The holiday season offers no shortage of reasons to celebrate, so check out some of my favorite festive drinks to enjoy with friends and family (or by yourself, no judgment here!) And because I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on the festivities, I’ve included the ‘mocktail’ version for each, suitable for kids, preggos, or teetotalers alike (Shirley Temples don’t exactly feel ‘special’, do they?)
(pair with a meat/cheese tray and you’ve got an instant cocktail party!)
2 oz. vodka (I prefer unflavored)
2 oz. cranberry juice cocktail
4 oz. ginger beer
Juice of half a lime (reserve a thin slice for garnish)
3-4 cranberries (for garnish)
Stir together first 4 ingredients (or shake in a cocktail shaker, if you’re fancy) and serve in a copper mug over crushed ice. Drop in a thin slice of lime and cranberries for garnish.
*For a mocktail, substitute club soda or lime-flavored sparkling water for the vodka*
Spiked Bourbon Cider
(A perfect “adult” drink to warm up by the fire. Served cold, it serves as another great cocktail party offering!)
2 oz. bourbon
4 oz. apple cider
Orange bitters (I like Angostura)
1 Apple, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Cinnamon stick, optional
To Make Hot Version:
Heat apple cider in a mug in the microwave, then add bourbon and 2-3 dashes of bitters. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick (if desired).
*For a crowd, simmer an entire bottle of apple cider in a saucepan (or crockpot) with a spice mixture of whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Ladle cider into individual mugs, stir in 2 oz. of bourbon each, and garnish with apple/cinnamon stick.
*For a mocktail, simply omit bourbon.
To Make Cold Version:
Stir together first 3 ingredients (or shake in a cocktail shaker, if you’re fancy) and serve in a lowball glass over crushed ice. Drop in a thin slice of apple for garnish.
*For a mocktail, substitute club soda for the bourbon*
Christmas Morning Mimosa
(In our house, nothing says Christmas morning like sipping on this festive sparkler while opening presents — throw in a batch of refrigerated cinnamon rolls before the free-for-all begins and you’ll have breakfast ready to go by the time the carnage is over)
Your favorite bottle of sparkling wine
Cranberries, for garnish
There is no official measuring guide! Add whatever amount or combination of cranberry juice/orange juice/sparkling wine you like! (I tend to pour heavy on the sparkling wine and light on the orange juice) Pour into champagne flutes, if you’ve got them, and garnish with cranberries.
*For a mocktail, sub club soda or cranberry-flavored sparkling water for champagne*
Spiked Peppermint Mocha
(Grab a mug and snuggle with your loved ones on the couch while watching your favorite Christmas movies — our favorites include Home Alone, White Christmas, Love Actually (adults only), and Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown)
1 shot espresso
1 packet hot cocoa mix
1 oz. peppermint schnapps (or if you’re not a peppermint fan, use kahlua)
Empty packet of hot cocoa mix into a mug. Add shot of espresso and peppermint schnapps. Fill up the remainder of the mug with hot water. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.
*To make caffeine-free, use decaf espresso, or leave out coffee altogether*
*For a mocktail, sub ¼ tsp. peppermint extract for schapps*