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Our favourite holiday party drinks

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Christmas cocktails and merry mocktails

From SheKnows Canada
Holiday party drinks should be fun and festive while offering something that's a little unexpected. Wow your party guests this year with one (or more!) of our favourite holiday party drinks.

holiday drink recipies

Best hot drinks

When it's cold outside, warm up your guests with one of these delicious hot cocktails. (Of course, you can turn them into mocktails by omitting the alcohol.)

Baileys Peppermint Creambaileys peppermint cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Baileys With a Hint of Mint Chocolate
  • 4 ounces hot chocolate
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Candy cane
  • Mint leaf

Directions:

  1. Crush candy cane with the back of a spoon.
  2. Combine hot chocolate and Baileys in a coffee mug.
  3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle crushed candy cane on top.
  4. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Exclusiv Hot Holiday Ciderhot holiday cider

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Exclusiv Vodka
  • 4 ounces hot apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 ounce Buttershots Liqueur (substitute Monin Caramel Syrup if you're making a mocktail)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce

Directions:

  1. Mix Exclusiv Vodka, hot apple cider, Buttershots Liqueur and ground cinnamon in a glass coffee mug.
  2. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzle caramel sauce over the top to garnish.

Best signature cocktails and mocktails

When you throw a holiday party, you want your guests to see a cocktail circulating the room and think, "I have to try that!" These types of signature cocktails should be beautiful and delicious, like these:

Holi-Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/4 cups Plymouth gin
  • 3 ounces Q Tonic per serving (added separately)
  • 1 Mint sprig per serving

Directions:

  1. Bring cranberries, sugar and water to a steady simmer in a saucepan.
  2. Stir occasionally until berries begin to pop.
  3. Drain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher.
  4. Set aside half the cranberries before forcing the remaining berries through the sieve.
  5. Discard the solids remaining in the sieve.
  6. Add the cranberries you set aside earlier to the pitcher.
  7. Chill the pitcher about two hours, until the contents are cold.
  8. Add the gin and stir.
  9. Fill highball glasses with ice.
  10. Pour 3 ounces cranberry mixture into each glass, and top off with 3 ounces Q Tonic.
  11. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Candy Cane Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 16-ounce can frozen orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 4–6 hard peppermint candies
  • 4 peppermint candy canes
  • Ginger ale

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients except the candy canes and ginger ale. Continue blending until candies are completely liquified.
  2. Pour concoction into four tall glasses, and top off each glass with ginger ale.
  3. Stir the drink to mix.
  4. Garnish with peppermint candy canes.

Mulled Cranberry Splash Mocktail

(Courtesy of LCBO's Deflate the Elephant)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces fresh apple juice
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Heat to a simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes.
  2. Let cool and strain out liquid.
  3. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add juice mixture. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

You'll find lots more easy-to-make, alcohol-free mocktail recipes and demonstration videos at Deflate the Elephant.

Best sparkling beverages

Sparkling wines are a must-have at most holiday affairs. Try jazzing up your fizzy drinks this year with these recipes, too.

Alize Sparkling Decadence

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Alize Red Passion
  • 2/3 ounce peach puree
  • 1/3 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/3 ounce sugar syrup
  • 2 ounces Caposaldo Prosecco
  • Lemon twist

Directions:

  1. Build the drink by adding each ingredient to a single champagne flute.
  2. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Barefoot Bubbly Jingle Bellinijingle bellini

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee
  • 1 ounce raspberry liqueur
  • 1 ounce raspberry puree (muddled berries)
  • Thyme sprig

Directions:

  1. Muddle fresh raspberries to create berry puree.
  2. Combine puree with Barefoot Bubbly and raspberry liqueur in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Roll contents, then strain into chilled champagne flute.
  4. Garnish with fresh raspberry and thyme sprig for a holly-and-mistletoe look.

Best new holiday drink idea

You probably don't think of sangria as a traditional holiday beverage, but here's a delicious recipe for a sangria with strong winter notes.

Sandeman Snow Day Sangriasangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
  • 4 ounces cinnamon schnapps
  • 3 clementines, quartered
  • 6 ounces cranberries
  • 18 ounces sparkling clementine juice or soda
  • 6 ounces cranberry juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Ground allspice to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine Sandeman Founders Reserve, cinnamon schnapps, clementine pieces, cranberries, cranberry juice and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher.
  2. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator for at least eight hours.
  3. Right before serving, add sparkling clementine juice, and sprinkle allspice on top to taste.

Read more

Plan the perfect drink menu for your holiday party
Merry moderation: Keeping drinking in check during the holidays

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