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Strain the mixture once the sugar completely dissolves. Set the rosemary simple syrup aside.

Combine tequila, coconut milk, lime juice, orange liqueur, rosemary simple syrup and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Rim the serving glass with a lime slice and sea salt. Add ice to the glass and pour the strained margarita mixture to it. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Salud!

9. Christmas Spiced Negroni

©Olive Magazine

If the holidays feel like an overwhelming time of festivities, we can actually help with that. If you want to skip gift shopping and have a cozy stay-at-home night in your PJs, treat yourself to a drink with a little bit of everything: sweet, bitter, and booze.

1 oz. Spiced Gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick and Orange Twist, to garnish
Bay Leaves and Orange Peel, for spiced gin

Infuse the gin with spices, bay leaves and orange peel in a clean mason jar for 24-36 hours, then strain out the spices. Combine 1 oz. each of spiced gin, Campari and vermouth in a cocktail shaker and pour in a glass half-filled with ice. Garnish with a star anise, cinnamon stick and orange twist on top.

10. Hot Buttered Rum

©Fork in the Kitchen

Whether you need a little self-care sitch, are on a hunt for holiday drink recipes, or want to show off your mixology skills, we’ve got somethin’ on the list for you. The Hot Buttered Rum!! It’s like a luxurious Christmas cookie in a mug. See? Merry season is not just about peppermint-flavoured everything.

½ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Ground Cloves
⅛ tsp. Fine Sea Salt
2 oz. Dark Rum
¾ cup Hot Water (200° – 205°F recommended), per cocktail
Cinnamon Sticks and Star Anise, for garnish

Beat together brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of the spice batter and 2 oz. of dark rum to a mug. Top with hot water and stir until combined. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and star anise.

11. Christmas Cranberry Bourbon

©Eat Well/Nina L. Palmer

Most of us forget to unwind once the bustling season is over. You definitely deserve a break after all the holiday craziness. We say schedule a self-care night—maybe a movie night in bed with some popcorn, a face mask, and a glass of cranberry-flavoured drink in hand. A popcorn and cocktail pairing, you ask? Yeah, a little odd, but it works! Try this special holiday concoction:

½ cup Honey
2 cups of Fresh Cranberries
2 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs, plus more for garnish
1 knob of Fresh Ginger, sliced
8 oz. Bourbon
4 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
⅓ cup fresh-squeezed Grapefruit Juice
¼ cup Fresh Lime Juice
6 bottles of Ginger Beer
Star Anise and Cinnamon Sticks, for garnish

Boil ½ cup of water, honey, cranberries, rosemary and ginger over high heat in a medium pot. Boil until the cranberries begin to burst, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain the mixture. Combine the cranberry syrup mix, bourbon, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, and lime juice in a large pitcher and chill. Add the ginger beer and garnish each glass with a rosemary sprig, a cinnamon stick, and star anise, when serving. Enjoy!

12. Classic Eggnog 

©SC Beverage/Lauren Allen

What’s your fave holiday-themed drink? Seriously though, there are too many festive (and delicious!) ones to keep track of—we’ve got to try everything! Our trustworthy pick? The Classic Eggnog. Think of warm sweaters and cozy socks you’ve been saving just for the frosty season. ‘Tis the season to get snuggly! Learn how to make this drink:

6 large Egg Yolks
½ cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 cups of Milk
¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together until you get a creamy texture. Combine and stir milk, cream, fresh nutmeg, and salt into a saucepan, and heat on medium to a simmer. Add the milk to the egg mixture, just a spoonful at a time while whisking. Pour entire contents into a saucepan and whisk continuously until it thickens. Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Top it off with cinnamon, star anise and whipped cream, if desired. 

Voilà! You got yourself 12 cocktails to get you through the winter. Run down this short list and see if anything tickles your fancy (hint: if so, that’s a sign that you should run for some groceries or raid the pantry!). Or, if you want more variety, go vegan and gluten-free by adding drink bombs to your favourite carbonated drink. No bartender needed!

Okay, okayyyy, we’ll stop here. We want to spark your curiosity a great deal because so much deliciousness awaits you—each one a must-try!!

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