Making Spirits Bright: 25 Christmas Cocktails with Shortcuts

 In Bar Promotion, Marketing

Oh, what fun it is to whip up these 25 irresistible Christmas cocktails for guests! We’ve included “elf shortcuts” to save your bartenders valuable time with premade punches, mixers, and gourmet ingredients. Plus, check out the 3 bonus appetizer recipes – including a crave-worthy bacon brittle.

  1. ELF SHORTCUT! Candy Cane Vodka: House-infused spirits are popping up on bar shelves across the country, so add your own seasonal twist with holiday flavors. This easy-to-make candy cane vodka requires little effort or time, but can take your Christmas cocktails to the next level. Add mixers or serve it straight as a shot.
  2. Christmas Cookie: After a long day of holiday shopping, your guests deserve a treat – like this clever spin on milk and cookies. Christmas cocktails that double as desserts are a great way to get on the “nice” list with guests.
  3. ELF SHORTCUT! Citrus Cider: Make your own holiday mixer with this simple citrus cider recipe. Serve it alone as a fresh, non-alcoholic option or mix with your favorite spirits to create unique Christmas cocktails.
  4. Holiday Mule: Serve up a copper mug of Christmas cheer! This trendy summer cocktail gets a seasonal makeover with flavors like cranberry, orange, and rosemary. Add a rosemary sprig and orange slice for garnish to make it stand out as one of your gourmet Christmas cocktails.
  5. Red Hot Santa-Tini Recipe: Santa Claus is coming to town – and he’s bringing the spice. Put a twist on traditional Christmas cocktails by adding heat, like the red chili peppers in this chocolate concoction. The sweet and spicy flavors blend deliciously…it’s the perfect mix of naughty and nice.
  6. ELF SHORTCUT! Jingle Juice: A throwback to college party concoctions, this boozy brew packs a punch and can be made ahead of time for easy serving from a pitcher. Like most Christmas cocktails, you can take this tasty drink up a notch by using fresh-squeezed juice.
  7. Christmas-mosas: Move over mimosa, the Christmas-mosa is here. As far as Christmas cocktails go, this one is ideal for holiday brunch. This simple cocktail is a mix of champagne and seasonal fruit: grapes, apples, pomegranates, and cranberries.
  8. Kahlua Hot Chocolate: Nothing keeps you toasty like hot chocolate on cold holiday nights. Turn this childhood favorite into an adult beverage by adding Kahlua and a dash of nutmeg. Christmas cocktails are all about decadence, so pile on the marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate and caramel syrup.
  9. Candy Cane Cocktail: When it comes to Christmas cocktails, you can’t go wrong with candy cane treats. This sweet martini is made extra festive with bright red coloring and candy garnishes. It just might be Santa’s beverage of choice after wrapping up a night of deliveries.
  10. The Grinch: No one can say “bah humbug” to this Grinch-green sweet and sour concoction. A mixture of Midori, lemon juice, and simple syrup, the Grinch is one of those creative Christmas cocktails that will have guests grinning.
  11. ELF SHORTCUT! The Harvest Sparkle: This beautiful beverage is a festive, gluten-free option that you can add to your Christmas cocktails menu. Cider honey syrup, cloves, and cinnamon are mixed with champagne for a sparkly sipper. Make your own in-house cider honey beforehand, then mix the other ingredients before serving. It’s a great way to whip up a mixologist-approved cocktail on the quick!
  12. ELF SHORTCUT! Slow Cooker Spiced Wine: Mulled wine is a traditional holiday favorite. With the use of a slow cooker or the biggest pot in your kitchen, it’s never been easier to make. Just pour in the ingredients, let it cook for an hour, and you’ll have one of the most popular Christmas cocktails ready for guests. Plus, the seasonally spiced aroma will drift into the dining area.
  13. Cranberry Sauce Margarita: Turn a favorite side dish into one of your signature Christmas cocktails – with tequila! The sweet flavors of cranberry, brown sugar, and honey play perfectly with classic margarita flavors.
  14. ELF SHORTCUT! Mrs. Claus Wildside Punch: While Santa is away, Mrs. Claus will play! Take a walk on the wild side with this easy-to-prep punch…one of our favorite Christmas cocktails. With equal parts X-Rated Fusion liqueur, silver tequila, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice, you can pour this punch ahead of time for quick serving.
  15. Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog: Eggnog is a holiday staple for Christmas cocktails, but why settle for store-bought? Craft your own with this simple recipe. With your own in-house eggnog brew, you can give the taste of home to all your holiday patrons.
  16. The Santa Shot: These red and green layered shots can get any holiday party started. Sweet grenadine is combined with refreshingly minty creme de menthe and peppermint schnapps.
  17. ELF SHORTCUT! Mistletoe Martini aka Christmas Cosmo: This sophisticated drink is the cosmopolitan of Christmas cocktails. Made with vodka; chilled cranberry tea; orange and lemon slices; and sugar, this yummy beverage is perfect for ladies night or romantic dinners. Bartender tip: Make a large batch of cranberry tea before you open to speed up service.
  18. Maple Butter Kiss: Bring the taste of pancakes and waffles to your Christmas cocktails menu. The maple glaze flavor and butter schnapps make this creamy cocktail taste like Christmas morning – it’s an ideal dessert drink.
  19. Gingerbread Eggnog White Russian: As far as Christmas cocktails go, this rich, creamy recipe is a true Yuletide treat. Eggnog and molasses come together to make Christmas magic!
  20. Frozen Cranberry Margaritos: Similar to the Cranberry Sauce Margarita, this drink is for those who prefer their Christmas cocktails frozen. If you’re a bar known for blended concoctions, add this holiday drink to your seasonal repertoire.
  21. Cherry Bomb: A mature version of the Shirley Temple classic, this mocktail is a refined non-alcoholic option for your Christmas cocktails menu. Make your own grenadine ice cubes. Then pour on the club soda and add the cherries for a drink that looks – and tastes – festive!
  22. La Vie En Rouge: The name of this drink translates to “Life in Red,” the perfect mantra for your Christmas cocktails! The bright color evokes the holiday spirit, while mixing perfectly paired flavors like cranberry, lemon, and rosemary with Grand Marnier.
  23. ELF SHORTCUT! Christmas Coffee Cocktail: If your guests want to stay up all night waiting for Santa Claus, caffeinated Christmas cocktails will get the job done. This rejuvenating, eye-opening cocktail combines creme de cacao, cognac, and coffee. Tap into the cold brew coffee trend by making a big batch before you open.
  24. Cherry Gin-gria: With its signature burgundy color, sangria is festive on its own. But you can turn the basic recipe into one of your most popular Christmas cocktails with a few holiday tweaks. Add seasonal cherries and cranberries for flavor, and a splash of club soda for a little holiday bubbly.
  25. White Christmas Mojito: If your bar is known for mean mojitos, then this drink is a must for your Christmas cocktails menu. And don’t be fooled…while this icy clear mojito looks fit for a winter wonderland, it’s packed with surprising tropical coconut flavors.

Bonus Appetizers to Pair with Christmas Cocktails

Treat guests to complimentary appetizers that pair perfectly with your winter cocktails. As an added bonus, studies show that salty apps actually increase feelings of hunger (even more so than thirst). It’s a great way to encourage guests to stick around for dinner.

  1. Spicy Bar Nuts: Basic bar nuts get the holiday treatment. Make your own flavorful bar nut mix with these recipes for Spicy Pecans and Sweet and Spicy Walnuts.
  2. Three Wise Men Brittle Bacon: Warning: this bacon brittle is addictive! Prepare to impress guests with this savory twist on the classic brittle.
  3. Holiday Sausage-Cheddar Balls: Guests will have a ball at your bar as they snack on these miniature meatballs.

We hope these recipes for Christmas cocktails have you inspired. Share with your chefs and bartenders to see if these cocktails inspire their own unique creations. From all of us at Buzztime, we’re wishing you a very happy – and profitable – season at your bar or restaurant!

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