Festive Holiday Cocktails
If you start your holiday party with one of these festive cocktails, we can assure you, guests will be dazzled from the very first sip.
First up, a luxurious confection with a whitty moniker. The flavor of this Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, distilled from sour cherries, captures the essence of the pristine fruit.
Port of Call Punch
The muddling technique draws complex flavors from the lemon, making the beverage floral, bracing, and irresistible. A sprinkling of grated nutmeg on top adds a warm, soothing, fragrant layer to the punch, which is remarkably complex-flavored despite having only 6 ingredients. Ruby port has spent less time cask-aging than tawny port, and so is a little sweeter and fruitier, perfect in this recipe. This drink has a lower alcohol content than standard cocktails, a great quality in a punch that's meant to refresh as much as relax.
The Sun Also Rises
Not to be confused with cheap imitations, Plymouth Sloe Gin—a sweet-tart spirit featuring sloe berries—is made from a time-honored recipe and worthy of a special libation.
This simple twist on the traditional kir royale blends tart-sweet pomegranate juice with subtle herbal notes from a rosemary-infused syrup. Float rosemary leaves on the drinks for a pretty garnish.
Be sure to use Clear Creek brandy—you'll actually experience the fragrance and texture of fresh Oregon pears—the pear is grown inside the bottle.
Apple-Cranberry Holiday Wassail
After slowly simmering, unattended, for several hours, this spice-infused cocktail is party ready. Serve straight from the crock (set temperature to WARM). The drink will stay warm without cooking off the alcohol.
Spiced Mulled Wine
Wintry spices and fruity red wine mix for a simple, tasteful gift. The rich berry notes of the wine complement the bold flavors of warm spices and floral citrus. Oven-drying orange slices gives them a longer shelf life, which is ideal for gift-giving.
Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler
Welcome the New Year the right way with a Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler. Cheers!
Suze, a bitter French liqueur that's immensely popular in Europe, is newly available in the U.S. Order online, or look in boutique liquor stores.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
This warming treat is the perfect accompaniment for a walk through the snow: A hint of peppermint schnapps will give everyone a little pep in their step. Think of it as more of a dessert than a beverage, as this hot chocolate is a bit of a splurge. Canned coconut milk gives it full-bodied richness and makes it an indulgence. Blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh explains that "coconut goes well with chocolate and mint, so it really brings this hot chocolate together nicely."
Named for a city the French inhabited in India from 1674 to 1956, this tart, shaken cocktail spikes French apple brandy with Indian spices.
Sweet and sunshiny, this sophisticated twist on a standard mimosa is ideal for a holiday brunch.
No need to forgo one of the holiday's favorite indulgences—creamy, rich eggnog. This version gives you all the satisfaction of the full-fat version without the guilt, and it can be made up to a week in advance.
Campari and Orange Sparkling Cocktail
A little rosé pairs wonderfully with Campari, an Italian aperitif which gives the drink a bitter edge and beautiful rosy color.
Pear and Pomegranate Bellini
Raise your glass to good friends and family while knocking back this fruity holiday cocktail. Cheers!
Cognac Sparkling Wine Cocktail
A classic combo—sparkling wine, cognac, sugar, and a dash of bitters—makes for an elegant drink worthy of a special celebration.
For the best flavor, let the sangria chill overnight so all the ingredients can meld together. If you can’t find satsumas, tangerines will also do the trick.
If the recession has been thumbing its nose at you, dip into Spanish cava or Italian prosecco for bubbles: Some cost less than $10 per bottle and are delicious in this lime-tangy crowd-pleaser.
The Westview Cocktail
In New York, it's common to name stirred rye cocktails after neighborhoods. This one is named for a historic neighborhood in Atlanta. You'll make more infused whiskey than you need for this cocktail—a good thing, as it's a delicious winter sipper.
Sparkling Pear Cocktail
Pear liqueur and a dry sparkling wine make for a heady combo in this beautifully aromatic sipper.
Pomegranate Gin Sling
A classic gin sling is dressed for festive parties when made with seasonal pomegranate juice and decorated with crimson pomegranate fruit. Both simple syrup and agave syrup are widely available at liquor stores. To make your own simple syrup, boil 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, stirring just until sugar dissolves; reduce until thickened. Cool before using.
Sparklers say celebration like no other beverage. But a fizzy toast when the ball drops doesn't require dropping big bucks. Whipping up a batch of bubbly-backed cocktails is a simple way to stretch each bottle, all the while instilling party-perfect personality into your evening's signature sippers. Win your next holiday cocktail hour with this Ruby Spritzer. Cheers!