14 Festive Holiday Drinks That Aren’t Eggnog
Enter frozen grasshoppers, mulled wine, and clementine 75s.
Creamy, sweet, and often spiced with nutmeg, eggnog is a Christmastime classic—and it can also be pretty polarizing. Some (like me) love the flavor and almost milkshake-like texture, while others can’t get past the fact that the drink is made from…well, eggs. (Although we do have a vegan, 100 percent egg-free version available.)
Whether you’re on #teamnog or not, there are plenty of other holiday drinks to be enjoyed, and we’ve gathered 14 different options for you. Frozen grasshoppers are a favorite for their festive bright green color, while a steaming mug of mulled wine warms you up with every sip. Read on for those recipes, and even more eggnog alternatives to try this season.
Minty green and an ideal dessert cocktail, this frozen grasshopper has three components: a homemade rich simple syrup, Grasshopper Whip (aka, whipped cream spiked with white crème de menthe), and finally, the grasshopper cocktail itself. If you’d like, you can top it all off with a little shaved dark chocolate.
Blood Orange-Rosemary Fizz
Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth
This chilled drink is Paola Briseño González’s riff on Ponche Navideño, a “spiced tropical fruit punch that’s served warm with a shot of tequila in Mexico.”
Walker’s Mulled Wine
Keep the cold at bay with this mulled wine, which is ready in an hour.
“Spiced mulled cocktails are what I crave when I want to relax in the colder months,” says Amy Brandwein of Centrolina in Washington, D.C. “Red wine is usually the base, but Centrolina Wine Director Alissa Diaz developed this cocktail using Pinot Grigio to focus on citrus and ginger—it almost plays off the flavors of a classic panettone, which is a winter specialty in Italian culture.”
Hot Mulled Cider
Mulled cider is always an option, too—and this recipe from Ken Oringer comes together in just one step.
Lemon sorbet, London Dry gin, and Champagne star in this celebratory citrus-champagne punch, which was “inspired by old-school 7-UP sherbet punch.”
Caffè Di Alpi
Coffee lovers will appreciate this drink, spiked with bourbon and featuring an amaro whipped cream.
This riff on the French 75 uses clementine juice in lieu of lemon juice, and also includes a homemade juniper syrup made with fresh ginger, crushed juniper berries, dried cranberries, and cinnamon sticks.
Babbo Natale Spritz
Cranberry liqueur adds a wintry touch to this spritz—don’t forget the rosemary sprig for garnish.
Frenched Hot Chocolate
This rich drink gets flavor from dark chocolate, a vanilla bean, and a stick of cinnamon, as well as a boozy kick from yellow Chartreuse and Calvados.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
If you’re looking for a booze-free hot chocolate, try this simple recipe. All you need is dark chocolate chips, sugar, and milk—plus, whipped cream and marshmallows for garnish if you’re so inclined.
Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices
It doesn’t get much more festive than this colorful punch, topped with bright slices of clementines (or satsumas) and jewel-like frozen cranberries.
Spiced Maple Gimlets
This batched drink can be made one day in advance if you want to get a head-start on your menu. Not counting ice or the garnish, you’ll only need four ingredients: a juniper-forward gin such as Fords, lime juice, maple syrup, and Angostura bitters (or sarsaparilla).