14 Literary-Inspired Cocktails For Holiday Parties

by Julia Seales

‘Tis the season to throw holiday parties. After all, your friends and family are back in town, everyone has a lot to catch up on, and the weather’s cold enough that everyone wants to stay indoors. What better way to celebrate than by throwing a holiday get-together? It gives you a chance to catch up — and gives you an excuse to dress up. Of course, nothing adds a little ~cheer~ to a party like a signature drink.

Sure, you can grab a bottle of wine at the store and serve it like the classy person you are. Or you can go the extra mile and search out a few ingredients to make the perfect literature-inspired cocktail for all your bookish friends. Bonus points if you theme your entire holiday party around your current favorite novel!

If you’re not lucky enough to own a copy of Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist (or you asked for it for Christmas and haven’t received it yet), check out some other ideas below to find which one will be a hit at your holiday party this year. So grab a cocktail shaker, some pretty glasses, and the garnish of your choice, and you’ll be ready to whip up your very own literary libation.

1. Ogden's Old Firewhiskey: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Ingredients needed:

  • Whiskey
  • Red Hot Cinnamon Candy
  • Coffee Filter and Holder
  • Cinnamon sticks

You'll be transported to Hogsmeade with this Harry Potter-inspired recipe. And even when it's cold outside, between the whiskey and the red hots, this one will definitely keep you warm. Find the recipe instructions from Instructables.

2. Butterbeer: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

  • Brown Sugar
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Heavy Cream
  • Rum Extract
  • Cream Soda

If you're looking for a non-alcoholic drink to serve to your holiday party guests, you can't go wrong with the Harry Potter favorite — good ol' Butterbeer. This recipe is supposed to taste similar to the cold version served in the parks, so you get all the flavor of Hogsmeade with all the warmth described in the books. Get the instructions from Wizarding World Park.

3. Mint Julep Hot Toddy: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Mint sprigs
  • Sugar
  • Bourbon

If you love the intimacy of large parties, and can't get enough of the 1920s theme, check out this hot version of a cool summer drink: the Great Gatsby mint julep hot toddy. Just sip slowly or you'll be seeing green. Find the full recipe at Rachael Ray Mag.

4. Atone-Mint Julep: Atonement by Ian McEwan

  • Blueberry Vodka
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sparkling Water
  • Simple Syrup
  • Mint Leaves
  • Lemon Wedge

The holidays are the perfect time to make up stories about your family and possibly cause irreparable damage. Or... not? Either way, toast to ‎Ian McEwan's lovely writing with this fruity version of a mint julep, which was actually created for Oscar party goers in 2008 when Atonement was nominated. Find the full recipe from About Food.

5. Catcher In The Rye: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  • Rye
  • Sherry
  • Torani Amer Liqueur
  • Grand Marnier
  • Bitters

The Christmas season is beginning in Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, so why not celebrate it in real life with a few friends, and some... rye? Full instructions can be found at Cocktail Virgin.

6. Peeta's Pear Punch: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Numi Honeybush teabag
  • Bourbon
  • Pear juice
  • Maraschino cherry

Just saw Mockingjay Part 2, and can't get enough of The Hunger Games? Whip up some of this Peeta-inspired punch for your friends this holiday season... you can find the full recipe instructions from Cosmopolitan.

7. The (Drink) On Fire: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Peppermint Schnapps
  • Kahlua
  • 151 Rum

The Matador Network has plenty of drink recipes that you can light on fire, but I think this peppermint Schnapps, Kahlua, and rum mixture is perfect for a Hunger Games-themed holiday gathering. Be the girl on fire (with the drink on fire) by following the recipe — you can find the instructions (plus some instructions for other flammable drinks) from the Matador Network.

8. Black-And-White Italian Cocktail: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  • A coffee ice cube
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Vodka
  • Amaretto
  • Half-and-half
  • Cinnamon

I'm obsessed with the aesthetic in Erin Morgenstern's fantasy book The Night Circus, where everything is black and white (with a small dash of red). Add this pretty color scheme to your holiday party, with a black-and-white Italian cocktail (I suggest garnishing with a cherry for the best color effect). Find the full recipe at the Food Network.

9. Anne Shirley's Raspberry Cordial: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

  • Raspberries
  • Sugar
  • Triple sec
  • Vodka

Remember when Anne accidentally got Diana drunk off of what she thought was raspberry cordial? Iconic. This cordial makes a great holiday punch, but this time, you'd better warn your friends that it IS alcoholic. Find the full recipe at Yummy Books.

10. The Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Single-malt Scotch
  • Lapsang souchong tea
  • Honey Syrup
  • Lemon juice

Apparently Lapsang souchong tea was Sherlock Holmes's favorite. How to make your holiday party great? Elementary: whip up a few of these cocktails. Find the full recipe from Food and Wine.

11. Bob Cratchit's Hot Gin Punch: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • Gin
  • Sweet Madeira Wine
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Nutmeg

Remember when the Cratchits drink punch in A Christmas Carol? This recipe, based on that scene, will transport you to their holiday celebration and will transform even the most Scrooge-like party guest. Find the full recipe from Slate.

12. The Snow Queen: "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen

  • Vanilla Vodka
  • Bailey's Irish Cream
  • Creme de Menthe
  • Fresh cream
  • Milk
  • Chocolate syrup

Once upon a time, someone created the perfect cocktail for fairy tale fans to sip at holiday parties this season... whip up this sweet concoction for your friends, with instructions from Cocktail Making.

13. House Stark, Winter Is Coming Cocktail: A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin

  • Tequila
  • White crème de cacao
  • Blue curaçao
  • Cream
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Toast A Song of Ice and Fire (and House Stark) with this wintry cocktail, perfect for holiday parties full of fellow George R. R. Martin fans. Find the full recipe from Old Nan's Needles.

14. Lizzie Bennet Champagne: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  • Champagne
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Amaretto
  • Chambord

Give a cheers to the new year with this sparkling drink, which Wine Intro describes as "sweet and bright but has a bit of tartness for complexity..." just like Elizabeth Bennet! After all, it's a truth universally acknowledged that a fantastic holiday party becomes even better with a signature cocktail. Find the full recipe from Wine Intro.

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