19 Christmas cocktails to brighten up the holidays – no matter where you may be

Make these Christmas cocktails all throughout the festive period and add a little more cheer to the holidays. From vegan numbers, to cool spiced cocktails – you're all set to have a merry Christmas indeed

beautiful Thanksgiving cocktails for the holidays, decorated with cranberries
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It's about time you made yourself a Christmas drink because this year has been a strange one, but that doesn't mean that it has to dampen the festivities. Christmas is after all, that time of year where it's all about indulgence. So, what better way to relax and be merry than with one of the most festive Christmas cocktails in hand?

Whether you're looking for something to warm you up like a mulled cider, or for the perfect aperitif before Christmas morning breakfast or better yet, Christmas dinner – from gin, to Baileys, and from spiced rum to Champagne – we have all the most delicious options below, with some completely vegan options also. 

What's great about these drinks is that many of probably already feature in your cocktail making repertoire and so they will only need a few festive swap ins to class them as legitimate Christmas cocktails. And, should you want to turn them into mocktails, that can be arranged.

So, keep the cranberries, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and your best cocktail shaker on standby because we're about to get very Christmassy indeed.

1. Baileys espresso martini

festive looking espresso martini

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You love Baileys and you love espresso martini so put two and two together in the run up to Christmas and you have yourself one very merry Christmas cocktail recipe indeed. Simply swap the coffee liquor for the Irish cream and bottoms up!

2. Christmas gin spritz

gin spritz christmas cocktail

(Image credit: Pedrino Spritz)

A festive take on the regular Campari or Aperol spritz – a Real Homes favorite – swap the Aperol for sherry and Christmas cocktail done. 

We actually love using a pre-mixed Pedrino Sherry & Tonic Spritz instead of the sherry and tonic here for ease and it's super tasty too.

3. Mulled cider

mulled cider with slices of apple

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Mulled cider is a favorite winter warmer and t's one of the easiest Christmas cocktail recipes also. Much like mulled wine, simply heat about a litre of a still, dry cider up in a pan with a cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, a glass of cloudy apple juice and sugar to taste. Some add lemon or orange zest also. And when warm through, enjoy.

Top tip: add a shot of brandy or amaretto in your cup of mulled cider for an extra delicious kick. 

Want to turn this into a mocktail? Simply swap the cider for cloudy apple juice and consider a dash of your favorite festive sugar syrup too.

4. Rummy hot chocolate

hot chocolates with cream on top

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It's in the name, think hot chocolate, but a bit better and super festive also. For one, simply make a hot chocolate by adding about 15-20g milk or dark chocolate, 200ml milk (plant-based) if you'd like, a little sugar, a cinnamon stick and nutmeg, then a serving (25ml) of rum (spiced is fine) to a pan. Bring it to a low-medium heat so as to warm it all through and melt the chocolate, but you don't want it to boil. Stir constantly so nothing sticks, then strain the cinnamon stick and serve in a cute mug with whipped cream if you're feeling super festive.

5. Festive eggnog

egg nog recipe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Creamy and the actual epitome of Christmas cocktails, make eggnog using our simple AF recipe and you will never turn back.

6. Warm and spiced mulled wine

mulled wine recipe

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another Christmas drink classic, would it be Christmastime without a mulled wine on the go? Make yours in a pan or using your slow cooker and relax.

7. Ye festive oled fashioned

Copper dog old fashioned recipe

(Image credit: The Bottle Club)

Bourbon? Check. Bitters? Check. Festive? Check! If it's a chilly winter night, just whip up an old fashioned, serve with an extra slice of dried orange rind for even more festive taste, and cozy on up by the fire to take the edge off.

8. Christmas rosemary negroni 

Smoked Negorni

(Image credit: Slingsby Gin)

Gorgeous and sharp at any time of year, flavor your Christmas negroni with a dried orange slice and a small sprig of rosemary to nod to a few more festive flavors. It's a winning combination we guarantee.

9. Festive French 75

Hendricks gin cocktail

(Image credit: Hendricks)

Well we do need bubbles on Christmas now don't we, and gin cocktails are admittedly our favorite type also. A French 75 is super simple, yet fancy indeed and very delicious. Make yours a little more festive by subbing the sugar syrup for a little cranberry juice and voilà. Note: we would sub for cranberry juice if swapping the champagne for prosecco in this recipe, for obvious reasons, otherwise simply decorate yours with fresh cranberries instead of the classic glacier cherry.

10. Snowy White Russian

White Russian recipe

(Image credit: Masters of Malt)

Creamy, indulgent, a White Russian hits all the spots and is one of our favorite Christmas cocktails for precisely those reasons. Spiced with nutmeg, and a little cocoa if you wish, St Nick would totally approve. 

11. Rum spiced hot toddy

hot toddy

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What makes a hot toddy even more festive? Rum. Spiced rum. 

We like to use 2 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. Combine this with 0.5 oz. honey, 6 oz. hot water in a pot and heat it gently. Serve it up with a lemon wheel. Toasty. 

12. Cranberry mule

festive cranberry mule Christmas cocktail

(Image credit: Captain Morgan)

Think your Moscow mule but with a twist. This Christmas cocktail recipe calls for: 

Simply combine your ingredients together in a highball glass filled with ice. Top it with ginger ale, add your garnish and cheers!

13. Christmas chilled G&Tea

gin and tea tonic cocktails in balloon glasses on festive table

(Image credit: The London Essence )

Add a festive and aromatic twist to your favorite tipple and let the real festivities commence. You'll need: 25ml gin and 5ml orange or tangerine syrup. Simply top it with your favorite tonic (we recommend London Essence) and your choice of cold tea infusion tea bag and serve it in the biggest balloon glass you own with a slice.

14. Jack Frost's shandy

frosted shandy cocktail in a highball glass with peach garnish for Christmas

(Image credit: The London Essence )

This is shandy made a little more posh, flavorsome and festive. For this elegant Christmas drink, mix 2/3 of your favourite Lager with 1/3 flavored soda like London Essence Peach & Jasmine Soda, and serve it in a highball with a fruity garnish of your choice. 

15. Mulled wine mule

mistletoe mule in a rocks glass with cranberry and cinnamon stick garnish

(Image credit: The London Essence)

The perfect way to jazz up mulled wine. Take 25ml of your favourite spiced rum, 50ml mulled wine and top it with ginger beer for the perfect kick. Serve this in a rocks glass with ice and a cinnamon stick and maybe a dried orange as garnish.

16. Hot apple cider margarita 

vegan hot cider margs

(Image credit: bottlegreen)

Now the classic margarita has had Christmas makeover, and it's a vegan one too when made with agave rather than honey. The sweet notes of apple pair perfectly  with the rich warmth of ginger and lemongrass. Try this as a zingy warm bev courtesy of bottlegreen. You'll need:

25ml tequila

75ml apple cider

75ml pressed apple juice

1 tsp honey/agave nectar

20ml ginger & lemongrass cordial

1 star anise

Simply warm everything together in a pan until heated but not boiling and serve in a heatproof mug, with a cinnamon sugar rim for garnish.

17. Spiced apple rum chai 

festive alcoholic chai latte

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A fruity take on the classic chai latte, made vegan with delicious oat milk and made into a festive cocktail with the addition of spiced rum. Simply heat all the ingredients below gently in a pan, then serve in a heatproof glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.

50ml spiced rum

150ml oat milk

½tsp turmeric chai powder

15ml apple & plum cordial

18. Spiced espresso martini

festive spiced espresso martinis

(Image credit: Hungry Communications)

Another deliciously festive take on the classic after dinner cocktail, for this one you'll need:

50ml Conker Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur or decaf

50ml cinnamon-infused vodka (add a stick of cinnamon to 200ml vodka along with 1 tsp of sugar, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge to infuse. The longer you leave it, the spicier it will get)

50ml cooled espresso coffee 

¼ tsp ground nutmeg (and a grating for garnish)

10ml sugar syrup

Ice

Method

Simply add the ground nutmeg to your ground coffee beans and make an espresso. Let the espresso cool, then fill your cocktail shaker with all of the ingredients and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain and pour it into a chilled martini glass, then garnish with a grating of nutmeg and a small stick of cinnamon.

19. Chilled Southern Comfort eggnog

cool southern comfort eggnog

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To create this different take on the classic Christmas eggnog cocktail, you'll need:

2 oz Southern Comfort 

1 Whole Egg

1 oz Heavy Cream

0.5 oz Simple Syrup

Cinnamon stick, grated cinnamon, and nutmeg for garnish

Simply combine everything into your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a tall or wine glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a little grating of cinnamon, and nutmeg if you please!

As the Southern Comfort has notes of orange, vanilla and cinnamon, it works really well in this Christmas cocktail.