Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Winter

30 Cocktails to Make for the Holidays

They’ll put you in the holiday spirit.

Rumplesnuggler / Tim Nusog

Between holiday parties, travel, and gift-shopping, the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve can feel endless. Whether you’re hosting a Christmas or Hanukkah gathering or cozying up by the fireplace, these fun and festive cocktails will help ease your stress during the busy holiday season. From soul-warming Hot Toddies and boozy hot chocolate to crowd-pleasing punches and Eggnogs that double as dessert, they’re all guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

  • Eggnog

    Eggnog / Tim Nusog

    What would the holidays be without this quintessential creamy cocktail? Although it’s ripe for experimentation, the classic recipe calls for eggs, sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, and your choice of bourbon, brandy, or rum. Whichever spirit you choose, a batch will spread joy at all your holiday parties.

    Get the recipe.

  • Hot Caramel Buttered Rum

    Hot Caramel Buttered Rum / Tim Nusog

    This rich combination of rum, brown sugar, honey, unsalted butter, and baking spices is just as cozy as the classic Hot Buttered Rum. The twist: an ounce of caramel-flavored vodka.

    Get the recipe.

  • Holiday Cheer

    Holiday Cheer cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Need an easy recipe for last-minute guests? Spread this drink’s namesake with a simple combination of muddled cranberries, vodka, tonic water, and sparkling cider, garnished with a rosemary sprig.

    Get the recipe.

  • Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy / Tim Nusog

    The classic Toddy dates to the 18th century, when it would often be consumed to cure a cold. While we can’t verify its purported medicinal properties, we can almost certainly guarantee you’ll feel better after sipping this concoction of whiskey, boiling water, demerara or brown sugar, a clove-studded lemon peel, and lemon juice.

    Get the recipe.

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  • Coquito

    Coquito / Tim Nusog

    Coquito is beloved in Puerto Rico and beyond for its rich coconut and holiday spice flavors. This big-batch recipe from bartender Giuseppe González combines Puerto Rican rum, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream of coconut, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

    Get the recipe.

  • Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    Last Minute Mulled Wine / TIm Nusog

    This quick recipe will be your new greatest party trick. Just combine red wine, bourbon or brandy, star anise pods, and citrus peels in a saucepan. Once the mixture is heated, divide into mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

    Get the recipe.

  • Bourbon Rosemary Punch

    Bourbon Rosemary Punch / Tim Nusog

    Serve a crowd with this large-format drink. The bittersweet and herbaceous recipe combines rosemary-infused Aperol, bourbon, honey syrup, grapefruit juice, dry sparkling wine, and soda water.

    Get the recipe.

  • White Russian

    White Russian cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Although this unabashedly rich Black Russian twist dates to the 1960s, it achieved notoriety as The Dude’s drink of choice in the late ’90s movie The Big Lebowski. However you know it, the delicious mix of vodka, Kahlúa, and a splash of heavy cream is a decadent sipper that’s perfect for holiday parties.

    Get the recipe.

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  • Buena Vista Irish Coffee

    Buena Vista Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    The Irish Coffee might just be the ultimate after-dinner drink. Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco serves more of the drink than any bar in the world, so rest assured it knows what it’s doing. To re-create its recipe at home, top two sugar cubes with brewed coffee, Irish whiskey, and lightly whipped heavy cream.

    Get the recipe.

  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Hot Toddy

    Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Hot Toddy / Tim Nusog

    Looking for an update to the classic Toddy? Bar pro Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Pacific Standard in Portland, Oregon, adds allspice dram and ginger syrup to a mixture of bourbon, boiling water, and lemon juice to produce a drink that is warming in more ways than one. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Rum Flip

    Rum Flip cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If you love Eggnog, you’ll flip for the Flip, a rich cocktail made with a whole egg. This classic version combines dark rum, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and an egg, producing an ideal nightcap or celebratory drink.  

    Get the recipe.

  • Chai Spice Mule

    Chai Spice Mule / Tim Nusog

    A homemade chai spice syrup plays off the spicy ginger notes of a Moscow Mule. Combine with a fresh ginger shrub, vodka, and lemon juice for an irresistible take on the classic. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Baltimore Eggnog

    Baltimore Eggnog / Tim Nusog

    Bar pro Derek Brown adapted this recipe from the 1954 issue of Gourmet magazine, combining eggs, cognac, powdered sugar, whole milk, and heavy cream. Make it for a party: It serves 25.

    Get the recipe.

  • Poached Pear & Ginger Daiquiri

    Poached pear and ginger daiquiri / Tim Nusog

    Got a holiday pear basket? Put your haul to use in this spiced frozen drink from bar star Naren Young. He poaches pears in spices including cardamom, star anise, vanilla, cinnamon, and black peppercorns, then blends the fruits with white rum, lime juice, and freshly grated ginger root.

    Get the recipe.

  • Winter Mojito

    Winter Mojito / Tim Nusog

    Pretend you’re on a beach with this recipe from bar pro Eden Laurin. She combines a baking-spice-infused rum with lime juice and demerara syrup, then tops the mixture with club soda and a float of herbaceous Licor 43 for additional holiday-spice notes.

    Get the recipe.

  • Abbey Toddy

    Abbey Toddy / Tim Nusog

    The honey and baking-spice notes of Benedictine liqueur and Angostura bitters add holiday-appropriate complexity to a mix of bourbon, boiling water, lemon juice, and honey. One sip will warm you right up.  

    Get the recipe.

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  • Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog

    Uncle Angelo's Eggnog / Tim Nusog

    Eggnog lends itself to endless variations, but if you’re going to take cues from anyone, it might as well be the legendary Dale DeGroff. For his version, he splits the base between bourbon and spiced rum.

    Get the recipe.

  • Dead Sea Mule

    Dead Sea Mule cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This smoky Mule variation combines mezcal with lime juice, a homemade pomegranate grenadine, and ginger beer. Candied ginger and a mint sprig add extra fragrance and flair.

    Get the recipe.

  • Posset

    Posset cocktail


    It might not be as famed as Eggnog, but the beer-based egg drink is thought to be the precursor to the holiday favorite. This big-batch modern version calls for an IPA base, then adds heavy cream, eggs, porter, Strega liqueur, allspice dram, falernum, and plenty of warming holiday spices.

    Get the recipe.

  • Jubilee

    Jubilee cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This festive drink from New York City bartender Jeremy Oertel is indeed cause for celebration. He combines vodka, dry red wine, spiced pear liqueur, lemon juice, maple syrup, and seltzer.

    Get the recipe.

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  • Smoke Show

    Smoke Show cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This smoky and herbaceous cocktail will warm you up any time of year. Mezcal, Cynar amaro, green Chartreuse, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white produce a complex and aromatic drink.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cousin Eddie

    Cousin Eddie cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This inventive recipe spices up traditional Eggnog with a trio of spirits—Armagnac, aged rum, and Fernet. Garnished with cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper, it’s a spicy and herbaceous take on the classic.

    Get the recipe.

  • Winter Daiquiri

    Winter Daiquiri cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Winterizing a summer favorite can be as simple as swapping white rum for richer dark ones. Laurin adds more depth to the classic Daiquiri by combining Banks 5 Islands and Cruzan Black Strap rums with lime juice and simple syrup.

    Get the recipe.

  • Great Pumpkin

    Great Pumpkin cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Any flip lends itself to the colder months, but bar pro Jim Meehan of New York City’s Please Don’t Tell (PDT) adds extra seasonal flair by shaking pumpkin ale, apple brandy, rye whiskey, and maple syrup with a whole egg. Sip while watching Charlie Brown specials. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Audrey Saunders’ Tom & Jerry

    Audrey Saunders Tom and Jerry / Tim Nusog

    The Tom & Jerry—a rich and creamy drink made with a spiced egg batter, whole milk, rum, and cognac—was on the winter menu of the now-shuttered Pegu Club from the time Audrey Saunders launched the seminal bar in 2005 to its closing in 2020. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Pom-Blood-Orange Old Fashioned

    Pom Blood Orange Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    Vodka might be an unexpected choice for an Old Fashioned twist, but the neutral spirit allows in-season fruits to shine. Muddle blood orange peels, pomegranate arils, Angostura bitters, and sugar, then shake with the spirit to produce a merry-and-bright cocktail. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Brandy Alexander

    Brandy Alexander cocktail / Tim Nusog

    The Brandy Alexander dates to the early 20th century and was a particularly popular order in the 1970s, but we’d argue the decadent combination of cognac, dark creme de cacao, and cream is timeless. This recipe from the famed Gary Regan makes a perfect nightcap.

    Get the recipe.

  • Ginger Fever Punch

    Ginger Fever Punch

    You can’t go wrong with punch for a holiday gathering. This fruity and refreshing recipe combines blanco tequila, fruit juices, a homemade goji berry ginger syrup, and ginger beer. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Temple Toddy

    Temple Toddy
    Travis Lincoln

    Your Crock-Pot is good for more than just stews: Add apples, lemons, mangoes, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise to your slow cooker, then combine the mixture with Irish whiskey and honey to produce a fruity Hot Toddy twist.

    Get the recipe.

  • Rumplesnuggler

    Rumplesnuggler / Tim Nusog

    You’re never too old for a steaming mug of hot chocolate, especially when it’s spiked with Baileys and Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps. Cozy blanket and holiday movies optional.

    Get the recipe.