20 Festive Holiday Drinks to Sip All Season Long

Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth
Photo: DYLAN + JENI

When you're entertaining for the holidays, you want your drinks to be just as festive as the menu. Sparkling punches; seasonal spritzes; warming mulled wine; Christmas cocktails. We've gathered some of our favorite holiday drink recipes in this roundup, whether you're in the mood for cranberry-spiked punch, decadent homemade eggnog, or any number of seasonal Christmas cocktail recipes. Read on for even more holiday drinks to enjoy.

01 of 20

Buttered Rum

Buttered Rum
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

This luxurious, velvety drink is just the thing to sip on a cool night — and using a slow cooker makes it especially easy to pull together. Heat the cream and butter first, slowly so that the mixture doesn't break. Then whisk in dark brown sugar, followed by spiced rum, salt, and a Moroccan spice mix. The end result is a richly flavored batch of drinks perfect for entertaining.

02 of 20

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices

Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This low-alcohol punch leans on tart cranberry juice and spicy ginger ale for a big punch of flavor, allowing the booze to take a back seat. Frozen cranberries stand in for a traditional punch ring, keeping this fizzy drink nice and cold.

03 of 20

Inverno Arancione

Inverno Arancione
Photo by Victor Protasio / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

"Spiced mulled cocktails are what I crave when I want to relax in the
colder months," says chef Amy Brandwein of Centrolina in Washington,
D.C. For this recipe, the usual red wine base is replaced with 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,"
she says.

04 of 20

Homemade Eggnog

glasses of homemade eggnog
Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

You'll need brandy, dark rum, and bourbon to make this rich, creamy eggnog. Be sure to chill it thoroughly before serving, and give it a final whisk, too, to make sure everything is blended.

05 of 20

Cranberry-Spice Cocktail

Cranberry-Spice Cocktail

© Johnny Valiant

Lots of cranberries and crystallized ginger in this delicious concoction perfectly complement the hard cider and Aperol.

06 of 20

Frenched Hot Chocolate

Frenched Hot Chocolate
© David Malosh

"Chartreuse and chocolate is among the world's most underrated combinations," says Bobby Heugel, co-owner of Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston. He melds the two ingredients in this boozy, rich hot chocolate. 

07 of 20

Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth

Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth
DYLAN + JENI

Ponche Navideño is a Christmastime spiced tropical fruit punch that's served warm with a shot of tequila in Mexico. Recipe developer Paola Briseño González's chilled riff on this holiday classic pays homage to her love of vermouth.

08 of 20

Smoky Mezcal-Fig Sour

Smoky Mezcal-Fig Sour Recipe
Victor Protasio

Spicy-sweet fig-ginger syrup rounds out the smoky mezcal and bright lemon juice in this barely sweet cocktail that lets the liquor shine.

09 of 20

Sticky Toffee Pudding Eggnog

Sticky Toffee Pudding Eggnog
© Wendell Webber

Cocktail consultant Eben Freeman's foamy interpretation of eggnog — infused with the sweet, caramel flavors of sticky toffee pudding, a British favorite — is halfway between a drink and a dessert. "It's thick enough to eat with a spoon," he says. "So was classic eggnog."

10 of 20

Anjou Punch

Anjou Punch
Nicole Franzen

Bar director Leo Robitschek makes his perfect holiday punch with warming flavors of pear, cinnamon, and citrus.

11 of 20

Walker's Mulled Wine

Walker's Mulled Wine
Greg DuPree

This version of mulled wine, from Walkers Maine restaurant in Cape Neddick, Maine, is gently infused with nutmeg, vanilla, and star anise, then lightly sweetened with honey and maple syrup.

12 of 20

Coquito

bottles of homemade Coquito
Photo by Jacob Fox / Food Styling by Lauren McAnelly / Prop Styling by Jessica Thomas and Susan Mitchell

Coquito, or "little coconut," is a traditional creamy rum punch served in Puerto Rico for Christmas and throughout the winter holidays. Some versions include eggs, but this recipe takes its richness and viscosity instead from coconut cream and three types of milk. Warming spices and white rum add aroma and flavor.

13 of 20

Surprise Fix

Surprise Fix

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Floral, sweet St-Germain and bittersweet fresh grapefruit juice round out a shot of Waterpocket Distillery's Long Lost Minthe, an unsweetened peppermint botanical spirit with minty, herbal, and citrus pith notes. It's only available at Utah state liquor stores or directly from the distillery, but it can be substituted with a range of liqueurs, including Vicario Monk's Secret and Dampfwerk Distilling's The Helgolander. 

14 of 20

Champagne Holiday Punch

Champagne Holiday Punch
© Tina Rupp

Mixologist Erick Castro created this terrifically light sparkling punch. Malted grain–based genever adds whiskey-like depth while Créole Shrubb brings in warmly spiced orange notes.

15 of 20

Maple-Bourbon Smash

Maple-Bourbon Smash
Michael Turek

Richly flavored dark amber maple syrup combines with citrus juices and seltzer to make this lightened riff on an Old-Fashioned cocktail. 

16 of 20

Earl Grey–Aquavit Spritz

Earl Grey-Aquavit Spritz
Victor Protasio

Honey simple syrup is even easier to prepare than standard simple syrup; just vigorously stir together honey and water until well combined. The mellow, floral sweetness of the honey syrup pairs perfectly with a touch of lemon in this tea-infused cocktail.

17 of 20

Rosé Sangria with Cranberries and Apples

Rosé Sangria with Cranberries and Apples
© Petrina Tinslay

This strong but not overly sweet sangria is nicely spiced with cinnamon, anise, and cloves. It has just enough crushed red pepper to give it a tiny kick.

18 of 20

Glögg

Glögg
© Paul Costello

For this version of Swedish mulled wine, chef Marcus Samuelsson spikes white wine and rosé with vodka infused with cardamom and ginger. The drink is boozy, aromatic, and delicious. 

19 of 20

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies

© Rob Howard

A hot toddy is basically a shot or two of any potent spirit added to a cup of hot water. We've put a French spin on this warming drink with a slug of apple brandy, which is complemented by honey and lemon juice and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

20 of 20

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
© Frances Janisch

This bubbly, sweet-tart punch combines Prosecco, orange juice, limeade, and deep-red pomegranate juice.

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