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 simple 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 10 of our favorites: think rosemary-infused herbal drinks, smoky cider margaritas, and festive sangria. So ready the bar cart. These easy holiday cocktails taste as good as they look.
Aged Eggnog Cocktail
The Recipe: Aged Eggnog Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: The eggnog. If aged eggnog sounds off-putting, set your fears aside and just take a leap of faith on this one. This festive cocktail is like none other you've tried before.
Why We Love It: Eggnog, rum, heavy cream, whiskey—what's not to love? It's definitely not a drink we'd sip everyday, but it's perfect for a special occasion.
Try putting a gallon of your homemade eggnog in the refrigerator for a week or two to let the flavors mellow out, which makes it less sweet than other beverages.
Rosemary-Infused Citrus and Cranberry Cocktail
The Recipe: Rosemary-Infused Citrus and Cranberry Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Sugared cranberries. This rosemary-infused tangerine and cranberry drink is herbal, citrusy, and festive with sugared cranberries and a rosemary sprig for garnish.
Why We Love It: It's Instagrammable and delicious. More importantly, it has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Rose and Rosé Bourbon Cocktail
The Recipe: Rose and Rosé Bourbon Cocktail
For a less acidic cocktail, use segments of the grapefruit peel rather than slices for garnish.
Why We Love It: When you’re looking to move away from warm holiday cocktails, this festive rose and rosé bourbon cocktail will refresh you like no other.
The Recipe: Pomegranate Paloma
The Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate seeds. 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.
Why We Love It: This cocktail will last you through all of the holidays, from Halloween until the new year, because it's versatile.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
The Recipe: Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
The Hero Ingredient: Champagne. This bubbly cocktail 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.
Why We Love It: It's our belief that everything tastes better when served in a Champagne flute. Plus, it's the most beautiful shade of pink.
Blood Orange Sangria
The Recipe: Blood Orange Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Blood oranges. 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.
Why We Love It: This cocktail gets better as it sits, so make it ahead of time and store in the fridge.
Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas
The Recipe: Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas
The Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon sticks. Making this cocktail with real cinnamon sticks, not extract, and a good quality mezcal takes the holiday drink to the next level.
Why We Love It: A naughty twist on traditional apple cider, this recipe from Half Baked Harvest smells as good as it tastes.
Eggnog White Russian
The Recipe: Eggnog White Russian
The Hero Ingredient: Kahlua. The mix of eggnog, Kahlua, and vanilla vodka is the flavor combination you've been waiting for.
Why We Love It: This decadent cocktail reminds us why we used to love flavored liquor, and we're here for it.
Pomegranate Ginger Sparkler Cocktail
The Recipe: Pomegranate Ginger Sparkler Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Ginger liqueur. The combination of pomegranate seeds, ginger liqueur, blood oranges, and champagne is sweet, spiced, and everything nice. The ginger liqueur is an unexpected ingredient that we don't usually keep in our arsenal, so we're happy to whip it out for this special sip.
Why We Love It: This cocktail feels very sophisticated, especially when served in an old-fashioned coupe.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Cranberry Moscow Mule
The Hero Ingredient: Fresh cranberries. The seasonal ingredient adds a tart twist and festive pop of color to your favorite cocktail.
Why We Love It: This is a fun alternative to a classic cocktail that we already know how to make.