17 Holiday Drink Ideas That Aren’t Just Mulled Wine Or Hot Toddies

by Michelle Gross

The thing that's always bugged me about holiday parties is the cocktails. I mean, don't get me wrong — I love a good party, especially when cocktails are involved. But it's the lack of creative cocktails thereof that really grinds my gears. Seriously, it's always the same old bowl of eggnog, or the same old hot toddy mix. Maybe it's mulled wine in a mule mug, I don't know. Sure, I love a good cup of eggnog, or like one mug of hot toddy (mulled wine, meh, I could kind of leave that one and never look back), but there's just a lack in ingenuity when it comes to unique holiday drink ideas that I feel is kind of lacking year over year.

I get it, I mean, cocktails are kind of an afterthought, especially when you're hosting and have other things — aka turkey, ham, and a gazillion side dishes — to worry about.

So this year, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. I'm the captain of my holiday cocktail destiny after all! If you're anything like me and are looking to infuse a little zip into your holiday zest, then look no further because these holiday drinks will be sure to get you in the spirit. Literally. Bottoms up.

Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

I'm going to kick things off with this beautiful pomegranate ginger Paloma recipe, courtesy of Half Baked Harvest. I love so many things about this recipe, starting with the fact that it's just so seasonally on point with the pomegranate and ginger ingredient. Now a Paloma, which is a tequila-based cocktail, is typically made with a grapefruit-flavored soda like Fresca. This recipe however also calls for ginger beer (yum) giving a classic cocktail a bit of a fun and unusual holiday twist. You can find the recipe here.

Chilean Holiday Punch

This is not eggnog. I mean, it looks like eggnog, but I promise — it's not eggnog. It's Chilean Holiday Punch, and who doesn't love a little holiday punch? So here's the skinny on this baby: It's a Chilean punch which means it's going to have some bolder flavors. This one's slightly more spice heavy, but nothing too crazy. The X factor ingredient here is Chilean Pisco, which is a type of Spanish brandy. There's also a bit of coffee in this recipe as well, so this is probably best served as a pre-dinner apertif, or as an after dinner pick me up. You can find the complete recipe at The Kitchn.

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

I'm loving all the things about this pretty in pink, sparkling cranberry punch. First of all, just look at it. It's beautiful. And pink. Killer combo. Second of all, it could not be easier to make. Seriously, the ingredient list calls for only three things: pink lemonade, sparkeling water and cranberry juice. Now this is the family friendly version so if you wanna kick thing up a notch, a little vodka as your base alcohol should do the trick. Just don't forget to add the cranberry on top for that little bit of wow factor! Check out the complete recipe courtesy of Taste & Tell here.

Mulled Cider

I'm loving a lot of things about this mulled cider courtesy of The Kitchn. First of all, its cider, which is always a holiday crowd pleaser. Second of all, you can make it in the slow cooker which is basically the lazy girls solution to all things holiday goodness. All you need for this recipe is a gallon of fresh apple cider, one medium orange, ginger, cloves and cinnamon sticks (for both flavor and effect). Throw it all into the slow cooker and let that baby cook. Just remember, low and slow people, low and slow. You can find the complete recipe at The Kitchn.

The Campari Mint Spritz

Who doesn't love a little campari with their spritz amiright? Which is why this recipe courtesy of The Kitchn is all the Campari goodness in a glass. I love that this is not only packed with sweetness and flavor but with only four ingredients is also super easy to put together on the holiday fly. You can find the recipe right here.

Candy Cane Martini

Fair warning, one too many of these candy martinis and you will be on your face. Legit, it's all vodka (respect) with a candy cane dropped in for that hint of holiday flavor and to... take the edge off? I mean hey, sometimes you need a stiff drink. Holidays are stress amiright? If you're in that camp then this ones definitely for you. Just don't say I didn't warn you. You can find the complete recipe courtesy of Endless Simmer here.

Cranberry Margarita

If you're anything like me and have a perpetual thirst for all things margaritas, then this recipe, courtesy of The Kitchn is the answer. It's definitely not for the sweet or tart averse. Between the cranberry puree and the Grand Marnier, this suckers all about the pucker factor. If that jingles your holiday bells than look no further. You can find the complete recipe here.

White Christmas Mojito

This is all things holiday perfection. I mean the mint. The pomegranate. The white rum. The... coconut milk. OK, that last ingredient is a little bit of a curve ball. But still. It's just gorgeousness in a glass. It's also not super complicated to make which is always a big bonus. You can find the complete recipe on Half Baked Harvest.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Rich. Creamy. Pumpkin. Martinis. Yummmm. This martini is legit redefining pumpkin spice. It's pretty rum heavy so probably best served after dinner as a dessert cocktail. Once you've whipped this up to perfection simply sprinkle in some graham cracker crust for some big time bonus points. You can find the complete recipe on Pass The Sushi.

Berry Coconut Spritzer

I know, I know. Another spritzer. But hear me out because this coconut berry spritzer courtesy of Dessert Now Dinner Later is all the holiday cheer you could hope for and again could not be easier to make. Just take a little frozen fruit, some seltzer water a little cream of coconut. Again, add vodka at your discretion to give it a little kick — just don't forget to rim the glass with coconut flakes for that extra bit of wow factor holiday goodness. You can find the recipe here.

Slow Cooker Cider Wassail

Cider is always a great choice for the holidays and this slow cooked wassail mulled cider is no exception. I like this recipe because dates back to the drinks roots Wassail. Wa what? I'll explain. Wassail's roots trace back to Medieval Times and it is, simply, just cider. Nothing fussy. Just plain old mulled cider. Now that you know you'll thanks me next time you find yourself at the Renaissance Faire. Anyways, this recipe is old school and I love that you can just throw it all in to the slow cooker and let simmer. You can finds the complete recipe on A Spicy Perspective.

Champagne Punch

Two words: Champagne Punch. Just let that swirl around in your beautiful mind for a second. Yeah, pretty great. So I think this is the perfect punch for an elevated holiday party. It's so easy to whip up on the quick which is always a bonus, it's festive (hello, champagne) and it's just fun. Gotta love bubbles. You can find the recipe on Foodie Crush.


Peppermintini. It just rolls off the tongue doesn't it? It does. So, this another holiday twist on a classic cocktail that, in my opinion, should be a year-round drink. But I guess that would make it less special. So, in this recipe — brought to us by our friends over at A Spicy Perspective — white chocolate liquor, vanilla vodka, half and half, and of course candy canes will do this trick. Don't forget to rim the glass with smashed candy canes for the ultimate effect. You can find the complete recipe here.

Fig & Honey Cocktail

I'm loving the elegant simplicity of this pretty fig and honey cocktail. This recipe, which is brought to us from the creative cooking genius Tori Avey, is so pretty and lovely. It goes without saying, but you must love figs if you're going to pull this off, as that's obviously the main ingredient. You can find the complete recipe right here.

Sparkling Hibiscus Holiday Punch

OK, last holiday punch idea I swear! But this one is just too good to pass up and also so pretty and hibiscus-y to boot! This is a great drink to make in large batches. You can find the complete recipe courtesy of The Kitchn here.

Raspberry Russian

Another clever cocktail, this Raspberry Russian which is a play on the classic white Russian, is an easy holiday drink that you can whip up in no time! It's also very ingredient friendly — all you need are fresh raspberries, heavy cream, Chambord and vodka. If you're feeling spry, you can DIY the ice cubes as seen in the photo above by simply freezing a raspberry into the cube. Cute! You can find the complete recipe on Food Fanatic.

Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour

Full disclosure. I have a weakness for whiskey sours. I mean, they're just too good to resist and whenever I drink they just take me to this happy cozy place mind and body. So when I found this recipe, which comes replete with cinnamon and maple I thought whoa, this is a game changer. Again, light on the ingredient list, all you need for this recipe is some Bulleit bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon. You can find the complete recipe on Cookie and Kate.