What is the ultimate festive cocktail? Is it a decadent Eggnog? Is it a warming Mulled Wine? A Wassail Spiced Cider? Or maybe you like to break tradition and go for something a little more refreshing like a Grapefruit Gin Fizz?
Whatever your tipple, there’s no getting away from the fact that a good festive cocktail is as Christmassy as decking the halls with boughs of holly.
There’s just something very holiday season about pushing the boat out and having a drink you wouldn’t necessarily have at any other time of the year. It's a great way to unwind, sit around the fire, enjoy a glass or two with family and friends. And we think we all need a little bit of that. Now more than ever!
The team at Lazy Susan have picked our favourite festive cocktails for you to try this holiday. A quick straw poll in our office put the Festive Negroni (a twist on a classic) at the top of our pops, but for this article, we’ve tried to include a tipple for all, from our favourite classics to festive mocktails.
Classic Festive Cocktails
Of all the festive cocktails, a glass of homemade eggnog is the one that seems to best combine tradition with festive flavours. A luscious, creamy drink that can be mixed up as a batch and is great to share with friends and family. For the recipe, we like The Spruce Eats classic as it breaks things down into nice and easy steps. Alternatively, there’s this great how-to video from Behind the Bar that shows you the steps for a deliciously boozy Eggnog with rum:
The Snowball is so retro it is back in fashion. Although, when something tastes this good, does it ever go out of style? A classic snowball with Advocaat, lemonade and ice, is the ultimate in festive retro cocktail chic. Easy to make, delicious to drink. The BBC have a simple recipe for a classic Snowball or there’s the video below with Steve the Barman showing us how you can give it even more of a festive twist:
To be honest we were debating if this should go in the Classic Festive Cocktails section. However, one thing we were all in agreement on is that it is definitely a classic party cocktail. And again, much like the Snowball, it is simple on ingredients, easy to mix, and guaranteed to put a smile on faces. The Lazy Susan Team would recommend the Olive Magazine recipe or you can follow the excellent video below from The Art of Mixology:
Classic Cocktails with a Festive Twist
This popular Italian cocktail is a firm favourite with the Lazy Susan Team. Refreshing and easy to sip, you can give it a festive twist with cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves with this great recipe from BBC Good Food. If you want to keep it classic, then Jamie’s recipe below is quick and easy to make at home. Infused with Martini bitters, vermouth and orange oils, it makes for the perfect aperitif:
If you want to give the Eggnog a more sophisticated twist, then the Eggnog Martini with Amaretto from The Spruce is another wonderful drink that takes a classic and does something interesting with it. 62nd Cocktails version on YouTube is also simple to make, easy to follow, and definitely delivers on style and taste:
Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail
The poinsettia is another favourite with the Lazy Susan team. This elegant cranberry-flavoured Champagne cocktail is perfect for Christmas get-togethers. There are a number of varying recipes that take on this name, however, we again like The Spruce’s take on it or How to Drink’s easy-to-follow video below.
Hot Festive Cocktails
When it comes to a festive winter warmer, then the first drink that comes to mind is mulled wine. We like Jamie Oliver’s recipe, and as he puts it:
Come the festive season, there's nothing better than a spiced, warming glass of this mulled wine.
If you like to follow a video, then Jamie’s also got you covered on his YouTube channel below:
Wassail is another winter classic that is maybe not as well known as mulled wine but just as tasty. Dating back to Tudor times when it was known as Lambswool, it is basically a mulled cider or ale. The Nourished Kitchen recipe is delightfully boozy and infused with all those classic festive spices. While the Tudor Society have the video below that shows you how to make it and provides a little more in the way of background/origin:
Bailey’s is a liqueur that we just think of as quintessentially Christmas. Again, that's not strictly true, but it is definitely the time of year I like to have one (or two). Now, there is a myriad of wonderful cocktails you can make with it too, but at Lazy Susan we all agree that adding it to an Irish Coffee to give it a decadent spin is the best. Alternatively, you could also pair it with Kahlua. The Food Network have an easy to follow recipe for a Cheeky Christmas Coffee, while the video below from The Black Tie Kitchen shows how to make a classic Irish Coffee:
Light & Refreshing Festive Cocktails
Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz
If you prefer something with a little more zing then the Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz from The Modern Proper gets our vote. With cardamon infused gin, woody notes from the simple rosemary syrup, top it up with little fizz, a splash of citrusy brightness, and you’ve got a little bit of winter sunshine in a glass. Alternatively, if the cardamom is not to your taste then the video recipe below from Katie Home Cook uses cranberries, mint and ginger ale to create a fan refreshing festive tipple:
Holly Jolly Christmas
Your Christmas will be both holly and jolly with this tangy mix of vodka and citrus flavours from the Half Baked Harvest. Zesty and sharp, it is made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, and freshly squeezed orange juice. If vodka is your preference, then the video below also has 3 simple yet delicious holiday cocktail recipes that all use Grey Goose:
You can give a summery Mojito a winter twist by replacing the mint with delicious jammy marmalade. Finished with mandarin slices and star anise, this recipe from Olive Magazine can be whipped up in about five minutes to give you a tasty refreshing Christmas beverage. Drinks Made Easy on the other hand have this wonderful White Christmas Mojito that uses the basic Mojito mint/sugar muddle and flips it with coconut cream:
Non-Alcoholic Festive Mocktails
Orange & Rosemary Christmas Mocktail
If you like to start Christmas Day with a Buck’s Fizz, but fancy something without the alcohol, then try this orange and rosemary fizz from Olive Magazine. We guarantee that this is one that the kids and big kids will love.
Christmas Apple Pie Mocktail
The Apple Pie Mocktail from KidSpot is as easy-as-pie (sorry, their pun not ours) to make and is a great drink that evokes the flavours of Christmas in a glass.
Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
You can even make a delicious mulled wine minus the booze with the fruity, alcohol-free recipe from BBC Good Food. It combines pomegranate juice, blackberries and spices to bring that all-important winter warmth.
HeyKayli’s video has a host of great Mocktail recipes and is definitely worth a watch. I know at Lazy Susan we are eager to try a Dirty Dr Pepper!
Festive Cocktail Videos
There are many more great videos on YouTube that show you how to make some fab festive cocktails. Some of our other favourites include:
6 Holiday Cocktails for Grown-Ups
20 Classic Christmas Cocktails
9 Christmas Party Cocktails Ideas
If you think there’s anything we’ve missed or you’d like to share a recipe of your own, then please drop a comment below.
At Lazy Susan we always advocate quality over quantity - Please drink responsibly!
Have a great Christmas,