From festive parties to holiday dinners, one of the best things about the holidays is sitting back and enjoying the company of family and friends. What makes that even better is having a delicious cocktail in hand! Whether you’re staying cozy at home or getting creative hosting virtual holiday parties, a cozy holiday cocktail makes the season all the more spirited.
So, let’s look at some of the coziest cocktails and mocktails to sip this season!
Crockpot Hot Chocolate
This is the perfect make-ahead cocktail to enjoy while watching a Christmas movie marathon or trimming the tree. To share with the whole family, big and little kids alike, simply leave out the alcohol for a non-alcoholic version.
8 c. whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. crème de menthe, white rum, or vodka (omit for a non-alcoholic version)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Sweetened whipped cream
Crushed candy canes
Put all ingredients except whipped cream and crushed candy canes in a 7-qt slow cooker. Cook on high for up to 2 hours. Whisk ingredients occasionally to help the chocolate melt and mix with the other ingredients. Once everything is combined, switch setting to warm. To serve, simply ladle a cup of hot chocolate into your mug, then top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes.
Grapefruit Rosemary Gin Fizz
This recipe, inspired by Zevia, is a light and refreshing winter citrus cocktail, perfect for relaxing out in the backyard on a California Christmas!
3 oz Grapefruit Citrus Soda
1.5 oz gin
1 cardamom pod
1/2 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 rosemary sprig
Add the cardamom pod to your bottle of gin and let it soak overnight. Combine Grapefruit Citrus soda, gin, and grapefruit juice in a rock glass over ice. Garnish with the rosemary sprig and grapefruit peel and enjoy!
Gingerbread Mocktail (or Cocktail)
For a fancy mocktail anyone can enjoy, whip up a couple of these decadent gingerbread drinks.
1 c. heavy cream
12 ounces ginger soda
1-2 tbs. brown sugar
4 tsp. molasses divided for rimming the glass
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. gingersnaps or gingerbread cookies, crushed
1.5 ounces bourbon – optional
Put 2 teaspoons of molasses on a plate. Add crushed cookies on another plate. Rim each glass with molasses, then cover with the crushed cookies.
Make your mocktail by adding ice to a shaker, then mixing in heavy cream, ginger soda, allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of molasses (and bourbon if using). Shake to combine and chill, then scrape off excess foam. Fill into your two glasses.
Pomegranate Lime Margarita
Who says margaritas are just for summer?This festive pomegranate lime margarita takes the best of this summer classic and makes it perfect for a winter night in.
4-1/2 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
1-1/2 cups tequila
1-1/2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
1-1/2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
juice of ½ lime
Pomegranate seeds and frozen cranberries, optional
Combine the soda, tequila, and juices in a large pitcher. Serve in chilled glasses. Garnish with pomegranate and cranberries if desired.
Cinnamon Pear & Ginger Sparkler
Nothing says cozy like the smell of cinnamon. Pair that with the delicious winter flavor of pear and you have the perfect recipe for a holiday brunch or even a fancy virtual New Year’s Eve party.
4 cups pear nectar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium Asian pears, cored and sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh gingerroot
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plain or pear vodka
3 bottles (750 milliliters each) champagne, chilled
Fresh pear slices
Combine pear nectar, pears, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boils, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. When the pears are softened, set aside to cool. Once cool, place mixture in a blender, cover and process until smooth. Push the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and stir in the vodka. Pour 1.5 ounces of the cocktail mixture into each champagne glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a pear slice.