The holidays are the BEST time of the year for entertaining. From throwing my own get-togethers to attending Christmas parties, I love dressing up and having fun with my friends, neighbors, and family!
When I find myself at a holiday party, I usually bring some sort of dessert or food dish. But occasionally, I like to bring a drink as well! Sometimes it’s a cocktail and sometimes it’s a mocktail, but no matter what I bring, I like to put some time into making it unique.
If you’re assigned the title of “drinks gal” for your next holiday gathering, I have a few recipes for cocktails and mocktails you’ll need to check out. And I’m always looking for new ones to add to the list… so let me know your favs as well!
Tasty Cocktails For The Holidays
Need a refreshing drink for an upcoming get-together? These recipes will add some fun to your holiday season! cocktails and mocktails
Red and White Wine Sangria
Sangria is a great year-round drink that you can serve with any cuisine. I find it super refreshing and it’s the perfect way to make use of the “almost overripe” fruit you have lying around the house.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make… and it looks pretty too! Here’s the recipe.
Sangria is a delicious cocktail to serve friends and guests when you’re entertaining. It’s really easy to make, it looks pretty in a clear glass pitcher, and I love that I can use up fruits that are becoming overripe, instead of throwing the fruit away.
- 1 bottle of your favorite red wine (Merlot or Pinot Noir work well)
- 1 (48 oz) bottle of pomegranate-blueberry juice
- 6 oz brandy
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pitcher and let steep for 3 hours, or overnight. When ready to serve, garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.
A Good Selection of Wines
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to make something at home, one of the easiest things you can do is bring a bottle of wine (or two!).
I’m more of a white wine girl than anything. For years, chardonnay was my go-to, but recently I’ve liked some of the lighter wines like sauvignon blanc. My favorite is from Cakebread Cellars!
While white is my wine of choice, I recognize that everyone has different tastes. So if you’d like to check out a few of my other wine recommendations, you can take a look at my Wonderful Wine and Cheese blog HERE.
Hot Ginger Toddy
Hot Toddy anyone? This recipe from The Food Network combines flavors of ginger, lemon, and honey for a drink that is sure to warm your belly.
If it sounds like something you’d like to try, you can take a look at the recipe below!
- 4-6 ounces top-shelf bourbon
- 1 ounce ginger syrup
- 2 ounces of honey
- 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh ginger with peel (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup sugar
- Start by cutting the peel off of your lemon (avoid pith) using a vegetable peeler. Place the ginger and lemon peel into a food processor and finely chop.
- Transfer the lemon-ginger mixture to a medium saucepan. Add your sugar and 2 cups of water. Then, bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer (partially covered) for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and let it cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to a whole week!
Peppermint Martini Cocktails and Mocktails
Nothing tastes like the holidays quite like peppermint. And now, you can bring the festive flavor to this classic drink thanks to a recipe I found on a website called “A Couple Cooks.”
It’s creamy, minty, and perfect for the holidays. It’s also one of those drinks that tastes a lot like dessert! Find the recipe below.
- 1 ounce 30 (or 60) proof peppermint schnapps (or white Creme de Menthe)
- 1/2 ounce vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces Creme de Cacao
- 1 1/2 ounces heavy cream
- Peppermint candies and grenadine for the rim (optional)
- Prepare the rim: Crush the peppermint candies and place them in an even layer on a plate. On another plate, add a small pool of grenadine, or simply wet the rim of the glass with the water using your finger.
- Run the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine first, rotating the glass so the rim is evenly coated. Then roll the rim in the crushed candies until evenly coated.
- Shake the drink: Place the peppermint schnapps, vodka, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into the prepared martini glass.
Mocktails For Your Next Party
Just because you want to nix the alcohol doesn’t mean you should settle for a boring drink. Instead, whip up a delicious batch of these non-alcoholic drinks!
Christmas Eve Punch
Despite the name, this tasty punch is a welcome addition to any party (Christmas eve or not!). And since it doesn’t include alcohol, it can be enjoyed by kids, adults, and nondrinkers alike.
Here’s another thing I like to do for this recipe… instead of filling it with regular ice cubes, fill a bundt pan with cranberries, oranges, and your beverage of choice (such as punch, water, etc.). It looks pretty and as it melts, the flavors and garnishes make their way into the drink!
I always like to serve a special "mocktail" or non-alcoholic beverage during the holidays. It allows both nondrinkers and kids the chance to enjoy a special drink! This punch couldn't be easier to make. I like to float an ice ring frozen with orange slices and cranberries in the center!
- 1 32-oz bottle cranberry juice
- 1 46-oz can unsweetened pineapple juice
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 33-oz bottle ginger ale
- Start by combining the juices and sugar together then chill for about 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, add the ginger ale and stir gently.
Mimosa Mocktail Cocktails and Mocktails
If you’re trying to serve something super refreshing, this mimosa mocktail from “Bake It With Love” is sure to do the trick. It’s easy to make and ideal for breakfast or early-day parties.
You’ll find that it’s topped with garnishes like orange slices, cranberries, and apple slices, but any fresh fruit should work! Take a look at the recipe by scrolling down.
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 2 ounces cranberry apple juice
- 2 ounces sparkling apple cider
- Orange slice and sugar (optional)
- Fresh cranberries (optional)
- Apple slices (optional)
- If you’d like to sugar the rim, set a small plate out and pour some sugar on the plate. Wet the champagne glass rim with an orange slice and dip the rim into the sugar to coat it evenly.
- Mix cran-apple juice (or apple juice mixed with cranberry juice) with 1 ounce of orange juice. Mix the chilled juices with a quick stir, then pour in the chilled sparkling apple cider.
- Garnish the drink with optional fresh cranberries and apple slices (cinnamon sticks and rosemary sprigs are also festive!) then serve.
Refreshing and Simple Paloma
Palomas are great for enjoying in the sunshine. But just because they’re more of a warm-weather drink doesn’t mean they’re made exclusively for the summer months!
This drink is tangy, citrusy and incredibly refreshing. And while the alcohol used in a Paloma is tequila… I had a falling out with tequila many moons ago and we haven’t spoken since.
So, this is the only way I’ve ever enjoyed a Paloma, and I hope you like it as much as I do!
- 4 ounces Diet Ruby Red Cocktail Juice (I use Ocean Spray)
- Juice squeezed from 1 lime
- Seltzer. I use grapefruit seltzer by Polar, but you can use plain or lime depending on the flavor you like the most.
- Add grapefruit juice and lime to a glass. Add ice and top with seltzer. How delicious (and simple) is that??
The “Just Jill”
I know how much you love blueberry and lemon. And if you ask me, it’s a great combo no matter the time of the year!
That’s what inspired me to create this mocktail for you!
If I had simply put lemon and blueberry together, it would have been another version of lemonade. But I wanted to make it a little bit more.
So, I added my favorite flavor. Vanilla!
The sweetness from the vanilla. The tang from the lemon. The juiciness from the berry. It’s JUST ENJOYABLE! Cheers!
- 1 heaping tablespoon of Cellar Door Cocktail Blueberries (make sure you’re getting some berries and the delicious syrup!)
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
- 1 capful of Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup
- Vanilla Seltzer by Polar (plain or lemon works too)
- Add cocktail blueberries to your glass, followed by fresh lemon juice and vanilla syrup. Add ice.
- Finish off with vanilla seltzer. Add a skewer of fresh blueberries for garnish!
Next time you’re assigned the task of bringing some tasty cocktails and mocktails, you’ll know where to go! I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes just as much as I do. Happy holidays! Cocktails and mocktails
From my kitchen to yours,