15 New Holiday Cocktails for Christmas and New Year’s

I’ve compiled a list of 15 new holiday cocktails that will sure to please a crowd. Last year, I spend December creating and testing dozens of cocktails recipes – some new, some old with a twist, some stinkers, some awesome winners.

And now I’ve narrowed the list to these new holiday cocktails that will please your guests this holiday season.

Let the holiday cocktails countdown begin:

1. White Noggin

White Noggin
White Noggin holiday cocktail

The white noggin is a twist on the classic white Russian to make it a holiday cocktail. Eggnog, Kahlua, vodka. Great stuff.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Top with eggnog

Combine in a tumbler glass with ice and stir together.

2. Amaretto Freeze

Amaretto Freeze
Amaretto Freeze holiday cocktail

The Amaretto Freeze isn’t new, by any means. But I bet you’ve not had it like this.

  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1.5 oz Amaretto Liqueur
  • 2 oz milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and icy. Pour into a glass and dust with cinnamon.

3. Cranberry Stella

Cranberry Stella
Cranberry Stella holiday cocktail

This is perhaps the prettiest drink on the list, and the easiest to make. It’s a great drink shortly after thanksgiving to use some cranberry sauce, which in my family is a drink, but any cranberry sauce recipe will do, so long as you can strain out the pulp. To cheat, just use cranberry juice. Either way, it’s a holiday cocktail you will love.

  • 2 oz cranberry sauce/juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Top with Stella Artois

Combine all ingredients and serve in goblet with lime circle and sprig of fresh Rosemary.

4. Apple Cider Mule

Apple Cider Mule
Apple Cider Mule holiday cocktail

I love mules, and there are several versions on this list. While they are typically reserved for the summer or maybe fall months, I’ve concocted one that is perfect for the holiday season. It’s easy to make and so tasty to drink. You’ll be sure to wow your party goers with this holiday cocktail.

  • 3 oz parts vodka
  • 2 oz parts apple cider
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Top with ginger beer

Combine vodka, apple cider and lime in a copper mug filled with ice. Top with ginger beer.

5. Apple Stella Margarita

Apple Stella Margarita
Apple Stella Margarita holiday cocktail

This is a great drink to get the party started early in the holiday season. It isn’t so over-the-top holiday flavored, but lets people know we’re closing in on it. This is perfect to serve just after Thanksgiving.

  • 1/2 gala apple muddled
  • 3 oz tequila
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Stella Artois

Chop the apple and muddle in the bottom of a shaker. Add ice, tequila and the juice of one lime. Shake vigorously and strain over a glass filled with ice. Top with Stella Artois and the other 1/2 of a gala apple, chopped.

6. Apple Cider Margarita

AppleCider Margarita
AppleCider Margarita holiday cocktail

I know what you’re thinking. A margarita is definitely not a holiday drink. And you’re correct. It’s not… until this year. Make it with apple cider and tell me you don’t think it works for the holiday cocktail season.

  • 3 oz tequila
  • 4 oz apple cider
  • Juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice into a glass. Serve with a lime wedge.

7. Cran-Apple Bourbon

CranApple Bourbon
CranApple Bourbon holiday cocktail

The CanApple Bourbon holiday cocktail looks stupid. It’s a bad photo. It looks terrible. I know. Wait until you hear the ingredients. You won’t want to make this. “Where’s the red cranberry?” you ask. Good question. It’s hidden and sneaky. But this one is a good drink to get you in the holiday mood.

  • 3 parts bourbon
  • 2 parts apple cider
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • Top with cranberry La Croix

Combine bourbon, cider and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tumbler glass with ice and top with cranberry La Croix.

8. Cranberry Mule

Cranberry Mule
Cranberry Mule holiday cocktail

This mule packs a lot of cranberry flavor and is a great way to kick of the holiday cocktail season.

  • 3 parts vodka
  • 2 parts cranberry sauce/juice
  • Juice of 1 lime

Combine vodka, cranberry and lime in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into copper mug, then top with ginger beer.

9. Cranberry Old Fashioned

Cranberry Old Fashioned
Cranberry Old Fashioned holiday cocktail

An old fashioned is good. Put some cranberry in it, and it’s better. Let’s call this an elevated version of the cranberry drinks you had in college.

  • 3 parts bourbon
  • 2 parts cranberry sauce
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Combine in a tumbler with ice. Stir and serve with an orange peel.

10. Eisenhower Eggnog

Eisenhower Eggnog
Eisenhower Eggnog holiday cocktail

The Eisenhower Eggnog is one of only a couple on this list that are not my own original holiday cocktails. But it’s included because, well, it’s perhaps the most famous of the holiday cocktails. Is it even a cocktail? It’s pure fat. But, wow, is it good.

11. Hot Apple Cider Bourbon

Hot Apple Cider Bourbon
Hot Apple Cider Bourbon holiday cocktail

Hot bourbon drinks are a staple of holiday cocktail season. However, the addition of Mike’s Hot Honey gives this a serious kick and will help keep you warm inside all holiday season.

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 oz hot honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 oz warmed apple cider

Heat cider in a small pot. Combine bourbon, hot honey and lemon in a mug and top with warmed cider.

12. Kentucky Apple Mule

Kentucky Apple Mule
Kentucky Apple Mule holiday cocktail

Another mule on the list, but it tastes very different than the others. This combines some classic holiday flavors for a delicious holiday cocktail.

  • 1/2 Gala apple, muddled
  • 1/2 Gala apple, diced
  • 3 oz Kentucky bourbon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Ginger beer

In the bottom of a shaker, muddle 1/2 of a Gala apple. Add ice, the Kentucky bourbon and lemon. Shake and strain into a copper mug filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and the diced apple.

13. Milk Punch

Milk punch
Milk punch holiday cocktail

Milk Punch is another classic holiday cocktail and perfect for someone who doesn’t like eggnog, but still wants to participate in the shenanigans.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 oz milk

Shake and strain over crushed ice and top with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

14. The Man Who Eats Old Fashioned

Man Who Eats Old Fashioned
Man Who Eats Old Fashioned holiday cocktail

You can’t have a holiday cocktail list without a near-classic version of an old fashioned. This is a specific concoction that diverges from a standard old fashioned to give you a sit-by-the-fire-and-gaze-upon-your-kingdom mood.

  • 3 oz good bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 large ice cube (or two standard ice cubes)

Combine brown sugar, bitters and water the bottom of a tumbler glass. Stir until sugar is nearly dissolved. Add ice, bourbon and cherries. Stir to combine and until sugar is dissolved.

15. Potluck Margarita

Potluck Margarita
Potluck Margarita holiday cocktail

I call this the “Potluck Margarita” because it used the most amount of ingredients — a seemingly random collection of ingredients at that — but turns out a fantastic holiday cocktail. It’s like your office potluck. You find out who can cook, who can’t, whose dish stood out. All of that is going on in one drink. And I promise you there aren’t any bad actors here.

  • 1/2 MacIntosh Apple, diced, muddled
  • 3 parts tequila
  • 1 part cranberry sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg

Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice.

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