20 Best Holiday Cocktails To Celebrate The Season

The holidays are a magical time of the year, but there is no denying the chaos that often comes along with it. Sometimes, we need something to take a bit of the edge off. Whether it is a family function, a work holiday party, or just a cozy night in, a little booze being thrown into the mix never hurts anybody.

This carefully curated list of holiday cocktail recipes is filled with tons of creative options, many inspired by the most popular drinks of the season. While the holidays are known for being a time for family traditions, you might consider straying from the norm with one of these fun recipes. With options like these, you will not have an excuse to show up empty-handed to a holiday function. After all, who doesn't want to be the life of the party and bring the most fun and festive drink of the bunch?

1. Cranberry Gin Cocktail

Kick the holiday season off right with this simple, yet delicious, cocktail recipe. All you need are fresh cranberries muddled in gin, with the addition of simple syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice for a bit of sweetness.

Top it off with confectioner's sugar and fresh mint, and you'll have a drink to bring all the fresh holiday flavors to the table. It can be the perfect addition to any holiday meal, or a stand-alone for a holiday party.

Recipe: Cranberry Gin Cocktail

2. Best Christmas Punch

A punch bowl is a must-have for any function, and with this Christmas punch, everyone will be feeling the holiday spirit. First thing first, make sure you have a sizable punch bowl to mix everything together. The punch is a blend of cranberry juice, orange juice, ginger ale, spiced rum, and Prosecco. With some sweetness and spice, this combination is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

To garnish, you'll need fresh cranberries and sliced oranges. Give it all a mix, and voilà. This punch is super easy to make and is perfect if you're in a pinch before a holiday celebration.

Recipe: Best Christmas Punch 

3. Boozy Spiced German Gluhwein

If you're a fan of mulled wine, then you'll love this seasonal favorite that's popular in Germany during the holidays. Gluhwein is mulled wine by another name, with a little extra kick thanks to the addition of spiced rum. Otherwise, the process for preparing this recipe is the same as a classic mulled wine.

Once you've gathered your ingredients, the red wine, rum, sugar, and spices get slowly warmed over the stove until the wine is infused with the flavors. Served warm, this cocktail is perfect for a cozy night in or any holiday occasion.

Recipe: Boozy Spiced German Gluhwein 

4. Whiskey-Chartreuse Cocktail

For something alcohol-forward, try this whiskey-chartreuse cocktail recipe. With three different kinds of alcohol and a hint of bitters, this drink will definitely warm you up for the holidays. The recipe calls for 2 ounces of Scotch, 1 ounce of cava, and green Chartreuse for a splash of festive color.

We all know the holidays can be stressful for many, and this is just the cocktail to take some of the edge off. Save this recipe for when you need a little liquid courage for those family get-togethers.

Recipe: Whiskey-Chartreuse Cocktail 

5. Spiced Chai Old Fashioned

We're combining two favorites with this cocktail to bring all the flavors of fall holidays to one delicious beverage. If an Old-Fashioned cocktail is your go-to, try spicing it up by adding a classic blend of chai flavors.

This recipe will walk you through making your own chai-flavored simple syrup, made of just three simple ingredients. With the muddled orange and a dash of walnut bitters, this drink is a mix of fruity, nutty, and spicy without losing the distinct sharpness of a classic Old-Fashioned.

Recipe: Spiced Chai Old Fashioned 

6. Ginger Maple Flip

Change things up with this creamy, holiday-inspired ginger maple flip cocktail. There are many versions of the classic flip cocktail out there, but this one is just right for getting into the spirit of the season.

The signature shaken egg makes this drink perfectly frothy, with the right amount of foamy airiness. The rest of this recipe is made up of all of our favorite seasonal flavors, including fresh ginger juice and maple syrup. The rye whiskey packs a smokier punch, and the drink is finished with a hint of lemon.

Recipe: Ginger Maple Flip

7. Mexican Ponche De Frutas

This Mexican Christmas punch recipe is another great option for a party-ready beverage that's easy to make and will serve plenty of people. Packed with various fruits and spices, this punch is infused with flavor and served warm. Though the classic recipe calls for tejocotes, a Mexican fruit, this version substitutes pears for a similar flavor.

Another stand-out in this recipe is the guava paste, a staple Mexican canned good that can be found in most grocery stores. The spices are boiled over heat, before adding the fruits and finishing off with either tequila or mezcal.

Recipe: Mexican Ponche De Frutas 

8. Cranberry Sauce Frozen Cosmo

If cranberry sauce is your favorite side dish during the holiday season, we've just turned it into your new favorite holiday cocktail. This vodka-based drink is as simple as it gets, with just four ingredients.

The vodka, cranberry sauce, Cointreau, and lime juice are all blended with a handful of ice to make a tasty, festive frozen cocktail. Get creative with those Thanksgiving leftovers, and make them a delicious, alcoholic slushy to serve for any holiday occasion.

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Frozen Cosmo 

9. Warm and Cozy Hot Toddy

There's no better time for a hot cocktail than when the holidays come around and the cold starts to creep in. The hot toddy might just be the quintessential hot cocktail, made with a base of sugar, honey, and lemon juice, and often dressed up with ingredients of the maker's choosing.

Aside from the basic ingredients, this recipe calls for whiskey that can easily be replaced with another alcohol of your choosing. Serve this comforting drink in your favorite mug, and sit by the fire to catch all the warmth this holiday season.

Recipe: Warm and Cozy Hot Toddy 

10. Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

When the leaves start changing color and temperatures start dropping, we know that apple cider season is upon us. We had to be sure to include this mulled cider recipe in the rotation of holiday staples. This warm cocktail is made in the slow cooker over a few hours, which means less work for you.

Cloves, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon are combined in a pot full of apple cider to make for a spice-infused treat. Top the finished product off with a splash of rum or another alcohol of choice for a spiked version.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mulled Cider 

11. Spiced Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate

We're taking everyone's favorite winter drink up a notch with a spiced Grand Marnier hot chocolate. We aren't just talking about a pre-made mix, either. This recipe will walk you through making a deliciously rich, homemade hot cocoa with bittersweet chocolate, milk, and chile pepper for a hint of spice.

Grand Marnier, a French liqueur with a hint of orange flavor, is added at the end to booze up this cocktail. Of course, topping it off with whipped cream is a must. We're all for making the holidays fun, and this drink is sure to show you a good time.

Recipe: Spiced Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate 

12. Winter Spice Punch

Don't worry, we haven't run out of holiday-themed punch ideas yet. This winter spice punch is another cocktail that should be thrown into your rotation of go-to drinks.

A homemade winter spice syrup is mixed with fresh squeezes of citrus and a large bowl's worth of pear cider, with a splash of fragrant wine. This fruit-heavy recipe nearly masks the low alcohol content to ensure that everyone makes it to the main course, so don't be afraid to break this recipe out when the holiday invites start stacking out.

Recipe: Winter Spice Punch

13. Pumpkin Spice Mai Tai

When pumpkin season comes around, the pumpkin spice latte will need to make room for this delicious, fall-inspired cocktail recipe. This festive mai tai takes a blend of spices to make a pumpkin flavor that's infused into a crowd-favorite drink.

Aside from the addition of pumpkin, this mai tai recipe is a bit of a twist on the classic. The addition of absinthe spikes the drink with the faint taste of licorice, making for a unique blend of flavors. If you're looking to try something different this holiday season, this is just the cocktail for you.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Mai Tai

14. The Stowaway

This drink's title may be a little ambiguous, but after you taste it, the only thing you'll be asking for is the recipe. To make this warm cocktail, you'll need to gather some essentials that might already be in your pantry during those colder months.

Chai tea bags and cinnamon are steeped with hot water in a thermos, before adding the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and honey. Don't forget the most important part — the rum. This sip-worthy drink is as easy as it gets and sounds like the perfect cold-fighting remedy with a splash of fun for the holidays.

Recipe: The Stowaway 

15. Apple Cider Hot Toddy

We're blending two holiday favorites with this apple cider-flavored hot toddy. Apple cider is sweetened and spiced overheat with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger before it's strained and mixed together with bourbon.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted according to your preference, so you can be as shy or aggressive with the alcohol content as it best suits the occasion. It's perfect for a cozy night in, and dare we say, fighting off a sore throat with the hints of ginger and lemon.

Recipe: Apple Cider Hot Toddy 

16. Swedish Mulled Wine

Also known as Glögg, this recipe is our take on the classic spiked Swedish wine. While there are many versions of this popular holiday beverage, each recipe has its nuances, so be sure to gather all the right spices and fruits.

Glögg is best served after having time to chill, allowing the wine to soak up every bit of flavor from the mix-ins. Allow your mixture to sit overnight so you can bring your best work to a holiday function of any kind.

Recipe: Swedish Mulled Wine

17. Fernet and Chartreuse Hot Chocolate

There's more than one way to get creative with a spiked hot chocolate, and we're bringing you another version of a holiday-inspired take on the ultimate winter comfort drink. This cocktail has a salted hot chocolate base, mixed with the Italian liqueur, Fernet-Branca.

The recipe even walks you through making your own whipped cream, which serves as the perfect hint of sweetness to garnish this rich, warming beverage. If this drink doesn't get you in the mood to celebrate, we don't know what will.

Recipe: Fernet and Chartreuse Hot Chocolate 

18. Prosecco Punch

We're keeping the alcohol flowing with another simple yet tasty punch recipe, a tried and true method for ensuring that everyone is in their best mood during the holidays. Who said you have to pop a bottle of champagne to have a good time? Try this Prosecco and port punch — mixed with white tea, cranberry juice, and simple syrup for a bubbly cocktail that is light on the alcohol, but certainly heavy on the holiday spirit.

Recipe: Prosecco Punch

19. Top Toddy

The beauty of the hot toddy is that it can take on a variety of different flavors. This recipe adds a flare of Asian flavor to the classic cocktail with the addition of green tea and brown rice for a hint of nuttiness.

The best part of this recipe is that everything can be prepared in a teapot, including the vodka and ginger-flavored liqueur. Everything is simply steeped, strained, and easily served in a glass of your choosing.

Recipe: Top Toddy 

20. The Best Sachlav

This Spiked Sachlav is the Middle East's take on a classic hot chocolate, spiked with alcohol and flavored with a variety of ingredients. The addition of coconut milk gives this drink its creamy flavor, along with coconut shavings and chopped pistachios as garnishes to compliment the nutty flavor of the Nocello liqueur.

Once combined, the mixture is steamed until it reaches a foamy consistency. Served hot, this drink is bringing all the warmth and booziness we need to get through the holiday season.

Recipe: The Best Sachlav