The holidays can be, in a word, frantic. There’s baking, shopping, and gift-wrapping to do, not to mention hours of traveling for some. We understand that at the end of the day (and sometimes during the day), you may need a little something to get yourself through – which is why we’re presenting you with these creative holiday cocktail recipes. Enjoy!
Caramel Apple Hot Toddy
This little piece of heaven incorporates fresh apple cider, apple brandy, and caramel syrup for an extra merry beverage you can serve all winter long. If you’re feeling bougie, top off the concoction with whipped cream and caramel sauce. No apple brandy on hand? Regular brandy works just fine. Check out this recipe from Linger.
- 14 oz apple cider
- 14 oz apple brandy
- 6 Tbsp caramel flavoring syrup
- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
- Caramel sauce for drizzling (optional)
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cider and caramel syrup to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to a simmer.
- Add the brandy, stir, and remove the saucepan from the stovetop.
- Divide and ladle into 4-8 oz glass mugs.
- Dollop chilled sweetened whipped cream on top (optional).
- Drizzle caramel sauce over the whipped cream (optional).
- Serve immediately while the cocktail is still warm.
Gingerbread White Russian
You can taste the love that goes into making this cocktail. And the vodka. And the Kahlúa. If you love a classic White Russian, then we have no doubt you’ll enjoy this holiday spin on the drink that incorporates honey, molasses, and, of course, gingerbread. We love this recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.
- 2 oz vodka
- 1½ oz Kahlua
- 1-2 oz gingerbread syrup (recipe below*)
- 1-2 oz heavy cream
- Cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies, for garnish
*For the Gingerbread Syrup: In a medium pot, combine 1⅓ cups water, ¼ cup honey, 3 Tbsp molasses, 1 inch fresh ginger (sliced), and 2 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Let cool. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Add vodka, Kahlua, and gingerbread syrup. Stir gently.
- Add heavy cream and stir to combine.
- Garnish with cinnamon and gingerbread cookies, if desired.
Cinnamon Bourbon Fizz
When we think of winter flavors, we think of cinnamon, honey, orange, rosemary, and bourbon. Luckily for us, this cinnamon bourbon fizz includes all of those things, making it the perfect drink to curl up with on a cold night. Check out this recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.
- 1½ oz bourbon
- 1 oz Aperol
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 1-2 dashes orange or rosemary bitters
- 1-2 oz cinnamon syrup (recipe below*)
- Sparkling water, for topping
*For the Cinnamon Honey Syrup: In a medium pot, bring ½ cup water, ½ cup honey, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1 sprig fresh rosemary to a boil over high heat. Boil 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. Let cool, then strain into a glass jar. This syrup makes enough for about 6 drinks.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon syrup, bourbon, Aperol, lemon juice, and bitters.
- Add ice and shake.
- Strain into a glass.
- Top off with sparkling water.
- Garnish with sugared rosemary (recipe below**).
**For the Sugared Rosemary: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently run rosemary sprigs under a little water to dampen and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle the rosemary with granulated sugar on all sides, ensuring the rosemary is thoroughly coated. Allow to dry for 1 hour. The rosemary can be made 1 day in advance and stored at room temperature.
Sugar Cookie Martini
What do you get when you combine vanilla vodka, amaretto, Irish cream, and sprinkles? A Christmas cookie with a punch. This martini is the perfect dessert cocktail to serve your holiday gatherings this season. We especially love this recipe from Whole Fully.
- Vanilla frosting and sprinkles for rimming the glass
- 1½ oz vanilla vodka
- 1½ oz Irish cream
- 2 oz whole milk
- 1 oz amaretto
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- Spread frosting along the rim of a martini glass (you can also dip it into the frosting. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow dish or saucer, and dip the frosting-covered glass into the sprinkles. Set glass aside.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the vanilla vodka, Irish cream, milk, amaretto, powdered sugar, and ice. Close lid and shake for at least 15 seconds to mix and chill.
- Pour into the prepared glass. Serve immediately.
Do you have any favorite holiday cocktail recipes? Share them with us in the comments below!