The 7 Spirits and Liqueurs You Need to Make Christmas Cocktails

The 7 Spirits and Liqueurs You Need to Make Christmas Cocktails

It's the most wonderful time of the year — for cocktails.

Stock your liquor cabinet with these seven spirits and liqueurs - and keep the best Christmas cocktail recipes on hand - and you'll have everything you need for instant holiday parties with Christmas cheer to spare.

1. Campari

Start to finish: 5 mins

The color of Santa's coat, Campari, is all but made for Christmas celebrations. Campari is the perfect companion with gin and sweet vermouth in a Negroni. Campari is also a terrific choice sipped simply over ice or combined with a splash of soda water to stretch it out.

2. Apple Brandy

Start to finish: 4 mins

If autumn is for apples, winter is for sipping their spirits. Apple brandy warms us like a fire from the inside. Try it in place of whiskey in a Hot Toddy or in an old-school Jack Rose Cocktail with lemon juice and grenadine.

3. Last-Minute Mulled Wine

Start to finish: 10 mins

Last-Minute Mulled Wine

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.

4. Frangelico

Start to finish: 5 mins

Frangelico melds the flavors of toasted hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla, herbs, and berries. Though its name refers to a liqueur-making hermit, the nutty liqueur is not an austere sip in the least. Our Rudolph-Tini mixes Frangelico with vodka, coconut-flavored rum, and half-and-half, and dressing up the glass with cinnamon sticks as antlers and a cherry for Rudolph's nose.

5. Under the Mistletoe 

Start to finish: 5 mins

Under the Mistletoe cocktail

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.

6. Dry Vermouth

Start to finish: 1 min

During the holidays, keep some gin and dry vermouth on hand for mixing up what is arguably the world's most sophisticated cocktail: the martini. Green olives stuffed with red pimentos will add an additional Christmas touch to Shaggy's Perfect Martini.

7. Sparkling Wine

Start to finish: 5 mins

True, sparkling wine isn't a spirit or a liqueur. But you've just gotta have it for the holidays. Bubbles make an instant party. Add a splash of cranberry juice, and it's like holding a glass of liquid Christmas. "This is a nice holiday cocktail," Allrecipes user Kathy says of her Poinsettias recipe. "We always serve this at our Christmas Eve."

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