14 Festive Holiday Drinks That Aren’t Eggnog
Our favorite easy-to-batch winter cocktails, from mulled wine to Champagne punch.
Creamy, sweet, and spiced with nutmeg, eggnog is a Christmastime classic—and it’s also pretty polarizing. Some love the milkshake-like texture, while others can’t get past the fact that what they’re drinking is basically sweet liquid eggs.
If you’re anti-nog, there are plenty of other drinks to make this holiday season. You can lean into seasonal flavors like maple and cranberry; Champagne-based cocktails are always a crowd-pleaser, especially come New Year’s Eve. Read on for those recipes, and more eggnog alternatives.
Walker’s Mulled Wine
Mulled wine, like eggnog, is a holiday staple, but it’s a lot less heavy and just as comforting. This recipe from Danielle Walker is packed with a pantry’s worth of flavor—cloves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, maple syrup, and honey.
Hot Mulled Cider
If you’re not a fan of mulled wine, opt for mulled cider instead. Ken Oringer’s take includes quince, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest, and more.
Our Citrus-Champagne Punch is inspired by old-school 7-UP sherbet punch, with a grown-up twist. It’s spiked with gin, tart lemon sorbet, and Champagne of course—if you can, splurge on the good stuff.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
Pomegranate seeds look like little bright red jewels floating in this punch, complemented by bright diced pineapple.
Blood Orange Margaritas
Winter is citrus season, so make the most of it with these blood orange margaritas. The sweet-tart flavor of the fruit pairs beautifully with the tequila—for the finishing touch, add a blood orange slice and sage sprig as a garnish.
You can turn this cocktail into a mocktail by using apple cider vinegar and seltzer instead of gin and Champagne.
Babbo Natale Spritz
Think of this as the wintry cousin to the classic Aperol Spritz. The recipe still includes Campari (or Contratto Aperitif, if you’d prefer) and Prosecco, but adds in cranberry liquor and a sprig of rosemary for a festive touch.
With bright red maraschino cherries sitting at the bottom of the glass, this sparkling drink would make a gorgeous addition to your holiday party menu.
Spiced Maple Gimlets
Maple syrup adds a warming sweetness to this gin cocktail. If you plan on serving it at a party, batch it the day beforehand.
Rich, Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup is the star of this riff on an Old-Fashioned.
Coquitos, which originated in Puerto Rico, are similar to eggnog; however, the egg yolks are optional, and you still get the rich texture without the egg. The bulk of the creaminess comes from coconut milk and evaporated milk.
A Grasshopper might not be the first drink that comes to mind when you think of holiday cocktails, but the opaque, creamy green color from the crème de menthe makes it very on theme—plus, mint is a seasonal flavor, too.
This creamy drink is almost more of a milkshake than a cocktail, spiked with brandy, dark rum, and white crème de menthe.
Frenched Hot Chocolate
Give your after-dinner hot chocolate a boozy upgrade with yellow Chartreuse and Calvados.