If you're in search of recipes to make for a festive date night in, or you're trying to impress guests, having some delicious, go-to Christmas cocktail recipes is an excellent idea.
Here are some of the best Christmas cocktail recipes to spark your interest.
1. Cranberry Cava
For fans of champagne or prosecco, cava is an excellent, slightly less common alternative. Add some colorful cranberries to the mix and you have a festive, Christmas-y beverage that every adult is sure to love.
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 c. halved fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 bottle sparkling cava
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, then add cranberries and vanilla extract; refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
2. To mix a cocktail, add to each flute 1 tablespoon of the cranberry simple syrup, plus 4 cranberries from syrup, then top with sparkling cava.
2. Pomegranate-Apple Cocktails
It might be easier for menu planning to create a cocktail that can be served out of a pitcher or punch bowl. This pomegranate-apple cocktail would look gorgeous in a glass pitcher, placed amongst charcuterie and other appetizers.
This versatile drink has several variations — serve it hot or cold, with or without alcohol.
3 c. pomegranate juice
1 1/2 c. apple cider
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. allspice berries
4 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1/2 c. apple brandy (optional)
Combine all ingredients except half of the kumquats and the brandy in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in brandy, if desired. For hot pomegranate-apple cider, reheat the spiced pomegranate mixture and divide it among four mugs. Add remaining kumquat slices. Serve hot. For pomegranate-champagne cocktails, divide 1/2 cup of the cooled spiced pomegranate mixture between four champagne flutes. Add 4 ounces of chilled champagne to each glass and serve immediately.
3. Tropical Bourbon Punch
This citrusy bourbon drink is extra merry and bright, and it can be made in a large batch to serve all of your family or friends.
6 c. ruby-red grapefruit juice
2 c. Pineapple Juice
1/2 c. honey
4 c. bourbon
2 c. Cold Seltzer Water
1. In a large container, whisk together grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, honey, and bourbon until combined.
2. Before guests arrive, pour the mixture into a punch bowl and gently stir in seltzer water.
4. Apple-Cinnamon Cider Cups
Sure, you've had apple cider...but have you had it in an apple? These cocktails might not be the most practical, but they are pretty fun. You can also add or subtract alcohol from the recipe depending on who you're serving for the evening.
Large apples (choose your favorite)
Apple cider, chilled or warmed
Whole star anise and cinnamon sticks, for serving
For each apple cup, cut off the top quarter of the apple then remove and discard the core. (If apple seems unstable, cut a thin slice off the bottom.) Using a melon baller, scoop out the center of the apple, leaving a 1/4-inch rim. (Reserve apple centers for another use.) To serve, fill each cup with cider. Top with a star anise pod and a cinnamon stick for sipping.
5. Pomegranate-Thyme Spritz
This cocktail is as beautiful as it is refreshing. Plus, if you have some leftover herbs from cooking, it would make even more sense!
1 c. vodka
3/4 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c. Pomegranate-Thyme syrup (recipe below)
1 750-ml bottle Prosecco, cava, or other dry sparkling wine, cold
Pomegranate seeds, thyme sprigs, and orange twists, for serving
1. In a large pitcher, stir together vodka, orange juice, and Pomegranate-Thyme Syrup. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate.
2. When ready to serve, stir in Prosecco. Serve poured over ice with pomegranate seeds, a sprig of thyme, and a twist of orange if desired.
Pomegranate-Thyme Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup each granulated sugar and pomegranate juice and simmer, stirring once halfway through, until the sugar has dissolved, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and let cool to room temp (about 15 minutes); strain. Makes about 1 cup.
6. Guilt-Free Margaritas
Although a summer drink, these guilt-free margaritas, which only have 80 calories, will help you feel a little less guilty about indulging during the holiday season.
Juice of 15 limes (about 2 cups)
1 c. añejo tequila
c. dark agave syrup
1/4 tsp. dark agave syrup
6 strip orange zest
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
34 ice cubes
1. In a large pitcher, combine lime juice, tequila, and agave syrup. Rub each old-fashioned glass rim with 1 orange zest strip, then place zest in the glass. Put 1/4 teaspoon agave in a small bowl, and combine mint and salt on a small plate. Dip your finger in syrup and rub along glass rims. Dip glasses in mint-salt mixture to coat rims. Put 4 ice cubes in each glass.
2. Place 5 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Pour half the lime-tequila mixture into a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into 3 glasses. Repeat with remaining ice cubes and lime-tequila mixture.
7. Pumpkin Pie Martini
Most people associate pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving, but it's a flavor profile that works throughout the whole winter season. Plus, these pumpkin pie martinis are so good your guests are going to want them no matter what holiday it is.
FOR THE FROZEN WHIPPED CREAM:
1/4 c. whipped topping or whipped cream
FOR THE PUMPKIN PIE MARTINI:
2 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
1 1/2 oz. aged rum
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 c. half and half
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, plus additional for garnish
A handful of ice cubes
1. Place 2 martini glasses in the freezer.
2. For the Frozen Whipped Topping: Line a small sheet tray with parchment or waxed paper. Make 2 dollops of whipped topping or whipped cream and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. For the Pumpkin Pie Martini: In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, rum, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, half and half, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and ice cubes. Cover and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into the 2 martini glasses. Top each glass with one piece of frozen whipped cream. Sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice and serve immediately.