Christmas Punch

A guide to post-Dickens holiday drinking

Eggnog, Tom & Jerry, wassail: On a holiday when we're predestined to binge on sugar, butter and eggs, why are the traditional Christmas drinks more of the same?

Thanks to the new Mr. Boston Holiday Cocktails, your next holiday cocktail doesn't need to be a liquefied cookie. Edited by Anthony Giglio and Jim Meehan, the book contains 100 recipes for highly spirited seasonal drinks gathered from dozens of America's top bartenders.

Many of the drinks belong on the refreshing and restorative end of the spectrum, and a chapter on punches will save the overworked host from spending too much time behind the stick. Our favorite, the beguilingly named Flying Grandma, is a citrusy blend of vodka, mint and grapefruit juice–finally, a use for that crate sent up from Florida (click here to download the recipe).

If, after the dessert plates have been cleared, you're still craving some nog or a hot-buttered rum, Mr. Boston has those, too, minus the Christmas clichés: You'll have to find your candy cane martini elsewhere.