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Let’s be honest: the holidays are upon us, and many of us boozy babes wouldn’t mind some alcohol to get us through those awkward social gatherings. Or perhaps, holiday cocktails may be synonymous with a cozy night in with your closest friends. Regardless of how you view cocktails, the trends are changing, and we now are in an era where not only taste matters but also presentation.
Presentation means having the right glasses and perhaps some smoked sprigs of rosemary for that fancy mule. Holiday cocktails are not just some drinks you find at your local bar; they are elegance and grace – and quite frankly the Miss America Queens of the bartending world. We know, we’ve really upped the stress and anti on your cocktail menu. But don’t worry – you’ll get your chance to relax with some chilled drinks.
Below, you will find our ideal holiday cocktail menu with some dazzling and delectable drinks that are easy to make but offer that little bit of extra pizzazz we need to close out this unusual year. With these recipes, you can make our cocktail picks at home this season!
Holiday Cocktail Menu
Red Berry Mimosas
Cocktail picks #1 – Mimosas for such a long time have become the staple of Sunday brunch, but for the holidays they can carry that extra lift to pep up your holiday spirits.
For this delightful holiday cocktail you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries,
- 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
- 1 bottle of Champagne (or sparkling wine)
- Fresh raspberries and mint leaves for garnish
To make the raspberry syrup, grab a small saucepan and heat raspberries with sugar over medium heat until they’ve broken down and the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and puree in a blender or small food processor. Press the mixture through a sieve and set aside to cool down.
When ready to serve, wet the rim of a champagne glass and dip the glass rim into some sugar to give a frosted look. Next, add a good dash of raspberry syrup to each champagne glass. Pour champagne over each and top with raspberries and mint. Drop a few raspberries directly into your mimosa cocktails to add that beautiful, hipster effect.
If you’re looking for a similar drink that is non-alcoholic, you could try this cherry mulled mocktail recipe!
Cocktail picks #2 – Mules are here to stay, but fortunately, there are so many variations that are sure to please all the people in your life. One of the best parts of a mule is the traditional copper mug it is served in. The copper mug is used because it is a superior thermal conductor, which is just a fancy way of saying it keeps your drink cold; you know – warm mules are just ewww.
For this berry version, gather the following ingredients:
- 2 strawberries, plus additional for garnish
- 10 blueberries, plus additional for garnish
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 oz.Vodka
- 4 oz.Ginger beer
- 2 oz of cranberry juice
- Fresh mint, for garnish
In a shaker, stir up some strawberries, blueberries, cranberry juice, and lime juice using a muddler or the back of a metal spoon. Add ice and pour in vodka; then shake well. Strain the muddled mixture into a copper mug filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh berries and mint if desired.
Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Cocktail picks #3 – Perhaps you’re not one for ornate holiday cocktails because there is the pressure to perform and make everything look perfect. Maybe you just want a “set it and forget it” type of cocktail. Well, luckily for you, crockpot cocktail holiday drinks are official in! For this new style of drink, grab the following:
This holiday cocktail serves 14 people.
- 1 bottle (750 mililiters) red wine
- 8 cups whole milk (Use soy or coconut to veganize it!)
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (or use coconut cream to veganize it!)
- 1 package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon Sugar for garnish sprinkle
- Tiny marshmallows for garnish
- Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover.
- Cook 60 to 70 minutes on HIGH or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.
- To serve, reduce heat to LOW. Serve from slow cooker.
You can use whatever glassware you want. We personally think something where you can see the marshmallows floating around in this holiday drink, would look extra fancy! If you really want to up the dazzle, grab a glass and wet the rim. Then place the glass in red sugar before you pour your yummy drink!
Winter Cranberry Margaritas
Cocktail picks #4 – We don’t know about you, but tequila makes us feel like we’re 22 again – and we’re all about that. This delightful drink takes tequila and makes it winter appropriate, which really means it’s always holiday ready.
For this incredibly youthful drink, find the following:
- 2 parts white tequila
- 1 part frozen cranberries, thawed
- 1 part lime juice (save one of the squeezed limes for rimming the glasses)
- Salt, for rimming the glasses
- Rosemary Simple Syrup Recipe
- 1 part rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 small stems of rosemary
To make the syrup:
- Bring the water, sugar, and rosemary to a boil in a small pot over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for five minutes.
- Set aside to cool and then strain the rosemary from the syrup. This syrup can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
- Add the tequila and thawed cranberries to a shaker or 1-liter mason jar.
- Muddle the cranberries until they have broken down and the tequila is pink.
- Add the simple syrup and lime juice to the shaker; then top with ice.
- Stir until cold and then strain into glasses.
- Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary.
These sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs are made by dipping the cranberries and rosemary springs into the simple syrup and then into sugar. Once you place the cranberries and springs in the sugar, place them on parchment paper to dry.
Cocktail picks #5 – Have you ever thought to yourself that making a big bowl of a cocktail is way better than making individual servings? Well, we’re here to tell you it’s totally better and saves on prepping all these little glasses. We present to you a most lovely and sizzling punch that really gives your taste buds the courage to get through the holidays.
Gather the following, and don’t forget a cute bowl!
- Cranberry Juice- Make sure the juice is sweetened or the punch will be extra tart.
- Sparkling Wine- Dry works well, but honestly, you do you.
- Apple Cider (Just a tad)
- Ginger Ale or Sprite
- Dark Rum or Brandy
- Chill all the ingredients to make sure your punch is nice and cold.
- Fill a large punch bowl with ice and top with all the ingredients except the oranges and
- Stir to combine.
- Finally, top with the oranges and cranberries to make it look prettier than Elsa from Frozen, and then enjoy!
Variation tips: This can be made with blueberries and some sort of blue raspberry juice, or you can try some peachy mango juice, which also adds a bit of tropical fun to this drink. The main takeaways are the Sprite and the alcohol, which need to be chilled. Punch is great because it looks like anything you want and is usually a great centerpiece.