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November 28, 2019 Making Spirits Bright: 25 Holiday Cocktails with Shortcuts

christmas cocktails

Oh, what fun it is to whip up these 25 irresistible holiday cocktail recipes for guests! We’ve included 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.

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  1. 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 holiday cocktail recipes to the next level. Add mixers or serve it straight as a shot.
  2. Holiday Cookie: After a long day of holiday shopping, your guests deserve a treat – like this clever spin on milk and cookies. Holiday cocktail recipes that double as desserts are a great way to get on the “nice” list with guests.
  3. 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 holiday cocktail recipes.
  4. Holiday Mule: Serve up a copper mug of holiday cheer! This trendy summer cocktail gets a seasonal makeover. Add a rosemary sprig and orange slice for garnish to make it stand out as one of your gourmet holiday cocktail recipes.
  5. Roasted Chestnut Old Fashioned: The secret in this sophisticated sipper is chestnut syrup. You can level up your holiday cocktail recipes by making your own, or just ask your distributor for pre-made “marron” syrup.
  6. Grasshopper Cocktail: 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 holiday cocktail recipes, you can take this tasty drink up a notch by using fresh-squeezed juice.
  7. Cranberry Orange Mimosa: Upgrade your holiday brunch with a festive twist on the standard mimosa. Fresh cranberries are in season now, and make for beautiful garnishes in your holiday cocktail recipes.
  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. Holiday cocktail recipes are all about decadence, so pile on the marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate and caramel syrup.
  9. Candy Cane Cocktail: When it comes to holiday cocktail recipes, 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 holiday cocktail recipes that will have guests grinning.
  11. Christmas Lights: When it comes to holiday cocktail recipes, booze isn’t always necessary. The mocktail trend is taking off for those wanting to sip and celebrate…sans alcohol. Christmas Lights is made with cranberry and lemon juice plus in-demand ingredients like homemade sorrel tea and dry kombucha.
  12. 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 holiday cocktail recipes 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 holiday cocktail recipes – with tequila! The sweet flavors of cranberry, brown sugar, and honey play perfectly with classic margarita flavors.
  14. 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 holiday cocktail recipes. 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.
  1. Tiramisu Eggnog Cocktail: ‘Tis the season to indulge, which is why dessert-inspired holiday cocktail recipes are a sure bet. Whip up this sweet and sophisticated drink featuring eggnog, chocolate syrup, coffee liqueur, and white rum.
  2. 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.
  3. Mistletoe Martini: This sophisticated drink is the cosmopolitan of holiday cocktail recipes. 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.
  4. Maple Butter Kiss: Bring the taste of pancakes and waffles to your holiday cocktail recipes menu. The maple glaze flavor and butter schnapps make this creamy cocktail taste like Christmas morning – it’s an ideal dessert drink.
  5. Gingerbread Eggnog White Russian: As far as holiday cocktail recipes go, this rich, creamy recipe is a true Yuletide treat. Eggnog and molasses come together to make holiday magic!
  6. Cranberry Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail: If you like your holiday cocktail recipes with fancy extras like golden rim sugar…you’ll love this one! The secret to getting that golden sugar to stick to the glass? Corn syrup! The upscale flair of this cocktail makes it perfect for a holiday cocktail menu or even a New Year’s toast. Why not serve it for a holiday brunch instead of mimosas or Bellinis?
  7. Cherry Bomb: A mature version of the Shirley Temple classic, this mocktail is a refined non-alcoholic option for your holiday cocktail recipes 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!
  8. Holiday Pisco Punch: This classic Peruvian cocktail featuring pineapple gets the holiday treatment with the festive addition of red pear. Served chilled, this is one of those holiday cocktail recipes perfect for restaurants and bars that won’t see any snow this season.
  9. Holiday Coffee Cocktail: If your guests want to stay up all night wrapping presents, caffeinated holiday cocktail recipes 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.
  10. 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 holiday cocktail recipes with a few tweaks. Add seasonal cherries and cranberries for flavor, and a splash of club soda for a little holiday bubbly.
  11. White Mojito: If your bar is known for mean mojitos, then this drink is a must for your holiday cocktail recipes. 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 Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Treat guests to complimentary appetizers that pair perfectly with your seasonal 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.
  1. Three Wise Men Brittle Bacon: Warning: this bacon brittle is addictive! Prepare to impress guests with this savory twist on the classic brittle.
  1. Holiday Sausage-Cheddar Balls: Guests will have a ball at your bar as they snack on these miniature meatballs.

We hope these recipes for Holiday cocktail recipes 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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