Festive Holiday Party Drink Recipes
Add sparkle to your holiday gatherings with any of our recipes for cocktails, eggnog, hot drinks and nonalcoholic drinks.
Jerry Thomas’ Champagne Punch
Dating to the 1800s, this recipe is easy, breezy, pink and fruity-and still completely sophisticated. It comes from Cincinnati mixologist Molly Wellman.
Caitlin Corcoran, of Kansas City's Ca Va bar, says, "We found this cranberry juice and Grand Marnier cocktail in an old recipe book. People gush because the rosemary sprig looks like mistletoe. Plus a lower ABV cocktail means you can have a couple of drinks. Holiday parties are a marathon, not a sprint."
Egg Nog Martini
Admiral Russell’s Punch
Cinicnnati mixologist Molly Wellman shares the legend behind this drink: A British admiral stranded in Spain over Christmas 1694 ordered his crew to assemble a massive punch in a courtyard fountain. Bacchanalia ensued. Consider yourself warned: This splurge of a drink is strong. But it's also nutmeggy, citrusy and wonderfully spirited in every sense.
Caramel-Hazelnut Café Mocha
Melted Nutella. Need we say more? Our updated version of hot chocolate is made in a slow cooker, just for kicks, and after cooking, can be kept on the warm setting for one hour.
Gluhwein (Hot Mulled Wine)
Udo Heinz from the Baum Wine Group in Bensenville, Illinois, says he fixes this German/Austrian specialty in the traditional Nuremberg way: hot, a bit sweet and spiced. We created both an adult and a nonalcoholic "kinder" (kids') version using directions from Udo.
This refreshing cocktail made with fresh citrus and mint will be a welcome addition to your happy hour.
Darling Clementine Mocktail
No offense to the classic mimosa, but not everyone wants to booze with their brunch. Enter the Darling Clementine, a tart, fizzy, deliciously pink, nonalcoholic alternative to classic morning cocktails.
Rub the rims of cocktail glasses with orange wedges and dip in a mix of coarse red and gold sugars for added flair.
Cool cocktail: In a large pitcher, mix 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice and 1 cup chilled tangerine- or clementine-flavor vodka. Slowly stir in a 750-ml bottle of chilled rose Prosecco.
Feeling creative? Caitlin Corcoran, of Kansas City's Ça Va bar, likes to substitute a favorite spirit, such as mezcal, for the bitters.
Stir up a pitcher of these rosy margaritas for your next holiday bash. The Simple Syrup recipe makes enough syrup for 30 margaritas but is easily halved or quartered.
Ca Va Punch
"You look like an amazing host with punch at a party, but people serve themselves—so easy. This one has dark berry notes from crème de cassis, which is a black currant liqueur. It goes great with a cheese board," says Caitlin Corcoran of Kansas City's Ça Va bar.
"This is one of Ça Va's most popular drinks. I use Jameson, honey and yellow chartreuse, a botanical liqueur that's more mellow than its green cousin. It's easy to drink, so that's dangerous," says Caitlin Corcoran of Kansas City's Ça Va bar.
Red Apple Crisp
Spiced rum, red apple liqueur and cranberry juice add spicy fruit flavor to this crimson drink from Blue Plate Catering of Chicago.
Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Cocktail
Pretty in pink, yes, but this sweet drink has bite, too, thanks to grapefruit's subtle bitterness and the woodsy notes of gin and rosemary. This recipe makes enough rosemary-infused syrup for several cocktails.
Spiced Apple Shrub
Tingling with fennel and allspice and infused with a pound of apples, chef Jonathon Sawyer's shrub (an old-timey drink mixer) evokes the taste of spiced cider in a sourful new-old way. The recipe comes from his cookbook House of Vinegar.
Jolly Gin Fizz
Part punch, part cocktail, this effervescent pink drink is perfect for holiday parties. If you don't have ginger beer or prefer a milder ginger flavor, substitute ginger ale.
Breathe deeply. This spiced cider tea from the slow cooker doubles as aromatherapy. After cooking, the cider can be kept on the warm setting for one hour.
Skip mixing cocktails, and instead dress up a simple flute of sparkling wine with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a few pomegranate arils. (Guests can even garnish their own drinks.)
Vanilla Vodka Creamtini
Flavored vodka mixes with Irish cream and orange liqueurs to make this sweet, sugar-rimmed cocktail.
Spiced Apple-Cranberry Cider
This quick and easy drink combines cranberry-juice cocktail with apple cider or apple juice, cloves, and cinnamon. Garnish with a skewer of cranberries, if you like.
Oatmeal Cream Pie
Brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, butter, vanilla, egg-it's like a rich, drinkable cookie. Our slow cooker twist on classic eggnog can be kept on the warm setting for one hour.
Blue Blue Christmas Cocktail
Cheer the holidays with bold Blue Blue Christmas Cocktail—a combination of vodka or rum, white cranberry juice, blue Curacao and lime juice.
Mulled Cranberry Punch
This blend of cranberry juice, juice concentrate, spices, orange juice and water simmers in your slow cooker.
Punch with a Punch
This ruby-red beverage gets its kick from tequila. If you'd prefer a nonalcoholic option, use lemon-lime carbonated beverage instead of the tequila.
Transform bubbly into a dessert drink by swapping traditional swizzle sticks for jewel-like rock candy.
Big party coming up? Offer guests Cranberry-Raspberry Spritz, which includes a make-ahead syrup base (enough for 80 servings!) and either champagne, carbonated water or lemon-lime carbonated beverage.
This martini features a combination of pomegranate juice, orange liqueur, lime juice and vodka. Decorate glasses by rubbing the rims with a lime, then dipping in red and white sugar.
Twinkling Ginger Champagne Punch
This sparkling drink is perfect to serve before or after dinner. For a nonalcoholic version, use the gingered syrup (without the vodka) in sparkling water or sparking cider.
Old Blue Eyes Martini
We converted shot measures used by P.J. Barrera at Jake's Old City Grill to standard kitchen measures (a shot equals 1.25 ounces) in this lovely purple-blue holiday martini. It's as smooth as Frank Sinatra's voice.
Chocolate Milk Shake Cocktail
Peppermint and chocolate give this splashy, nonalcoholic drink a festive, flavorful edge.
The bubbly refresher is our version of a popular sipper at Marshall Field's Oak Grill in Minneapolis.
Berry vodka, pomegranate liqueur and cranberry juice bring a blush to this drink from Jake's Old City Grill, Saginaw City, Michigan.
Chocolate, coffee, orange juice, ice cream and strawberries bring fresh flavors and colors to our eggnog recipes. The recipe for Chocolate Eggnog Deluxe (top right and lower left) also includes ideas for Double Chocolate and Nonalcoholic Chocolate versions; Holiday Orange-Eggnog Punch can be made with strawberries or strawberry ice cream for Strawberry Eggnog.