We Wish You A Merry Cocktail: Holiday Drink Recipes ’18

Food & Drink

The holidays are the time of year when families come together, memories are made and your culinarily challenged Great Uncle Eddie INSISTS on making his famous eggnog. You know, the one that had everyone playing a very special holiday rendition of musical chairs with one particular white porcelain chair last year. If you’d like to avoid a repeat performance and give your guests the gift of a cheery boozy belly, read on for some of the best holiday cocktails this side of the North Pole.

Dashing All The Way Cocktail
You can’t go wrong with a cocktail that involves ice cream and two different kinds of spirits. Ice cream is scientifically proven to bring out the inner kid in all of us and though brandy is typically drunk as an after-dinner digestif, this combination will have you singing carols all day long.   

What to use

  • Coarse red and green sugar crystals
  • 2 cups chilled eggnog
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream (3 if you like to live on the edge)
  • 4-8 cinnamon sticks

How to use it
Dampen the rims of 4 martini glasses and generously pepper them with sugar crystals. Combine eggnog, brandy, amaretto, nutmeg, and ice cream in a blender and blend until it’s smooth as Santana’s guitar solos. Pour mixture into martini glasses and garnish each glass with a whole cinnamon stick—use two for an extra kick or if you’re just extra fancy. Serves 4.

Butterscotch Smooch
If you’re looking for the perfect drink to serve underneath the mistletoe, you’ve met your match. The vodka will have you thanking your lucky stars you’re on Santa’s nice list and the maple syrup will ensure your smooches are extra sweet. PRO-TIP: Breath mints don’t hurt either. 

What to use

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/4 oz pure maple syrup
  • 1 oz half-and-half
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Hershey’s Kiss

How to use it
Pour liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake what your mama gave ya. Strain into a martini glass. Drop a Hershey’s Kiss into the cocktail for a surprise smooch. Top with fresh-ground nutmeg. Serves 1, but you should probably make at least 3 more.

Double Irish Eggnog
The luck of the Irish will make this an instant holiday favorite. The word “whiskey” originates from the Gaelic phrase, “water of life.” Why does this matter? Now you can get buzzed AND impress your friends and family with whiskey trivia! You’re welcome. 

What to use

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce Irish cream liqueur (2 ounces if you can sing an Irish drinking carol) 
  • ¼ ounce Irish whiskey
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon sticks

How to use it
Whisk egg, Irish cream liqueur and Irish whiskey in a bowl until smooth. Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan (say no to a slow cooker, it’ll overcook the eggs). Pour over the egg mixture, stirring like you owe it to the Motherland. Carefully pour into mugs—it’s hot, hotshot! Dash on the nutmeg and toss in the cinnamon sticks. Serves 2.

Snowfall Margarita
Nothing in the known universe makes a woman happier than a margarita. For the ladies at your holiday soiree, make sure to line ’em up and keep ’em comin’. You just might find out where she hid your presents.

What to use

  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 12 oz silver tequila
  • 8 oz triple sec
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 cups ice
  • Lime wedge for rimming glass
  • Sanding sugar for rimming glass
  • ½ cup mint for garnish
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds for garnish
  • Cranberries for garnish

How to use it
Combine coconut milk, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and ice in a blender. Blend until you’re not sure if you’re looking at the smoothest margarita of your life or a baby’s actual bottom. Rim glasses with lime wedge and twirl around in sanding sugar. Bottoms up into the biggest glasses you have and garnish with lime and cranberries. Serves 2.

Reindeer Chai Toddy
Chais are the bedrock of comfort drinks. Add in a little cognac and schnapps and you’ve got yourself the feel-good drink of the entire holiday season. Serve these after your brothers get back from their annual Polar Bear Plunge. They’ll need it.

What to use

  • One part chai tea concentrate
  • One part whole milk
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 oz cognac/brandy
  • 1 oz DeKuyper Buttershots liqueur or butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 graham cracker, crushed and powdered
  • Holiday sprinkles for garnish

How to use it
Bring chai tea concentrate and milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in star anise for star quality flavor. Remove from heat. Practice bartending brandy and butterscotch liqueur into a mug, then pour in the chai tea mixture. Stir slightly and dust with crushed graham cracker and sprinkles because this is Christmas and you’re not playing around. Serves 1.

If you’re looking for a particularly good time, serve your favorite holiday cocktails first and THEN record all the men at your gathering opening their unique gifts at the very same time. Extra points if you gift wrap the crowbars.