If there's one thing that's better than the holidays, it's the lead-up to the season. There's nothing quite like the anticipation of holiday festivities: the planning, shopping, gift searching, and decorating. And one of our all-time favorites is whipping up delicious and easy holiday cocktails.
Unlike the cocktails we make and order year-round, there's only a small window of time to enjoy holiday libations, so it's worth making the most of it. Ahead, we've highlighted seven of our favorites: Think rosemary-infused herbal drinks, smoky cider margaritas, and festive sangria. Ready the bar cart. These easy holiday cocktails taste as good as they look.
If aged eggnog sounds off-putting, set your fears aside and just take a leap of faith on this one. Putting a gallon of this goodness in the refrigerator for a week or two lets the flavors mellow out, making the eggnog less sweet than the beverages you've tried before.
Want to make a vodka-based cocktail this Christmas? This rosemary-infused tangerine and cranberry drink is herbal, citrusy, and gorgeously festive with sugared cranberries and a rosemary sprig for garnish.
When you’re looking to move away from warm holiday cocktails, this festive rose and rosé bourbon cocktail will refresh you. Made with whiskey, grapefruit juice, rosé, rose syrup, and sparkling water, it’s reminiscent of an old-fashioned with a unique twist.
A classic paloma (tequila with grapefruit soda) gets a seasonal twist in this beautiful rouge cocktail, thanks to the addition of pomegranate seed. It’s a great way to enjoy an old favorite while feeling festive.
What’s not to love about a champagne cocktail when it’s party time? This one packs a flavor punch with pomegranate juice, orange juice, apple cider, and orange bitters. And we can’t help but adore that the candied rosemary looks like snow.
Wine-based cocktails are great when you have big crowds to serve. Made with pinot grigio, brandy, berries, apple, and blood oranges, this blood-orange sangria has December written all over it… and its vivid colors will make every tabletop stand out.
A naughty twist on traditional apple cider, this recipe by Half Baked Harvest smells and tastes like the holiday season. Make this recipe with real cinnamon sticks, not extract, and good quality mezcal for best results. Serve with a slice of lemon, and rim the glass in cinnamon sugar for an extra touch.
Read the recipe on Half Baked Harvest.
This story was originally published in December 2015 and has since been updated.