In the lead up to Christmas, sit back, relax and sip on these 12 deliciously festive Christmas cocktails. Cheers to that!
Christmas is just around the corner. As much as the holiday centers on gift giving and receiving, comforting seasonal flavors and colorful decorations, Christmas is also about the booze. But I’m not talking about just any ol’ alcoholic beverage – I’m talking about cocktails catered to the holiday itself, incorporating cheer into every spiked sip. These Christmas cocktails ought to do it.
On the 1st Day of Christmas: Baileys Chocolate Peppermint Cream
- 2 oz Baileys
- 4 ounces vegan hot chocolate (recipe here)
- Coconut whipped cream (recipe here)
- 1 candy cane
- Mint leaves
Directions: Pour hot chocolate in a mug, add the Baileys and top with the whipped cream. crush the candy cane and sprinkle the flakes atop the cream. Garnish with mint leaves.
On the 2nd Day of Christmas: Cranberry + Vanilla
- Juice and zest of 3 oranges (zest before you squeeze)
- 24 oz fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups Absolut vanilla vodka
- Seltzer water
- Strips of orange zest and cranberries for garnish
Directions: In a blender, add the orange juice, cranberries and 2 cups of water. Blend and push through a sieve to separate the solids from the liquids. Pour the liquid into a pitcher, add the agave and vodka and stir. Pour the mixture into cups filled with ice cubes, stopping at 3/4 up the side of each glass. Top the remaining 1/4 with seltzer water. Garnish with strips of orange zest and extra cranberries.
On the 3rd Day of Christmas: Mulled Wine
- 750 ml red wine (Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfadel, etc.)
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- Strips of zest from one orange
Directions: In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the wine, brandy, range juice and honey. Stir until the honey is dissolved. Pierce the orange with the cloves, creating studs all over the surface of the orange. Add the clove-studden orange to the pot, along with the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Strain the wine before serving. Serve with orange zest garnish.
On the 4rd Day of Christmas: Raw Vegan Egg Nog
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 3 cups water
- 1 can coconut milk (BPA-free)
- 4 shots rum
- Cinnamon sticks for garnish
Directions: Blend all the ingredients in a blender except for the rum. Add the rum one shot at a time until you reach your alcoholl level preference. Serve with a garnish of cinnamon sticks.
On the 5th Day of Christmas: Spiced Apple
- 3 oz apple cider
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- 3/4 oz maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Cracked ice
- 1 apple, sliced thinly and seeds removed
- Cinnamon for garnish
Directions: Combine all in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 30 seconds until the outside of the shaker becomes frstory. Strain into a class. Garnish with the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
On the 6th Day of Christmas: Cranberry Apple Sparkler
- 2 oz cranberry juice (unsweetened)
- 1 oz apple cider
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1.5 oz ginger soda
- 2 oz gin
- Frozen cranberries and sliced apples for garnish
Directions: Mix all together and serve with garnish of cranberries and apples.
On the 7th Day of Christmas: Chocolate Champagne
- 1 oz amaretto
- 1 oz chocolate liqueur
- 4 oz chilled champagne
- Simple syrup
- Shaved dark chocolate
Directions: Dip the rim of a martini glass in simple syrup and then place over the shaved dark chocolate. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the amaretto and chocolate liqueur. Shake and then add the champagne. Give on more shake before straining it and pouring into the chocolate-rimmed martini glass.
On the 8th Day of Christmas: Christmastini
- 3 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1 teaspoon peppermint Schnapps
- Cracked ice
- Candy cane for garnish
Directions: Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass with a candy cane as garnish.
On the 9th Day of Christmas: Hot Buttered Rum
- 2.5 oz dark rum
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 whole clove
- 1 teaspoon salted butter
Directions: In a mug, combine rum, sugar, cinnamon and the whole clove. Top with boiling water and butter. Stir well and garnish with nutmeg.
On the 10th Day of Christmas: Pomegranate Mimosas
- 3 cups blood orange juice, chilled
- 3 cups pomegranate juice
- 1, 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
Directions: Add the orange and pomegranate juice in a pitcher. Stir and pour into glasses, up about 3/4 the height of each glass. Finish off each glass with Prosecco and garnish with pomegranate seeds.
On the 11th Day of Christmas: Cherry Frost
- 3 tablespoons black cherry liqueur
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 4 tablespoons sparkling white wine
Directions: Pour black cherry liqueur and brandy into a cocktail shaker. Add the ice and shake until chilled. Pour into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
On the 12th Day of Christmas: Christmas Capirinha
- Zest strips from 2 limes
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 4, 1/4-inch thick ginger slices
- 1.5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 10 fresh mint leaves + 5 for garnish
- 1/2 cup Cachaça
- 1.5 cups ice cubes + more for serving
- 2.5 cups ginger beer
Directions: Combine lime peel, lime juice, ginger, sugar and 10 mint leaves in a medium bowl or mortar. Use a pestle or muddler to crush the ingredients together, releasing their juices. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in rum. Cover and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours. Add ice cubes and ginger beer. Add ice cubes to 5 glasses and strain the mixture into the glasses evenly. Garnish with 1 mint leaf each.
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image: tom ipri