If you’re throwing a holiday party this season, you need to make some delicious libations for your guests to enjoy.
Instead of mixing up simple, ho-hum classics, try your hand at these four festive Christmas cocktails instead. Not only are they delicious, but your guests will be wowed at how beautiful they are, too.
Thanksgiving is probably the first holiday that comes to mind when you think about cranberry sauce, but this sweet-tart Turkey Day staple is perfect for holiday entertaining, too. In this festive sipper from Belvedere Vodka, the cranberry sauce gives the drink an eye-catching color, and the rolled orange peel garnish adds a sophisticated touch.
- 1 oz. Belvedere Vodka
- .5 oz. simple syrup
- .5 oz. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. cranberry sauce
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 3 oz. Chandon Brut
- Rolled Orange Peel (for Garnish)
Preparation: In a mixing glass, combine Belvedere Vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and cranberry sauce. Top with Angostura bitters and Chandon Brut. Roll up a swath of orange peel and place it on a cocktail pick for a festive garnish.
Mint Chocolate Fizz
This cocktail is bound to make you feel like a kid again. Made with a delicious mix of vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, cooling crème de menthe, and chocolate milk, the Mint Chocolate Fizz from Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York, gets some grown-up cocktail cred from lemon juice and egg white. Leave this one out for Santa if you want him to leave you extra loot this year.
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
- .5 oz. white crème de menthe
- 1 oz. chocolate milk
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- .5 oz. lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Club soda (to top)
- Mint sprig (for garnish)
Preparation: Add all ingredients (except for the club soda and mint) to a cocktail tin and shake without ice for 60 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 60 seconds. Double-strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.
Grinch Don’t Kill My Vibe
Matcha has the power to create eye-catching cocktails, especially when red and green hues are the stars of the holiday show. This drink from Brian Evans, head bartender at Sunday in Brooklyn, combines the Japanese green tea with genever, silky amaretto liqueur, and an egg white for a beautiful, bittersweet drink that’ll have your guests talking for months to come.
- 1 oz. Bols Genever
- 1 oz. Caffo Amaretto
- .75 oz. lemon juice
- .5 oz. vanilla bean simple syrup*
- .75 oz. egg white
- Half barspoon strained matcha powder
- Carved lime wedge (for garnish)
- Brandied cherry (for garnish)
Preparation: Dry shake without ice for eight seconds to emulsify, then shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a carved lime wedge skewered with a brandied cherry eye.
*Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
- 500 grams hot water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 500 grams white granulated sugar
Preparation: Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the beans into the hot water. Drop in the vanilla bean pod and let the whole thing infuse for 15 minutes. Combine with granulated sugar and stir to dissolve. Strain and refrigerate until ready to use.
Even if you’re stuck braving cold weather this holiday, you can transport yourself to a beachside oasis with this creamy cocktail. The bar team at Casa Calavera in Cabo, Mexico, uses two types of baking spice-infused mezcal for a smoky, satisfying drink. Muddled almonds and cookie crumbs give it a sweet, nutty flavor that perfect for toasting the season.
- Brown sugar (for rim)
- Cinnamon stick
- .75 oz. cinnamon-infused mezcal*
- .75 oz star anise-infused mezcal*
- 2 oz. milk
- .5 oz. vanilla syrup
- 2 to 3 almonds
- 1 cookie, crumbled
- Orange segment (for garnish)
Preparation: Rim the glass in brown sugar and caramelize with heat. Light the cinnamon stick, place it in the glass, and turn it upside down, covering the cinnamon stick to create smoke in the glass. Leave the glass upside down until ready to pour. Add the rest of the ingredients to a shaker, muddling the almonds and cookie crumbs. Add ice and shake enough to make the milk creamy. Double strain into the sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with orange segment.
- 2 750-ml bottles of mezcal
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Star anise pods
- Vanilla beans
Preparation: Add 3 standard-sized cinnamon sticks and 7 cloves to a bottle of mezcal. Add 10 star anise pods and 1 vanilla bean to the second bottle of mezcal. Leave ingredients in the bottles for one day. Change out the ingredients for fresh ones (using the same amount of each) every 12 hours, for up to 2 additional days (leaving the ingredients in the mezcal for too long could produce bitter results). Strain the ingredients, and the mezcal is ready to use.