It’s that time of year when the evenings are chilly and things are starting to look a bit more festive! There is nothing better than a cozy drink on a cool winter evening. We rounded up some of our favorite holiday cocktails and mocktails to enjoy at the (virtual) holiday party or while listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas on repeat. No judgments – we’re with you!
Rosemary Gin Fizz
This first cocktail is a spin on the classic gin fizz. The rosemary simple syrup adds a nice herbaceous touch. Check out this recipe from Delish! Try an alcohol-free version with rosemary simple syrup, seltzer, and a splash of cranberry juice.
For The Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
For The Drink
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. rosemary simple syrup
- 1 large egg white
- 2 oz. seltzer
- Lemon round, for garnish
- Rosemary, for garnish
- Make rosemary simple syrup: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and stir until all sugar is dissolved, pressing rosemary against the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release it’s oils. Let cool to room temperature, then strain into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make drink: Combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds to combine all ingredients. Fill shaker with ice and shake 10 to 15 seconds more, or until chilled.
- Strain into serving glass, top with seltzer, and garnish with lemon and rosemary.
Vanilla Chai White Russian
You had us at vanilla chai. Half Baked Harvest gives us all the festive holiday feels with this cocktail. Try using coconut cream for a dairy-free version!
For The Chai Tea Simple Syrup
For The Chai White Russian
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) Kahlua
- 1-2 ounces (2-4 tablespoons) chai tea syrup
- 1-2 ounces (2-4 tablespoons) heavy cream
- cinnamon sticks and star anise, for garnish
For The Chai Simple Syrup
- In a medium pot, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the chai tea bags, cover and steep 10-15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the honey. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
For The Chai White Russian
- Fill a glass with ice. Add the vodka, Kahlua, and chai tea syrup. Stir gently. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon and star anise, if desired.
Love peanut butter and chocolate? You will love this spin on boozy hot chocolate. Recipe credit goes to Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey – a local San Diego creation!
- 1¾ oz. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- ¼ oz. Peppermint Schnapps
- 4½ oz. Hot Chocolate
Build in a mug and stir. Garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows.
Pomegranate Mulled Wine
Warm yourself up with this pomegranate twist on mulled wine from The Spruce Eats. Make it alcohol-free and substitute pomegranate and cranberry juice!
- 1 cup pomegranate liqueur (Pama)
- 2 (750 mL) bottles red wine
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- 12 cloves (whole)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 lemons (sliced)
- 2 oranges (sliced)
- In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the pomegranate liqueur, red wine, water, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Stir until the sugar and nutmeg are dissolved.
- Add the lemon and orange slices. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes and do not allow it to come to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Strain into a separate bowl through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all the fruits and spices. Return the liquid to the pan.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Apple Bourbon Smash
This take on a bourbon smash is everything we love – bourbon, apple, and cozy spices like nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. Zestful Kitchen’s recipe uses honey, but feel free to substitute maple syrup for an added maple flavor! Use apple cider and club soda to make it a mocktail!
- ½ honeycrisp apple, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces fresh lemon
- Grated fresh nutmeg
- Pinch ground cardamom (optional)
- Apple slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Muddle apple and honey in a cocktail shaker until completely smashed and liquid is released.
- Add bourbon, lemon juice, a few grates of fresh nutmeg and a pinch of cardamom. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
- Fill rocks glasses with ice and strain cocktail into glasses, garnish with a few more grates of fresh nutmeg, an apple slice, and a cinnamon stick, if desired.