What’s the holidays without friends and family? If you’re hosting this month, make sure it’s a smashing fete with special cocktails. ‘Tis the season is the perfect time to indulge in the season’s sinful flavours. We’ve gathered our favourite decadent cocktails perfect for evenings at home or holiday gatherings alike.
Apple Pie on the Rocks
You can’t go through the holiday season without some kind of hard apple-cider cocktail, and this one’s got an amazing spicy twist!
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz Fireball whiskey
4 oz apple juice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Brown Sugar for the rim (grind a little finer for more successful sugaring)
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Wet the rim of your rocks glass a little, then gently sugar the rim with the brown sugar. In a martini shaker, pour the vodka, whiskey, apple juice, and ground cinnamon together with a handful of ice cubes. Shake 10 times and pour the contents into the glass without disturbing the sugar rim. Serve chilled and with a cinnamon stick as garnish.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
For those of you who need something a little less party than tequila, this Cranberry Moscow Mule is a great alternative!
1 1/2 ounces cranberry ginger simple syrup*
Juice from ½ lime
2 oz vodka
Sugared cranberries for garnish
Cranberry Ginger Simple Syrup:
1 cup cane or granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup fresh ginger cut into strips
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup cane or raw sugar for coating
In a medium saucepan bring the water, ginger, and sugar to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cranberries and let them sit for a minute. Turn off the heat before the cranberries start to pop. Remove the saucepan from the heat and place a small dish or bowl inside the pan on top of the cranberries for at least two hours to weigh them down and steep in the liquid. Remove the plate and with a slotted spoon remove the cranberries. Strain the remaining ginger in the simple syrup and place in a jar.
To make the cocktail, grab a Collins glass and rub the rim with a little simple syrup then dip it into sugar. Pour the cranberry-ginger syrup, lime juice, and vodka. Stir, add ice, and top with club soda. Serve with a garnish of sugared cranberries.
Salted Caramel Eggnog Shake
Who doesn’t love salted caramel? Another of the season’s classics with an incredible addition, we are in heaven with this Salted Caramel Eggnog Shake.
1-2 tsp caramel sauce
1-2 tsp cocoa powder
1 pinch sea salt
Blend all ingredients together. Top with whipped cream, caramel, and sea salt.
Cranberry Ginger Vanilla Margaritas
For a more tropical fiesta and something a little more fresh on the palate try this amazing seasonal-inspired twist on the always refreshing margarita.
2 1/2 oz cranberry juice
2 1/2 oz vanilla-ginger syrup*
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 1/2 oz tequila
Coarse salt for glass rimming
Limes for garnish and sugared cranberries to pop in the drinks
* Vanilla-Ginger Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla-bean pod
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
For the vanilla-ginger syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Scrap out of the vanilla-bean pod then put the contents and the whole pod to the saucepan along with the ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for one to two minutes, then set it aside to cool to room temperature. If you’re making this ahead of time, store it in the fridge with the vanilla bean pod and ginger still in the syrup. If you’re using it as soon as it cools, remove the ginger and the pod. This will make about one cup of syrup, it will keep the fridge for a week or so.
To make the margaritas, rim the ridge of your glass with a lime wedge and dip in margarita salt. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Grand Marnier, simple syrup and lime juice with ice, then shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in lime slices.
To finish your margarita, prepare some sugared cranberries. Start by adding 1 cup of the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking for two to three minutes. Set it aside until it is cool enough to touch. Then either dunk the cranberries in the solution or pour the liquid over top of them. Place the remaining sugar on a plate then roll the cranberries through. You can use this recipe for the Cranberry Moscow Mule too.
Tom & Jerry
Hailing from the US Midwest, the Tom & Jerry is a rich and delicious cocktail that is just the remedy for their frigid winters. Turns out it does well in all climates! Try adding chocolate milk instead for a perfect dessert treat!
1 oz brandy or bourbon
1 oz aged rum
2 oz batter*
4 oz hot milk
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
Ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg to taste
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then add the spices. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolks, then refrigerate (for up to a week).
Preheat a mug or glass by rinsing it with boiling water. Add all of the ingredients and whisk to combine. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon and enjoy!
White Christmas Martini
Somewhere between a White Russian and a traditional chocolate martini is this festive and elegant cocktail.
2 oz vanilla vodka
2 oz white-chocolate liqueur
1 oz white creme de cacao
1 oz half-and-half
Honey and coarse sanding sugar for rim garnish
Pour the honey into a shallow dish and put the sanding sugar in another shallow dish. Coat the rim of the glass in the honey; then dip the rim in the sugar to coat evenly. Set the glass aside. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, white-chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, and half-and-half. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared martini glass.
Top image: Vegan Yack Attack