16 Christmas Cocktails to Spice Up Your Holiday Celebrations

Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Project Party

As the holiday season draws near, we’re all on the lookout for ways to infuse our celebrations with a little extra sparkle. One surefire way to do this is by crafting festive Christmas cocktails. Whether you’re planning an extravagant holiday party or simply yearning for a cozy evening by the fireplace, these cocktails are guaranteed to bring a dash of Christmas magic to your festivities. From traditional favourites to innovative concoctions, we have something to suit every palate. So, put on your favourite Christmas tunes, get out your cocktail shaker, and let’s dive into the world of holiday mixology.

A Christmas Twist: Crafting the Perfect Holiday Cocktail

When it comes to holiday mixology, there are several key elements that can transform an ordinary cocktail into a yuletide delight:

  1. Festive Colours: Aim for colours that reflect the Christmas spirit. Consider cocktails with deep reds like cranberry or pomegranate, vibrant greens such as mint, or snowy whites from cream or coconut.
  2. Holiday Flavours: Incorporate traditional holiday flavours. Think spiced apple cider, sweet gingerbread, tart cranberry, fresh peppermint, or comforting eggnog.
  3. Seasonal Garnishes: Enhance your presentation with Christmas-themed garnishes. This could be a sprig of holly, a candy cane, or a cinnamon stick. Even a simple orange slice can evoke the image of Christmas stockings filled with citrus fruits.
  4. Warming Spirits: Choose spirits that give a warm and cozy feeling. Dark spirits like rum and brandy, spiced liquors, or creamy liqueurs can add a comforting touch to your cocktail.
  5. Balance of Holiday Cheer: Ensure a balance between the sweetness, bitterness, and strength of your Christmas cocktail. You want a drink that encapsulates the joy of Christmas, not one that is too overpowering or sweet.

Now, let’s explore our list of 16 Christmas cocktails, complete with recommended spirits and detailed recipes.

Cut lime and mint on a board
When making Christmas-themed cocktails, the refreshing and vibrant hues of green mint and lime are your best friends, adding a festive touch and a zesty twist to your holiday beverages.

1. Gingerbread Martini: A Toast to Tradition

Christmas cocktails that truly encapsulate the essence of Christmas, are ones like the Gingerbread Martini which is a delightful blend of gingerbread-infused vodka, creamy liqueur, and a touch of espresso for depth. Opt for a high-quality vodka such as Grey Goose or Belvedere to ensure a smooth finish. The star of this cocktail, however, is the homemade gingerbread syrup. Made by simmering molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this syrup infuses the cocktail with a sweet-spicy warmth reminiscent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. Serve in a martini glass rimmed with crushed gingerbread cookies and garnished with a small gingerbread man for a playful touch.

2. Cranberry Aperol Spritz: The Berry Merry Cocktail

This cocktail is a festive twist on the classic Italian aperitif. The tartness of cranberries pairs beautifully with the uniquely bitter-sweet flavour of Aperol, while a splash of Prosecco adds a festive sparkle. Consider using a cranberry-infused gin such as Malfy Gin Con Arancia for an extra layer of flavourcolour. The vibrant red colour of this cocktail makes it a stunning addition to any holiday table. Serve in a large wine glass filled with ice, garnish with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for a look that’s as refreshing as the cocktail itself.

3. Hot Buttered Rum: A Cozy Christmas Companion

Hot Buttered Rum is a Christmas cocktail that truly warms you from the inside out. Made with slow-cooking rich, dark rum with unsalted butter, brown sugar, and a blend of warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, this cocktail is a comforting treat on cold winter nights. The result is a creamy, sweet, and intensely flavorful drink that embodies the essence of the holiday season. Serve in a heated glass to keep the cocktail warm, and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg for an extra festive touch.

4. Peppermint White Russian: A Frosty Delight

A classic White Russian gets a holiday makeover with the addition of peppermint. This creamy cocktail combines vodka, Kahlúa, and heavy cream with a dash of peppermint extract for a minty kick. Choose a smooth vodka like Smirnoff No. 21, and don’t skimp on the Kahlúa – its rich coffee notes balance the sweetness of the cream and the coolness of the peppermint. For a festive touch, serve in a rocks glass rimmed with crushed candy canes. The contrast between the creamy cocktail and the crunchy candy cane rim makes every sip a delightful experience.

5. Santa’s Hat Cocktail: Red, White, and Boozy

This visually appealing cocktail is as delicious as it is festive. Start with a base of cranberry juice and vodka – a high-quality vodka will ensure a smooth finish, while the vibrant red cranberry juice gives the cocktail its Santa hat colour. Top it with a layer of coconut cream for the “fur trim” of Santa’s hat. But the real magic lies in the garnish – a rim of shredded coconut that looks just like fluffy white fur, and a small marshmallow on a toothpick to mimic the pom-pom on Santa’s hat. This cocktail is not just a drink, it’s a centrepiece!

6. Wassail: The Caroler’s Companion

This traditional English drink is a heartwarming blend of cider, brandy, and warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Opt for a robust brandy like Rémy Martin VSOP and a crisp, tart cider to balance the sweetness of the added sugar. The real charm of this drink lies in its preparation – simmering the ingredients together fills the house with a festive aroma that’s sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Serve hot in mugs, garnished with apple slices and a cinnamon stick. This is not just a cocktail, it’s a celebration of Christmas traditions.

7. Mulled Wine: Sipping Through European Tradition

Christmas isn’t complete without a glass of Mulled Wine as these Christmas cocktails are steeped in European tradition. This warming drink is made by simmering full-bodied red wine with a medley of festive spices like cloves, star anise, and cinnamon, along with orange zest for a citrusy kick. The result is a rich, fragrant cocktail that’s perfect for sipping by the fireplace. Serve in a clear glass mug garnished with an orange slice and cinnamon stick to fully embrace the holiday spirit.

3 glasses of mulled wine with orange
Despite Australia’s warm Christmas weather, the aromatic and comforting mulled wine remains a winter favourite that also becomes a hit during the holiday season, providing a cozy, festive touch to the celebrations.

8. Coquito: A Caribbean Christmas in a Glass

This Puerto Rican cocktail brings a tropical twist to your holiday celebrations. Made with rum, coconut milk, and spices, it’s like Christmas on a Caribbean beach. A gold rum such as Bacardi Gold adds a layer of richness without overpowering the creamy coconut and aromatic spices. Don’t forget to add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for that festive touch. Traditionally served chilled in small glasses, you can garnish this creamy Christmas cocktail with a dusting of grated nutmeg or a cinnamon stick. Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or a beach getaway, this Coquito has got you covered.

9. Cranberry Apple Sangria: Sip the Season

This fruity cocktail is a wonderful balance of tart cranberries and sweet apples with a hint of citrus. A dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot provides a good base, allowing the fruit flavours to shine. Adding a splash of brandy gives the sangria a warm, festive kick. Don’t forget to let the sangria sit for a few hours before serving – this allows the flavours to meld together beautifully. Serve in large wine glasses filled with ice, garnished with cranberries, apple slices, and a sprig of mint. This Cranberry Apple Sangria is the perfect companion for a Christmas feast.

10. Holly Jolly Christmas: Citrus Cocktail

This cocktail is a celebration of winter citrus fruits. Combining the tartness of grapefruit, the sweetness of orange, and the tang of lemon, this cocktail is a refreshing change from the heavy, creamy holiday drinks. A citrus-infused gin like Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla adds a botanical twist, while a splash of ginger beer brings a spicy kick. Top it off with a bit of sparkling wine for that festive fizz. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice, garnished with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of mint. This Holly Jolly Christmas Citrus Cocktail is sure to brighten up your holiday celebrations.

11. Pomegranate Mimosa: A Sparkling Christmas Morning

Welcome Christmas morning with the Pomegranate Mimosa, a festive Christmas cocktail that combines the tangy sweetness of pomegranate juice with the effervescence of champagne. A splash of orange liqueur adds depth and complexity to this otherwise simple cocktail. The ruby-red colour of the pomegranate juice makes this drink a beautiful addition to your holiday brunch. Serve in a champagne flute garnished with pomegranate arils for a vibrant and celebratory start to the day.

12. Holiday Mai Tai: Tropical Tiding

This festive take on the classic tiki cocktail is a real crowd-pleaser. The addition of pomegranate juice gives it a vibrant red colour a

A mug of eggnog poured into a glass
While eggnog may not be a traditional staple in Australian Christmases, a version spiced up with a splash of alcohol could certainly add an unexpected and delightful twist to the holiday celebrations.

while a good quality gin such as Bombay Sapphire adds botanical complexity. A dash of lemon juice brings a refreshing acidity to balance the sweetness of the pear syrup. Top it off with a splash of soda water for a light fizz. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice, garnished with a slice of pear and a cinnamon stick. Whether you’re hosting a classy Christmas dinner or simply enjoying a quiet evening by the fireplace, this Spiced Pear Collins is the perfect companion.

14. Spiced Rum Eggnog: The Classic Festive Indulgence

The Spiced Rum Eggnog is a Christmas cocktail that perfectly captures the comforting essence of the holiday season. This creamy concoction combines homemade eggnog, spiced rum, and a sprinkle of nutmeg for an indulgent drink that warms you from the inside out. Choose a high-quality spiced rum like Sailor Jerry or Kraken to enhance the flavours. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve in a traditional eggnog glass or punch bowl for a classic Christmas presentation.


15. Candy Cane Martini: Sweet Holiday Cheers

Experience the joy of Christmas in a glass with the Candy Cane Martini. This festive Christmas cocktail features vanilla vodka, white crème de menthe, and peppermint schnapps for a sweet, minty kick. The highlight of this drink is the crushed candy cane rim that adds a delightful crunch and a dash of holiday cheer to every sip. To make it even more special, garnish with a mini candy cane. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or simply enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve by the fire, the Candy Cane Martini is guaranteed to spread holiday cheer.

16. Apple Cider Margarita: A Festive Fiesta in a Glass

The Apple Cider Margarita is a Christmas cocktail that brings a fresh twist to the classic margarita. This cocktail pairs the tartness of apple cider with the robust flavour of the tequila, complemented by the warmth of cinnamon and a hint of sweetness from agave nectar. The result is a refreshing yet cozy cocktail that’s perfect for any holiday fiesta. Serve in a margarita glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and garnished with an apple slice for a festive finish.

Raise Your Spirits: Delightful Christmas Cocktails to Brighten Your Holiday Celebrations

From the warmth of traditional Wassail to the tropical vibes of a Holiday Mai Tai, these Christmas cocktails are sure to add a dash of festive cheer to your holiday celebrations. Remember, the key to a great cocktail lies in balancing flavours and using quality ingredients. So, whether you’re an experienced mixologist or a cocktail novice, don’t be afraid to experiment and make these recipes your own. After all, the holiday season is all about spreading joy and creating memorable experiences. Here’s to a merry and bright Christmas, filled with delicious drinks and cherished moments!