Oh, you don’t have peppermint flavored vodka or cinnamon schnapps hidden in your bar cabinets? Holiday cocktails can often be super complicated and entirely impractical. There’s really no need to whip up a candy cane cocktail or rim glasses with crushed gingerbread at your next party. Stick to the classics that are not only easier to make but sure to be a hit. Here are five of our favorite festive signature cocktails to make during the holiday season. Cheers!
- Mulled Wine
When entertaining during exceptionally cold winters, it’s great to offer guests mulled wine. This warm drink combines red wine, oranges, sugar and spices for a deliciously flavorful cocktail that is synonymous with the holidays.
With its easy ingredient list and low-maintenance instructions (just let it simmer for an hour or so on the stovetop) it’s a no-brainer for seasonal soirees. You can even make this in your slow cooker!
Think of it as a hot sangria that doesn’t involve quite as much chopping and soaking.
There’s a good chance you’ve had eggnog before — and you’re not alone. Americans were drinking eggnog as early as the 1700s, and it has remained a popular winter beverage to this very day.
Although the ingredient list is quite simple, the execution can be a bit difficult to master. For this reason, many opt for a store-bought version and spike it with the trusty bourbon in their bar cabinets.
It should also be mentioned that most people have either a love or hate relationship with the creamy concoction. For that reason, eggnog should never be the only cocktail served at a party. However, it is an excellent addition to your bar offerings and is undoubtedly a signature holiday drink that adds a special touch.
3. Dark and Stormy
Delicious any time of the year but especially on a cold winter day, the Dark and Stormy is undoubtedly a festive favorite around here. This cocktail has a serious kick plus tons of interesting flavor notes. Which is a little surprising, since it only requires three ingredients: dark rum, ginger beer and lime.
For a holiday twist, feel free to add a splash of vanilla extract or serve with a cinnamon stick. Look at that! You just became a professional mixologist. Just kidding! But when it comes to making a great drink, sometimes the tiniest touches make the biggest splash.
Sweet, juicy citrus meets oaky whiskey in this classic cocktail. You can squeeze your own juice or stick to sour mix.
You will get complaints either way, but if you want to really wow your guests, DIY your mixer. It’s easy enough to accomplish. All you’ll need are lemons, limes, and sugar syrup. The color will be different than the processed version you’re used to seeing, but the flavor will be much fresher.
Top with a maraschino cherry — the perfect complement and a splash of red to truly make this a holiday drink.
This Italian cocktail is less common in the states. However, because of its simple ingredients and rich, red coloring, it had to be included. A Negroni mixes gin, sweet vermouth and Campari for a strong and festive beverage. Garnish this drink with an orange twist.
Or go for the lighter, more American version, the Americano. This variation swaps the gin for club soda. Doing so definitely makes this drink feel more summery — but if you like your drinks lighter and more bubbly, this is still a great, red-colored cocktail for the holiday season.
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