12 Christmas Cocktails, part 1

Our favorite recipes for every holiday occasion


Ahh, Christmas. There is simply no better excuse for indulging in an abundance of warm, sweet and altogether decadent treats. And there is nothing better for bringing loved ones together and sweetening up the holidays than the classic Christmas cocktails we have all grown to love and drink every year.

We here at The Spir.it are going to help you count down to this most festive day with our favorite Christmas cocktail recipes. The snow might not arrive in time for a white Christmas, but what you can count on are the crowd-pleasing abilities of these festive and delicious drinks.

Photo courtesy floridecirus via Flickr/CC
Try the chocolate lover’s Monkey’s Tail as an after dinner treat or the oh-so-traditional Eggnog for a pre-dinner aperitif. Whether you top off some leftover Champagne with fresh-squeezed orange juice or shake up some Cosmos to schnocker up in preparation for time with the in-laws, here are six of our top picks for this season.

Share your favorite Christmas cocktail recipes with us below!

Egg Nog

3 pints heavy cream
1 cup bourbon whiskey
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cognac
½ tsp salt
12 eggs

Chill everything before starting for best results. Beat eggs until frothy, then beat in sugar, salt and nutmeg. Slowly stir in whiskey, cognac and cream. Chill again and serve cold.

Monkey's Tail from Chocovine

1 oz banana puree
1 oz gold rum
1 oz ChocoVine
Cinnamon stick

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled double rocks glass. Serve with a stick of cinnamon.

Hot Burgundy Punch

1 ½ cups water
1 cup apple juice
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 bottle Burgundy wine
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove or a crock pot. Let ingredients stew and serve warm. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.


2 oz orange juice

Fill half of a Champagne flute with chilled Champagne (about 2 ounces) and top off with chilled orange juice (again about 2 ounces). Gently stir. For added flare, slice up a strawberry to decorate the rim of each flute.


1 oz vodka
½ oz cranberry juice
½ oz triple sec
½ oz Rose's Lime Juice

Put ice cubes in cocktail shaker filling until half full. Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. Shake the cocktail shaker for 30 seconds and let it settle and chill for one minute. Strain and pour the prepared Cosmo cocktail in to chilled cocktail glass. Garnish the cocktail with lemon peel.



2 ½ oz bourbon Whiskey
¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 twist of orange peel
1 Maraschino cherry


Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: katracy
    358687 0

    Where's the amount of pure vanilla in the ingredient column? Just a tip... You should list the ingredients as the ingredients will be used.

    Dec 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM

  • I must admit that including the otherwise dubious Cosmo in this list makes a lot of sense. I'm amazed at how many out-of-towners, relatives and people who simply aren't up to date with cocktail culture are very happy to receive one. Snobbery on our part is a very ugly trait. That said, THIS recipe (The original though it may be) is quite awful and that's the truth. Dale would never serve this to his guests. He would prepare it thus: 1.5 oz Citron Vodka, .5 oz Cointreau, .25 oz Lime Juice, 1 oz Cranberry Juice, with a flamed orange peel garnish.

    Dec 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM

  • Snooth User: kellyse
    285492 1

    What happened to the old time drinks like my folks use to drink around the holidays...like: Hot Buttered Rum, Tom and Jerry and Tom Collins? I would really love to see those revived. The Tom and Jerry I still find delecious and after my 1st Hot Buttered rum, the rest seem to glide down better and better. An old recipie my father would make for us when we were sick with the beginning of a cold, and worked, was:
    1- oz Whiskey or Brandy
    2 tbs lemon juice
    1 tbs honey
    combine all ingredients in a mug and fill the rest with boiling water.
    It will chase out a cold or any chill you might have. I do not have a formal name for the drink, so I will name it my father's name: Gene Kelly.

    Dec 15, 2011 at 7:28 PM

  • I continue to be amazed at the specification of bourbon in Manhattan and Sazerac cocktails in lieu of rye whiskey. The taste is markedly different, and it was rye that defined those drinks. But, I guess that goes along with "chocolate martinis" and things of that ilk. That said, I do enjoy "Manhattans" made with bourbon, but I much prefer a real Manhattan cocktail.

    Like Kellyse, I also enjoyed the Tom and Jerrys that our family made, and homemade eggnog certainly beats the store bought kind. Thanks for the continuing recipes!

    Dec 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

  • Snooth User: spicycurry
    764650 53

    Ah, it's you guys, at the Spir.it, who recommend Burgundy for a punch! Good Burgundy is hard to come by for cheap. Folks are going to come in looking for Burgundy, and we're going to talk them out of it. It's the right thing to do. You can use a good, affordable bottle of red wine for a punch. Don't send the people out for Burgundy, please.

    Dec 15, 2011 at 8:33 PM

  • Snooth User: dhuddy
    856294 0

    Kellyse, the formal name for the drink your father used to make to sooth cold symptoms is called a Hot Toddy (and I, too, recall they do wonders for aches and cold-like symptoms).

    Dec 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM

  • Snooth User: PWMAM
    499315 25

    I have many comments, bear with me:
    Good for you spicycurry! When we heat wine, we destroy the nuances we are paying for in an expensive bottle. I'm sure an inexpensive domestic Pinot would be fine in the punch.
    Roadrunner, I agree that rye makes a delicious and proper Manhattan, but isn't half the fun of mixing your own cocktails (or going out to a bar for one) trying different spirits in tried and true recipes? At least half of the current cocktail lists out there are new riffs on old cocktails.
    What's a Tom and Jerry?! I'll have to look that up.
    And, coverdirector, get over yourself. I agree with your assessment of the Cosmo recipe given, but the reason people like Cosmos (even New Yorkers), is because they are delicious, when made properly. And my husband's Cosmo could go up against D.DeG's any day! I'm glad no one has deemed the Manhattan or the Negroni passé! I'd die of thirst.

    Dec 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

  • Snooth User: suzze
    654709 2

    Love homemade eggnog. Use liquid pasteurized egg instead of raw eggs...food safety issue.
    Happy Holiday Cocktails!

    Dec 15, 2011 at 9:14 PM

  • Snooth User: PWMAM
    499315 25

    Suzze, actually with all the booze and sugar, there is very little food safety issue here. This here is what we call an "inhospitable environment" for bacteria :-)

    Dec 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM

  • Snooth User: kimbees54
    202937 4

    They do have a recipe here for the Tom and Jerry. I just inherited my grandmother's Tom and Jerry punch bowl and mugs, which I will absolutely be using. http://www.thespir.it/cocktail-reci...

    Glad to see others still enjoy it as well.

    Dec 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

  • Snooth User: Party Guru
    971039 14

    I came across Tom and Jerry when I lived in Wisconsin. (the drink, not the men) You could buy mix in the grocery stores around the holidays. When I moved back to Missouri, I found a fabulous recipe here... http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tom-an... . You must be willing to try different liquors in the drink to find your favorite...ahhh delicious.

    Dec 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

  • Snooth User: Party Guru
    971039 14

    ...and I love the comment that booze kills the icky stuff in raw eggs. So true!

    Dec 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

  • Snooth User: brianadg
    755174 7

    There is no icky stuff in raw eggs if you get them from a reputable source. Locally source your eggs from a farmer. They make your eggnog taste amazing!!

    Dec 21, 2011 at 12:34 AM

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