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31 Festive Holiday Cocktails

We have scoured the internet, plus included a few of our own recipes, for 31 festive holiday cocktails to help you celebrate the season. Over the holidays, we get together with family and friends – from trick or treating and costume parties, to family dinners and gift exchanges. And let’s be honest, when fall finally rolls around, we’re all looking forward to those warm, cozy flavors and smells like pumpkin spice, cinnamon apple, and cranberry orange.

Sure, we love those finger foods and delicious desserts, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a new cocktail or two. If you’re looking for a fresh pop of color, or a new flavor combination to pair with your appetizers, this is the list for you.

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31 Festive Holiday Cocktails

We’ve got something for the wine, beer, and spirits connoisseurs to get you from Halloween all the way through New Year’s Eve.

From classics like Irish coffee and spiked eggnog to fun twists on holiday flavors, these are hands-down the best cocktail recipes. You might find a new signature holiday cocktail for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or just a seasonal favorite to sip with friends and family. These festive drinks are just the thing to inspire your next happy hour or holiday party.

Holiday Cocktail Flavors & Flavor Combinations

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Cinnamon Apple
  • Cranberry Orange
  • Peppermint & Maple
  • Gingerbread
  • Bourbon Caramel
  • Chai & Apple
  • Sage
  • Pear
  • Ginger
  • Pralines
  • Nutmeg & Cinnamon
  • Green Apple & Clove
  • Cranberry & Cardamom
  • Blood Orange, Honey, & Clove
  • Hazelnut & Pear
  • Chestnut & Vanilla

Traditional Holiday Cocktails

Here are a few drinks that are considered traditional to serve during Christmas and holiday celebrations:

  • Egg Nog: The most popular holiday beverage, can be made with or without alcohol. Made-from-scratch egg nog typically includes eggs, egg yolk, sugar, heavy cream, milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Usually served spiked with brandy.
  • Hot Buttered Rum: This one dates back to colonial times and is served warm. Made with rum, butter, sugar (you can use brown sugar), warm water, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.
  • Hot Toddy: This warm classic is made of warm water, honey, lemon, and whiskey. Experiment with other ingredients to add to this classic base.
  • Mulled Wine: All this takes is red wine, brandy, and holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. You can also add orange and/or lemon.

What is a traditional cocktail for Thanksgiving? Unlike the Christmas season, Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily have a traditional cocktail. Some sources say that wine is the most-served drink for Thanksgiving celebrations. Close contenders include Apple Cider, Chai Tea, and Hot Toddy. Sparkling cider is a great alcohol-free beverage to serve at any holiday celebration, or you can make a non-alcoholic sangria. Want something warm? You can always serve pumpkin spice lattes or a good old fashioned batch of hot chocolate.

Best Beer for the Holidays

If you prefer beer over cocktails, there’s no shortage of festive flavors to choose from. Especially with all the craft breweries making seasonal creations. These stouts, IPAs, ciders, and ales are all perfect choices to serve with your next holiday gathering. Cheers!

The main alcohol ingredient(s) are in parenthesis to make it quick and easy to match every vodka, whiskey, bourbon, tequila, champagne, rum, gin, beer, and wine lover to each holiday drink!

31 Festive Holiday Cocktails

We've gone ahead and rounded up the best holiday wine and alcohol cocktails, so you can start celebrating the most wonderful time of year.

Monique McArthur
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