Our favorite easy-to-batch winter cocktails, from mulled wine to Champagne punch.

By Bridget Hallinan
Updated December 09, 2019
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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.

Justin Walker

Walker’s Mulled Wine

Greg DuPree

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.

Get the recipe here.

Hot Mulled Cider

Keller & Keller

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.

Get the recipe here.

Citrus-Champagne Punch

Justin Walker

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.

Get the recipe here.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

© John Kernick

Pomegranate seeds look like little bright red jewels floating in this punch, complemented by bright diced pineapple.

Get the recipe here.

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.

Get the recipe here.

Clementine 75

John Kernick

You can turn this cocktail into a mocktail by using apple cider vinegar and seltzer instead of gin and Champagne.

Get the recipe here.

Babbo Natale Spritz

Justin Walker

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.

Get the recipe here.

Marasca Fizz

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.

Get the recipe here.

Spiced Maple Gimlets

Gregory DuPree

Maple syrup adds a warming sweetness to this gin cocktail. If you plan on serving it at a party, batch it the day beforehand.

Get the recipe here.

Maple-Bourbon Smash

Michael Turek

Rich, Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup is the star of this riff on an Old-Fashioned.

Get the recipe here.

Coquito

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.

Get the recipe here.

Grasshopper

© Lucas Allen

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.

Get the recipe here.

Peppermint Paddy

This creamy drink is almost more of a milkshake than a cocktail, spiked with brandy, dark rum, and white crème de menthe.

Get the recipe here.

Frenched Hot Chocolate

© David Malosh

Give your after-dinner hot chocolate a boozy upgrade with yellow Chartreuse and Calvados.

Get the recipe here.