Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Christmas

11 Cocktails to Make for Christmas

And a partridge in a pear … punch.

Under the Mistletoe cocktail
Under the Mistletoe Image: / Tim Nusog

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for cocktails. Make your Christmas even more magical with these festive recipes. They include the flavors of the season (think candy canes and pine syrup), large-format punches that can serve the whole family, and even a drink that’s served in an ornament. So don your holiday pajamas and shake up a cocktail to sip under the Christmas tree.

  • Christmas Punch

    Christmas Punch / Tim Nusog

    This Christmas tipple is good with or without booze, making it perfect for a celebration with friends and family of all ages. Cranberry and tart cherry juices, simple syrup, allspice and ginger are shaken with rum (if desired), then strained over ice and topped with ginger ale to make a sweet, spiced and warming concoction. Garnish with grated ginger and fresh rosemary.

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  • Candy Cane Mimosa

    Candy Cane Mimosa / Tim Nusog

    Spruce up your typical Mimosa with some holiday flair. Instead of orange juice, this recipe adds white creme de menthe and chocolate bitters to sparkling wine for a peppermint mocha effect, while a candy cane stirrer adds a beautiful and festive presentation. Cap it all off with a chocolate- and candy-cane-rimmed glass, and you have a drink you’ll be thinking about all the way to next Christmas.

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  • Trick Nog

    Trick Nog

    Morgan Schick

    This modern and boozy twist on the classic Eggnog is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. The classic cream, sugar and egg makes an Eggnog base that’s lifted up from a glug of Wild Turkey 81 bourbon and orange juice. Serve topped with grated nutmeg, cinnamon and an orange peel.

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  • Naughty or Nice

    Naughty or Nice cocktail

    Jamie Boudreau

    No matter which list of Santa’s you’re on, this cocktail’s for you. The large-format recipe is sized for extra servings (it does have “Naughty” in the name, after all). Pinot noir and chardonnay wines combine and get punched up with cognac and maraschino liqueur. Add a bit of ginger ale for fizz and a hint of sweetness, then garnish with blood orange slices, and you’re on your way to a great night.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Pear & Ale Pub Party Punch

    Pear & Pub Ale Party Punch

    Fine & Dandy

    Not only is this cocktail’s name fun to say, it’s fun to drink, too. Featuring two kinds of liquor, two juices and even a bit of beer, this punch has so much going on it’s definitely going to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Add in a dash of homemade cinnamon-pear syrup and you have a recipe that’ll be a tradition for years to come.

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  • X-Mas Sin

    X-Mas Sin

    Staying up to wrap last-minute gifts? You’ll appreciate this hot coffee cocktail. Plus, the recipe is so simple you’ll be able to dedicate all your attention to holiday prep. Just heat Armagnac, coffee liqueur, chestnut liqueur, genepy and coffee beans until combined and fragrant, strain into a Toddy glass, and top with hot water and a dusting of grated nutmeg.

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  • Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    H. Joseph Ehrmann

    Too busy with Christmas preparations to remember to make mulled wine? This one comes together in a jiffy. Simply heat red wine and bourbon or brandy with star anise pods, lemon or orange peel and a bit of sugar, then let stand for five to 10 minutes to let the flavors meld and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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  • Bring Me Back Something French

    Bring Me Back Something French cocktail

    Craft & Commerce

    Bring on the chocolate with this warming tipple. Absinthe adds its rich anise flavor to homemade hot chocolate that’s deliciously irresistible. Make a big batch to serve the whole crowd, and keep it in the slow cooker so it stays warm all night. Serve garnished with homemade vanilla whipped cream, decorative sugar and Pocky sticks.

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Ponche Navideño

    Ponche Navideno / Tim Nusog

    Take your celebrations south of the border with this Mexican punch. Piloncillo (Mexican-style unrefined brown sugar) lends its rich sweetness to cinnamon, cloves and tamarind paste before fruit and hibiscus flowers get added to the mix. Finally, it all gets a boozy kick from a splash of rum before it’s served in punch glasses garnished with lemons.

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  • Tea & Krampus

    Tea & Krampus cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Tiki for Christmas? Sure, when it's a cocktail straight from the hands of Martin Cate of famed rum destination Smuggler's Cove. This ruby-red drink combines two rums with blackberry liqueur, allspice dram, and lime and pineapple juices, plus vanilla syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters. All these unexpected flavors serve up a magnificent gift of a cocktail.

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  • Under the Mistletoe

    Under the Mistletoe cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Cranberries and orange wheels get muddled together and then combined with gin and cranberry juice, and topped with soda, in this cocktail that brings Christmas cheer. Garnish with a thyme sprig and additional cranberries for an extra festive effect.

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