Sure you can always serve a ton of bubbly and beer and everyone will be very happy partiers. But there are those times you should pull out something special and there's no time like the holidays to bring it. Be it served in a punch bowl, a fancified glass of bubbles, or served straight up, this list has something for everyone.
Armed with this list of 20 terrific tipples in your cocktail arsenal, you’ll shake things up, be the perfect party host, or just take the edge off the holiday season.
How to pull off the perfect holiday cocktail party without breaking a sweat? The secret's in the punch bowl. And it's hard to find more of a crowd pleaser than this twist on a classic Champagne cocktail.
Champagne toasts are happening all over this season, but if you want to make yours actually memorable, try a classic Champagne cocktail (guess what: it’s perfect). It’s simple, festive (hello, bubbles), and adds just a touch of glamour without trying too hard, kind of like your effortlessly chic French coworker.
The classic Negroni is a drink every cocktail lover should know. Bitter, sweet and appropriately boozy, it’s a balanced cocktail that’s as sophisticated as it is season-less. But during the holidays we swap the gin for bubbles because we love sparkling wine in the wintertime. And because it can be made in batches so you don't have to sit by the bar all night.
If darker spirits are more to your taste, try The Boulevardier; it replaces the gin in a Negroni with bourbon, lending a bit more smooth sweetness to your glass, without taking away any of the original recipe’s boozy kick. Not to mention, the vibrant red from the Campari lends festive color to any occasion.
For something a little less obvious, turn to the classic whiskey cocktail, The Man O' War. Named after a race horse, this cocktail is usually served during the Triple Crown but we like it any time of year.
Speaking of pomegranate and apple cider, we combined them in this punch that has been a major favorite this year. Pull out the vintage glassware and make a pomegranate seed ice mold and you'll be the mose festive hostess around.
If you just can't handle anymore apple anything but still love cider, check out this pear cider cocktail. Made with spiced pear liqueur, whiskey, and a flamed orange, one sip will transport you to the days of yore (even if we're not entirely sure when yore was)!
Elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, gin and lemon, with a sage leaf floated on top; the St. Germain Gin Euphoria is a cocktail we love because it's simple yet so sophisticated—it's not difficult to prepare, yet it's also not something you'd likely make for yourself before a marathon Downton Abbey session, either.
If sage if your thing, you're going to want to give this sage twist on this classic cocktail a go. Just know this is best made to order so plan on serving this for a smaller gathering so you're not playing bartender all night.
When it comes to gin, there's nothing more classic than a gin and tonic. And when made the Spanish way — with tons of ice in a balloon glass with lots of quality tonic — it feels more festive than ever.
Sometimes you need to pull out a total wild card cocktail and that's when this Spiked Horchata Latte Cocktail is in order. Made with homemade spiced horchata, coffee liqueur, and tequila, this is the drink a White Russian wished it could be.
Maybe margaritas bring warmer months to mind, but with winter fruits pomegranate and ginger and a jolt of festive color, this Cranberry Ginger Margarita is the perfect vehicle to introduce our spirited sidekick to a December party.
Salt & Wind is a food and travel website created by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp, in December 2014. The sister company, Salt & Wind Travel, launched in 2017 to provide boutique group travel services for fellow food lovers. Through our editorial work and our trips, we're on a mission to help you travel in good taste!