It’s Christmas time, your decorations are up and the whole family are over. But just how can you impress uncle John whom you haven’t seen in months? By making him one hell of a drink.
So this poses the age old question, what is the best holiday beverage? Well, stay where you are because you’re in the right place. We have come up with 10 of the best cocktails (yes you heard correctly, cocktails), to put hairs’ on your little cousins arms’.
Whether you have caught the winter bug or you have forgotten your christmas jumper at the bar, a hot toddy will fix you right up. It doesn’t take a master barman to create this delicious drink. All you need is hot water, honey, lemon and most importantly, whiskey. Mix the ingredients together and you’re ready to serve!
A bourbon whiskey will complement this drink best. Stir the ingredients and serve with a cinnamon stick.
Christmas time sees cranberries dust off the cobwebs and take the spotlight once again. And no we’re not talking about the Irish rock band. A cranberry mimosa is a perfect holiday beverage and it only takes 10 minutes to make. What you need to do to create this is freeze Champagne flutes with lime and dip in sugar. Next, pour a ¼ cup of cranberry juice into a slim glass and top it with Champagne. Finally, poke a hole through two cranberries, thread a rosemary skewer through them, garnish and voila!
This next cocktail could prove difficult to pronounce after a few Christmas drinks, and it sure won’t be easier upon trying a glass of it. This mouthful consists of lime, sugar, cranberry juice, lime juice, fresh cranberries, triple sec and lastly, mans’ greatest enemy, vodka. You certainly won’t be driving your sleigh home after a night on these.
It would have been rude to not Put in the Moscow Mule in this list. Firstly, squeeze lime juice into a copper cup and drop in a scent shell. Add in 2 or 3 ice cubes next. No Russian drink would be the same without adding vodka. Fill the rest of the copper cup with cold ginger beer and mix and serve with a stirring rod.
There you have it, a holiday beverage even Trump would get impeached for.
Apple Cider Old Fashions
Apple cider old fashions put a festive twist on this timeless drink. The main ingredient you need is of course, whiskey. While whiskey neat is also an option, we recommend you add the following to create a sweeter drink; ice, apple cider, angostura bitter, apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Mix, stir and enjoy!
When talking about alcohol related topics, how could we not mention the Irish? An Irish Coffee is a world famous cocktail that is the perfect holiday beverage for those cold winter nights (and mornings). Using a warm coffee glass, add 25ml of whiskey and a tablespoon of sugar to dissolve the whiskey. Add 1 hot double espresso with a small measure of water and finish with a delicate amount of whipped cream.
To see more whiskey cocktails, see our blog The best whiskey cocktails to enjoy on hot summer days.
Grapefruit Ranch Water
This cocktail is a lot nicer than its name suggests. Begin by dipping a 12-ounce glass in water than in salt spread out on a plate. Fill the glass with ice and top it up with grapefruit juice, syrup and everyones’ favourite, tequila. Don’t forget to stir! Top with sparkling water, and garnish with grapefruit wedges, cilantro sprigs and sliced jalapeno to compliment the tequila.
Spiced Cider is a warming cocktail, ideal for the festive period. What do you need? Apple cider, cinnamon sticks, a clove, an orange or lemon slice and the cherry on top, brandy. Mix all these ingredients and serve with cinnamon sticks. Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy this sweet holiday beverage watching Christmas classics like Home Alone and Die Hard.
Instead of using gin, this cocktail is a negroni with rye whiskey. A great drink for winter months, boulevardier consists of 1.5 oz of rye whiskey, .75ml oz of campari and .75 oz of sweet vermouth. Add all ingredients into a mixer with ice, shake and strain, and garnish with an orange twist to finish. It will be easier to drink than spell.
Last on our list is the Winter Margarita. Unlike the traditional margarita, it is split at the base with tequila and mezcal and contains one egg white. This adds a manly touch. To create this masterpiece add 1 oz of reposado tequila, mezcal and lime juice. Fill the glass with .75 oz of syrup and the egg white, and shake ingredients. Shake ingredients again but with ice and strain into a glass.
There you have it, a comprehensive menu to choose the best holiday beverage for you. Cocktails are not just for women to drink whilst gossiping about the Kardashians, they can be for us men too. So next time you’re at the bar or suggesting a drink, there is no need to whisper in embarrassment. Puff up your chest, hold your head high and proudly order one of these manly cocktails.
Now that you have an arsenal of cocktail recipes at your disposal, why not throw a party!?
Here are a few tips on how to throw a great holiday party.
- Alcohol, lots of alcohol
As already mentioned, you can prepare a wide range of drinks from the list above to suit all your guests. Alcohol is a great ice breaker and a way for people to get settled into your party. Also providing a self service bar is a great way to discover new recipes.
Snacks are essential for a great party. Not only do they compliment the drinks, but they also act as soakage so you don’t need the break out the puke bucket! Especially when it comes to the holiday season, there are a number of foods you can choose from. Here are just a few appetizer ideas for you;
- Mince pies
- Turkey Slices
- Pigs in a blanket
- Cranberry cheese balls
- Bacon cracker bites
- Cocktail sausages
Check out 63 Holiday Appetizers To Start Christmas Dinner Off With A Bang for a comprehensive list of appetizers. It’s a good idea to prepare as much as you can the night before to relieve as much pressure as possible.
- Make a list and send out invitations
It is important to make a list of who you are going to invite to ensure it matches the vibe of the party and to avoid any awkwardness. Afterall, you don’t want your ex to show up and witness a cat fight… Don’t worry about numbers, just worry about inviting the right guests.
Once you’ve created your guest list, it’s time to create custom invitations to create a buzz! Design Wizard offers a number of party invitations templates you can simply edit to create your custom invitation cards for each guest. It also offers a way for guests to RSVP, meaning you can get an idea of how many people will be coming to your party.
Give at least a month before the party to send out invitations as Christmas is a very busy period for peoples’ calendars.
- Setting the mood
Choosing the right music is vital for a great party. The music can determine the direction the party will take. Something like jazz will create a calm, chilled ambiance. Whereas if you want people out of their seats, pop is a good way of getting people singing and dancing. We would recommend creating a special playlist for your party. This can be easily done on Spotify or Apple Music. We advise you not to fill your playlist with classic christmas songs, and to create some diversity. This way there will be a little something for everyone. However, if you do not have the time for this, there are thousands of pre-made playlists on the above streaming services. Oh, and don’t forget a speaker!
You should also decorate your home to make it party appropriate. Turn off all overhead lights and use coloured, dimmed lighting. Fairy lights make a nice touch at parties and can be taped to walls, doors and windows. Of course, no holiday party would be complete without a few christmas decorations and a tree! Finally, move furniture to create space and ensure there are enough seats available.
- Take photographs
Photographs are a great way to look back on old memories ( and blackmail your friends). Nobody likes to see someone on their phone during a party, so a camera is an ideal method of capturing precious (and embarrassing) moments. After the party you can create a shared drive with all your guests and share the photos with them. Even better, you can tailor custom thank you cards. You can edit these photos to create cards on Design Wizard.
- Enjoy yourself!
Perhaps the most important thing people seem to forget when throwing a party is that you yourself should enjoy the experience! Try not to get caught up in being the perfect host. Nobody wants to see you stressed all night.
So remember, have a great time and you can worry about cleaning up in the morning!
Colm is currently a Marketing Intern at Design Wizard. He recently completed his bachelors degree in Commerce in University College Cork. Outside of the marketing world, his main passions are football, music and his cat. He hopes to run his own business one day.