25 Festive Cocktails to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Your ultimate guide to this season's drinks.

November 28, 2016
mulled spiked cider
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'Tis the season for holiday parties, hearty treats, and yes, festive cocktails.

Whether you're serving up bowls of spiced punch or passing around flutes of bubbly cranberry champagne, giving your guests a variety of seasonal-themed drinks will keep their holiday spirits up. 

More: 15 Indulgent Desserts That Won’t Kill Your Diet

Check out these 25 holiday cocktail recipes that will be the talk of your holiday party. From Thanksgiving to Christmas and straight through New Year's, don't forget to add these liquid refreshments (spiked, or not) to your special events menu. 

first kiss cocktail
Tina Rupp
First Kiss

For kisses under the mistletoe, the First Kiss cocktail will be a light, delicious, and antioxidant-rich way to imbibe. The tea-based drink is low in sugar and features a healthy serving of vitamin K, so you'll ket a nice kick of potassium, too!

Get the First Kiss cocktail from Wise Cocktails

Hazelnut-Chocolate Hot Toddy
Adrianna Adarme
Hazelnut-Chocolate Hot Toddy

The almost Nutella-like flavors of this steamy hot toddy get a boozy twist with a splash of bourbon (or Frangelico), and will keep your party goers warm all night long. 

Get the Hazelnut-Chocolate Hot Toddy recipe from The Year of Cozy

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Uncle Buck apple cider
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The Uncle Buck

A throwback to the '80s movie of the same name, the Uncle Buck cocktail is a twist on the classic hard cider, but includes a spicy kick, thanks to the addition of ginger beer. 

Get the Uncle Buck recipe from The Cider Press

Bitter Suite
Tina Rupp
A Bitter Suite Cocktail

Chocolate and coconut and mezcal—oh, my! The cocktail gets a makeover thanks to the tea base of the mix, which significantly cuts the sugar count without limiting the sweetness. 

Get the Bitter Suite Cocktail recipe from Wise Cocktails.

More: 25 Easy Crowd-Pleasing Dip Recipes for Your Next Party

Bourbon Milk Punch
Adrianna Adarme
Bourbon Milk Punch

This milk-based cocktail is a throwback to speakeasy days, and features notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and, of course, bourbon. 

Get the Bourbon-Milk Punch recipe from The Year of Cozy.

 
 
mulled spiked cider
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Mulled Spiked Cider

This is some straight-up, right-after-some-caroling-and-sleigh-riding stuff right here. We're not kidding. The spicy and steamy cider is spiked with a bit of bourbon, so only serve to those guests who aren't driving the sleigh home, if you know what we're saying. 

Get the Mulled Spiked Cider recipe from Thug Kitchen Party Grub.

New Yorker Cocktail
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New Yorker Cocktail

Think of it as a Manhattan with a delightful citrus kick. Give this New Yorker cocktail an even more obvious holiday touch by serving it with a stick of cinnamon, a dash of allspice, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Get the New Yorker Cocktail recipe from Wise Cocktails

Gin Buck cocktail
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Gin Buck

Upgrade your usual with this fresh, lemon-infused gin cocktail. Bonus: One glass clocks in at just 157 calories! There's a reason gin is a Christmas favorite. The pine needle flavor and scent of the popular spirit will perk up your guests and give them a taste of the season. 

Get the Gin Buck recipe from Serious Eats

More: 9 Dos and Don'ts for Holiday Parties

 
 
Sparkling Winter Citrus & Gin Punch
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Sparkling Winter Citrus & Gin Punch

Ah, gin, we meet again. From Thanksgiving and through Christmas, this punch will have you seeing lights long before the ball drops on New Year's! This time, an orange-and-grapefruit fusion gives the spirit a tart take. 

Get the Sparkling Winter Citrus & Gin Punch recipe from Thug Kitchen Party Grub.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz
Erin Scott
Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz

Among the eggnogs and other heavy cocktails, a fizz is exactly what your guests will be asking for, and a bubbly, fresh cocktail is just what you need to have in your hosting arsenal. 

Get the Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz recipe from Yummy Supper.

High Line Cocktail
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High Line Cocktail

Start with some lemon and lime flavors, mix with a spicy, fresh jalapeño and tequila, and you have a cocktail that'll spice up any holiday party. 

Get the High Line Cocktail recipe from Guy Gourmet.

 
 
The Caramel-Pear Cocktail
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The Caramel Pear

You may be apple happy this holiday season (with apple pie, fritters, and cider on the menu), but give a toasty pear drink a chance. With an infusion of cinnamon and some bitters, this pear cocktail could soon become a favorite. 

Get the The Caramel-Pear Cocktail recipe from Vegetarian Dinner Parties

More: 50 Ways to Pay It Forward This Holiday Season

Ooh-La-La Love Punch
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Ooh-La-La Love Punch

Get the guests a-caroling with some merry cocktails, served in a large punch bowl, with a touch of sweet fruit. Better yet, each serving clocks in a just 193 calories, so you won't feel bad going back for seconds—or thirds—at dinner. 

Get the Ooh-La-La Love Punch recipe from Cook Yourself Sexy

Blackberry-Mint cocktail
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Blackberry-Mint Love

Planning on canning for the winter? Any leftover fruit can easily be used in this blackberry and mint cocktail that'll serve as a fruity drink with a fresh aftertaste. 

Get the Blackberry-Mint Love recipe from Tart and Sweet. 

 
 
coconut nog
Tina Rupp
Owl's Coconut Nog

Eggnog's a Christmas party staple, but give it a tropical twist with a dash of unexpected coconut flavoring—amazing! It'll give your visitors a surprising addition to the go-to drink list. 

Get the Owl's Coconut Nog recipe from Wise Cocktails

Sazerac
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The Sazerac

This intricate cocktail is a sophisticated, civilized affair. The absinthe rinse gives the drink a good dose of herbal scent and more than a hint of its strong flavor. The bitters balances out the sugar, making it a well-rounded, complex-tasting cocktail that's reminiscent of a Manhattan but is still in a league of its own.

Get The Sazerac recipe from Men's Health Big Book of Uncommon Knowledge

More: 8 Simple Strategies for a Healthy Holiday Party

Cranberry-Ginger Spiced Cider
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Cranberry-Ginger Spiced Cider

Your holiday party goers will warm to this soothing cider. Accented with a festive mix of cranberries and ginger, it's the perfect drink for lounging by the fire or making a celebratory toast.

Get the Cranberry-Ginger Spiced Cider recipe from The Sugar Solution Cookbook

 
 
Skinny Pomegranate Bellini
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Skinny Pomegranate Bellini

Whether you're serving them as an apéritif before your hearty Thanksgiving meal or as a quaff before the countdown on New Year's Eve, these 160-calorie pomegranate-flavored bellinis will do the trick. 

Get the Skinny Pomegranate Bellini recipe from Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food

Heart-Healthy Sangria
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Heart-Healthy Sangria

Who would have thought a holiday drink could double as a heart-healthy cocktail? This sangria, filled with tons of fruit, red wine, and soda, registers at just 133 calories per serving. Good for your heart and your waistline! 

Get the Heart-Healthy Sangria from The Biggest Loser Cookbook

Spicy Holiday Punch
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Spicy Holiday Punch

'Tis the season for cranberries! Grab a few extra bags at the grocery store and use them to make this spicy holiday punch. Some honey, cinnamon, cloves, and fruit juice will give it a Christmas-y flavor. Add a garnish to finish it off, and the sparkling drink is ready to go. 

Get the Spicy Holiday Punch recipe from The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook

More: 27 Holiday Casserole Side Dishes

 
 
Mulled Beer
puhimec/Getty Images
Mulled Beer

Serve this warm beverage on a cold night to stay extra cozy. 

Get the Mulled Beer recipe from A Cozy Coloring Cookbook.

porch swing punch
Photograph courtesy of Mount Gay
Porch Swing Punch Cocktail

This tea-based cocktail will hit the spot this holiday season. 

Get the Porch Swing Punch Cocktail recipe.

berry white cocktail
Photograph courtesy of Mount Gay
The Berry White Cocktail

With a splash of coconut milk, your guests will be surprised by the unexpected ingredient choice.

Get The Berry White Cocktail recipe.

 
 
Stoli eggnog
Photograph courtesy of Stoli
Caramel Eggnog

Your holiday parties are about to get a serious upgrade.

Get the Caramel Eggnog recipe.

More: 50 Recipes That Will Feed a Crowd

Monte Eggnog
Photograph courtesy of Montenegro
Rum-Based Eggnog

Topped with the number one holiday spice that'll boost your mood, this flavorful drink will cheer up all of your guests. 

Get the Rum-Based Eggnog recipe.

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