Best Holiday Cocktails

By Gayot Editors

Festive Cocktail Recipes for the Holidays

If there is ever a time for a drink, the holidays are it. GAYOT has selected the best spirit and wine-based recipes that offer a twist on classic cocktails.

Whip up one (or all) for weathering boisterous family gatherings, enjoying a reprieve from never-ending travel plans, keeping cozy with loved ones or toasting to the start of another year.

1. Banana Flip

Banana Flip

Courtesy of The Spare Room, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

Forgo the eggnog this year and get ready to flip for this frothy, spicy cocktail.

1 oz. Ron Zacapa 23 Rum
1 oz. heavy cream
0.75 oz. Donn’s Spices #2
0.75 oz. Giffard Banane du Bresil
0.5 oz. Jagermeister
1 whole egg

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass.

2. Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

Perk up with this perfect post-meal libation during the holidays.

2 Parts elit by Stolichnaya
1 Part Galliano Ristretto
1/2 Part Fresh Coffee
Gomme Syrup (Optional)

Shake all ingredients and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a chocolate dusted “e” and enjoy.

3. Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

Courtesy of THE Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.

Ring in the New Year with this sparkling pink cocktail.

3/4 oz. Stoli Elit
1/2 oz. Combier Pêche De Vigne
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon
1 bar spoon simple syrup
2 raspberries
1/2 oz. egg white

Muddle, whip, shake and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with two ounces of Moet & Chandon Rosé and rose petals.

4. Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Courtesy of Citizen, Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.

Spice up your winter with this boozy version of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

2 oz. Anejo Tequila
1/4 oz. cinnamon syrup
1/4 oz. orgeat
Hot chocolate*
Dusting of powdered cayenne pepper

*Hot Chocolate
500 ml. organic milk
250 ml. organic cream
1 tsp. Smoked kosher salt (Maldon)
2 Mexican chocolate disks (Abuelita/Ibarra)

Chop up chocolate. Bring milk, cream, salt and chocolate to a simmer. Once chocolate is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Pour tequila, cinnamon syrup and orgeat in a coffee mug and top with hot chocolate and dusting of cayenne pepper. Store remaining hot chocolate in refrigerator and only reheat what you need.

5. Jingle Juice

Jingle Juice

Courtesy of Monarch Rooftop Lounge, New York, NY, U.S.A.

This easy, light and festive cocktail is sure to be a hit at any holiday party.

1 oz. Figenza Fig Vodka
2 oz. rosé wine
Splash of seltzer or sprite

Pour Figenza Fig Vodka and rosé wine in a chilled flute. Stir, top with seltzer or Sprite and garnish with a lemon twist.

• Related Content: Top 10 Spirits

6. Hacienda Holiday

Hacienda Holiday

Courtesy of Benny Amin of Fig & Olive, West Hollywood, CA, U.S.A.

Impress your party guests with this ultimate holiday cocktail with flavors of gingerbread, chocolate and coffee.

1 1/2 oz. Patron Reposado
1 1/2 oz. Cold Press Coffee
3/4 oz. Gingerbread Syrup*
1/4 tsp Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters

*Gingerbread Syrup
1 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Ground Ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in pot. Heat ingredients on medium heat till sugar is dissolved and it is to the right consistency. Turn off heat and add vanilla. Let cool, and store in a refrigerated mason jar.

Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass. Layer the top with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie.

7. Mull It Over

Mull It Over

Courtesy of Fish Bar, New York, NY, U.S.A.

What sangria is to summer, mulled wine is to winter. Cozy up with a mug of Fish Bar’s version.

1 1/2 oz. hot water
2 oz. Cavalier Cabernet Sauvignon
1 oz. pomegranate juice
1/4 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. agave
1 Cinnamon Stick
2-3 Cloves

Steam hot water, wine and pomegranate juice for 20 seconds. In a large wine glass, add lemon juice, agave, a splash of hot water, clove and cinnamon stick to wine glass. Stir and top with heated ingredients carefully.

8. Jamaican Rum Hot Chocolate

Jamaican Rum Hot Chocolate

Courtesy of Avec Nous, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.

This adult version of hot chocolate from Avec Nous at the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is just as decadent, if not more.

2 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum (Myers or Appleton Estate)
1 oz. Mocha Godiva Liquor
4 oz. hot chocolate (made with whole melted chocolate)
1 whipped marshmallow

Once hot chocolate is melted and warm, add in Rum, Mocha Liquor and stir. Add Marshmallow Fluff to the top and toast with a blowtorch to have the effect of a S’mores Marshmallow.

9. Little Burro

Little Burro

Courtesy of Maradentro, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

This lively little number has a touch of sweetness and tang that make it irresistible.

1 1/2 oz. tequila reposado
3/4 oz. cinnamon syrup
3/4 oz. pineapple juice
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. ginger syrup
Splash of soda water

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain over ice and top off with soda water.

10. Western Belle

Western Belle

Courtesy of Edwin Cruz of Winsome , Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

This rum cocktail is reminiscent of winter spices.

1 oz. El Dorado 8 Year Old Rum
3/4 oz. Clear Creek Pear Eau de Vie
1/4 oz. Curacao Pierre Ferrand
3/4 oz. heavy cream
1/2 oz. 2:1 Rich Demerara syrup
1/2 oz. fresh Bartlett pear puree
2 strips of Pear Mostarda
Sprinkle of Nanami Togarashi
Grated nutmeg to taste

Combine all ingredients in a shaker until all ingredients are homogenized. Shake well with ice. Double strain into a large chilled coupe. The cocktail will be light and airy from the shake, with a nice freshness from the pear and just the slightest zing from the pear mostarda. Garnish with a sprinkle of Nanami Togarashi and freshly grated nutmeg.

11. Cold at Sea

Cold at Sea

Courtesy of Fish Bar, New York, NY, U.S.A.

This hot cocktail has Hennessy, spice and everything nice.

2 oz. Hennessy
4 oz. milk
1/2 oz. honey

Steam milk for about 30 seconds. Pour Cognac and honey into hot cup, stir and top with steamed milk. Add a dollop of froth and garnish with grated nutmeg on top.

12. Jäger Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Jäger Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Courtesy of The Stanton Social, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Spiked with Jäger, this adult-version of hot apple cider will have you toasty-warm in no time.

9-10 oz. Jägermeister (6 shots)
32 oz. apple cider (4 cups)
1.5 oz. orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 star anise

Place apple cider, orange juice, cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise in a small sauce pot. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add Jäger, strain and serve in 4 snifter glasses. Garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick.